- The Mt. Wilson Observatory was established in 1904 by astronomer George Hale (1868-1938) in the suburb of Pasadena. It was the first observatory in the western United States and the largest in the world. The grounds are open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays during daylight savings only (April to November). Guided walking tours are offered at 1p each weekend day. The tours are free of charge and do not require advance reservations. Outdoor picnic facilities are available, but visitors are urged to bring their own drinking water, as it is not always available on the premises. To visit Mount Wilson Observatory, exit the 210 freeway to follow CA Route 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) into the San Gabriel Mountains for 14 miles to Red Box Road. Turn right, then go another 5 miles until you reach the Observatory gate. To drive up the Angeles Crest Highway, you will need a National Forest Adventure Pass, available at various locations throughout Los Angeles County.
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