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Address: Magdalena Ridge Observatory, New Mexico Tech
Research Office Building
101 East Road, Socorro, NM 87801
MRO Interferometer:
Dr. Michelle Creech-Eakman
Phone: (575) 835-5809
MRO 2.4m Telescope:
Dr. Eileen Ryan
Phone: (575) 835-6803

Visiting MRO

PLEASE NOTE: Due to ongoing construction at the Observatory, all public events are cancelled until further notice.


  • The Magdalena Ridge Observatory is not open to visitors, however there are opportunities for visiting the observatory by joining one of the organized tours.

General Public

  • Two public open houses are held yearly, one in the spring and one in the fall. These tours are by advance reservation only. If you would like to be notified of our public open house dates, please follow this link to sign up.
  • Guests of the Enchanted Skies Star Party have the opportunity to tour the Observatory and remain on the grounds for a star party.

Friends of MRO

  • Seasonal private day tours and star parties are held for members of Friends of MRO.

Donors to MRO

  • Private tours for up to eight people are available by arrangement to donors above the $5000 level.


MRO Education & Outreach program does support, participate, and host star parties. For more information please visit our star parties page or check out our events calendar.

Road Alert

Four wheel drive vehicle required. 

The road to Magdalena Ridge Observatory climbs 4,000 feet in only 8 miles, making it very steep. It is largely single-track with little room for passing for the majority of its length. To let oncoming vehicles pass, it may be necessary to reverse to a turnout. The road is unsurfaced and experiences several hairpin bends.
Care should be taken when driving to and from the Observatory to drive slowly and carefully and use low gears, especially when descending, to avoid riding the brakes and causing brake failure. As long as drivers are sober, cautious, and alert we will all enjoy accident-free visits to the site.
Please take care to fill up on gas before driving to MRO. There are no gas stations closer than Socorro or Magdalena. Also, be aware that there is no cell phone reception from Water Canyon up to the Observatory.

Directions to Socorro, NM

The nearest airport to New Mexico Tech is Albuquerque International Sunport. This is served by most major airlines and car rental companies. New Mexico Tech is approximately 72 miles south of the airport, on I-25 located at exit 150. Please see the Airport Ground Transportation for information on how to get to Socorro.

Directions to Magdalena Ridge Observatory (site)

From the north, traveling south on I-25, take exit 150.
From the south, traveling north on I-25, take exit 147.
Follow California St. (Socorro’s main north-south street), from either exit. Go West on Spring St., also known as Highway 60-West. At the 4-way stop (1/2 mile), go left, following the sign to Magdalena. Follow Highway 60-West, 15 miles (approx. mile mark 125) to Water Canyon Rd. Go left on Water Canyon Road (signage indicates Water Canyon Campground 4.5 miles). At the end of the paved road (4.5 miles), turn left into Water Canyon Campground. Follow the unpaved forest road for 8 miles to the site at the gate.
Note: This road is narrow and steep, it climbs to 10,500 feet and the maximum gradient is approximately 14%.

Directions to MRO Offices (on the New Mexico Tech Campus)

Once you get into Socorro, turn onto Bullock from California. Continue ahead for ~8 blocks. You will reach a stop sign at the corner of Bullock and Leroy. Continue on Bullock and you will reach another stop-sign at the intersection of Bullock and Lopezville. Proceed directly across; the street name will change from Bullock to Olive Lane. Olive Lane will loop southward. You will reach another stop sign at the corner of Olive Lane and Canyon Road. Turn Right (West) approximately 1/2 miles. You will cross an arroyo and come to an intersection that is easily identified by the presence of a large, elevated water tank. This is East Road, turn right ~1/4 mile and you reach the NMT Research Office Building on the right (east), home of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Project Office.