Monthly Public Tours

NEXT PUBLIC TOUR DATE: Saturday, April 13th, 2019

With the winter weather we've had, be sure to check our Twitter or Facebook pages prior to coming to the site for a tour to make sure the tour has not been canceled. A decision will be made and announced on Twitter, Facebook, and here by 10:00 a.m. on the morning of the tour.

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. (ending at ~2:45) and the other at 3:30 p.m. (ending at ~4:45). You may join either of these tours. In addition, a LIGO staff member will give a public talk at 3:00. (Note: those taking the 1:30 tour will be back in time to attend the 3:00 talk).

You do not need ID to visit LIGO, nor do you need to RSVP for tours or talks.

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 take
  • The walking tour lasts about one hour. Guests should dress for the season and wear comfortable shoes.
  • 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 two 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 even more about LIGO from the people who maintain and operate the world's most sensitive measuring device.