Kitt Peak

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Kitt Peak
Telescopes on the top
Highest point
Elevation6,886 ft (2,099 m)  NAVD 88[1]
Prominence2,092 ft (638 m) [2]
Coordinates31°57′54″N 111°35′57″W / 31.964919231°N 111.599279136°W / 31.964919231; -111.599279136Coordinates: 31°57′54″N 111°35′57″W / 31.964919231°N 111.599279136°W / 31.964919231; -111.599279136[1]
Kitt Peak is located in Arizona
Kitt Peak
Kitt Peak
LocationTohono O'odham Nation
Pima County, Arizona, U.S.
Parent rangeQuinlan Mountains
Topo mapUSGS Kitt Peak
Easiest routeRoad

Kitt Peak (O'odham: Ioligam) is a mountain in the U.S. state of Arizona, and at 6,883 feet (2,098 m) is the highest point in the Quinlan Mountains.[3] It is the location of the Kitt Peak National Observatory. The radio telescope at the Observatory is one of ten dishes comprising the Very Long Baseline Array radio telescope.

The peak was named in English by County Surveyor George J. Roskruge for his sister, Phillippa, who was the wife of William F. Kitt. On his 1893 Pima County Survey map, Roskruge spelled the name 'Kits'. At the request of the wife of George F. Kitt, the spelling was changed by decision in 1930.[4]

Kitt Peak is the second-highest peak on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, and as such is the second-most sacred after Baboquivari Peak. Near the summit is I'itoi's Garden, the summer residence of the nation's elder brother deity. The name Ioligam means "red stick" in reference to the abundance of manzanita bushes on and around the mountain.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Kitts". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Kitt Peak, Arizona". Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  3. ^ "Kitt Peak". Retrieved February 5, 2014.
  4. ^ "Kitt Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  5. ^ Waugh, John C. (June 27, 1960). "Indians Yield Telescope Site". Christian Science Monitor. p. 11.