Monthly Public Tours

NEXT PUBLIC TOUR DATE: Saturday August 12th

Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

LIGO Hanford offers free public tours of the observatory on the second Saturday of each month. Two walking tours take place on each tour date: one at 1:30 p.m. and another at 3:30 p.m. You may join either of these tours. In addition, a LIGO staff member will give a public talk at 3:00.

You do not need to RSVP for tours or talks, but please note the following:

The 1:30 tour tends to attract many times more people than the 3:30 tour. Because we want all of our visitors to enjoy their time at LIGO, we strongly encourage you to attend the 3:30 tour if at all possible. Thank you!


Additional things to note:

  • Admission is free and no reservations are required
  • Plan to arrive about 10 minutes prior to the time of the tour you would like to attend
  • The walking tour lasts about one hour. Guests should dress for the season and wear comfortable shoes. Note that the site can be quite windy and dusty.
  • Photographs are welcome so bring your camera!
  • LIGO tours are suitable for all ages. The talks are appropriate for visitors aged 12 and up, but all ages are welcome
  • LIGO’s facilities are wheelchair accessible, though you will encounter some hills


What will I see?

During your visit you will see many interactive and static exhibits, including a full-scale engineering model of the "quad suspension" that is so critical to LIGO's success. You will also experience an extraordinary view of the interferometer's arms stretching 4 km (2.5 miles) off into the distance, get up close to a sample of the beam tube and its concrete enclosure, and visit the control room where you will learn more about our remarkable instrument.