Arizona 386

This map shows the original route (in brown) of the dirt road up Kitt Peak, and the 1967 route of Arizona 386. Notice the longer, more gradual ascent of the paved road.

Arizona 386 travels from Arizona 86 up the side of Kitt Peak to Kitt Peak National Observatory. The road was added to the State Highway system in 1967, and completed that same year to allow construction of the 4 meter telescope (similar to County Route S-7 in San Diego County).

The original road up Kitt Peak was a dirt road, used by the observatory from 1958 to 1967.

The highway is closed between 4 PM and 9 AM nightly due to the observatory.

Arizona 386 south
Arizona 386 is closed from 4 PM to 9 AM nightly. This sign warns of the closure, and the observatory is very prompt about these hours. Photo taken 07/04/08.
No services are available along Arizona 386. Photo taken 07/04/08.
This is the only reassurance marker for Arizona 386. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Distance sign to Kitt Peak National Observatory at the end of the road. This sign also warns of the closure at 4 PM. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Curves and Mountain Grades are found all along Arizona 386 as it climbs to the top of Kitt Peak. Photo taken 07/04/08.
These pictures show some of the twists and turns along Arizona 386. This road is not recommended for those with a fear of heights. Photos taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 386 enters the Observatory grounds here. No radio transmissions are permitted as they interfere with the telescope array. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 386 climbs rapidly in altitude, and crosses the 6000 foot mark here. The road caps out at 6780 feet. Photo taken 07/04/08.
This view shows the four meter telescope as Arizona 386 winds below it. The road ends just ahead at the visitor center parking area. No end shield is present. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 386 north
Arizona 386 has an 8% grade all the way down to Arizona 86. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Ice can form at any time along Arizona 386, including during the summer. Photo taken 07/04/08.
These four photos show the grades heading down Arizona 386 as it winds down the slopes of Kitt Peak and the Quinlan Mountains. Photos taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 386 ends at Arizona 86. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Turn left to travel to Sells and Ajo, or turn right to travel to Tucson. Photo taken 07/04/08.
Arizona 386 scenes
These two photos are taken from the Four Meter telescope, looking north along the road up Kitt Peak. Photos taken 07/04/08.

Photo Credits:

2008-07-04 by Kevin Trinkle

Page Updated 07-08-2008.

© AARoads