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  • Map from San Jose to Lick Observatory, courtesy of Google Maps.

Important Travel Information:
Please take extra precaution driving up to Lick Observatory. Snow, mud slides, and debris can cause hazardous road conditions. Mount Hamilton Road (SR 130) is closed from 4.9 miles east of the Alum Rock Ave / Mt. Hamilton Road junction to Quimby Road due to a washout. Please take Quimby Road, approximately 5 miles south of Alum Rock Ave, to get to the observatory from San Jose.


Allow about one hour from San Jose, and please drive carefully as the road is scenic, but winding.

Lick Observatory is located on the summit of Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo Range east of San Jose. At this time, lower Mount Hamilton Road is closed due to a washout, please take Quimby Road instead. From HWY 101, take Tully Road east to Quimby Road. Turn right onto Quimby Road and continue into the foothills, turn right onto CA-130 (Mount Hamilton Road) at Grant Park to get to the observatory (about 12 miles from the Grant Park junction). From 680 north, please take exit Capitol Expressway south onto South Capitol Ave, turn left onto Quimby Road and follow above directions.

From the east, take Interstate 580 west to Interstate 680 south and exit at Capitol Expressway south. Take Quimby Road from the east (lower Mount Hamilton Road is closed due to a washout), but please allow about 1-3/4 hours from Interstate 5 to reach the Observatory. The road is long and winding. Take the Patterson exit off Interstate 5, and go west on Puerto del Canyon Road (away from Patterson.) At the Junction Cafe, turn left to stay on California Route 130.


All parking at the observatory is free. Parking spaces are available outside of the main building, and down the hill across from the school.

Special parking arrangements must be made for car, bike, and motorcycle clubs. If you are planning on visiting the observatory with a group, please contact us at to make advanced arrangements for access.

Group Information

We recommend that groups of 10 people use a small shuttle bus for transport up to Mt. Hamilton. Large buses are not recommended on Quimby Road and Mt. Hamilton Road or San Antonio Valley Road, as it is very difficult to navigate some of the tight turns.

Shuttle bus companies:

If you're planning to visit in a group, please notify us in advance so we can better assist with your visit. E-mail for more information.

Important Information

  • Be cautious on Mt. Hamilton Road. The drive is scenic, but the road is narrow in some areas and also has many sharp curves.
  • There are no gasoline or automative services at Mt. Hamilton or anywhere along the road outside of San Jose.
  • Food services are limited at the observatory. Light snacks, coffee, and refreshments will be available for purchase. We recommend packing a picnic to enjoy at the observatory.

For more information, please contact