Transportation to Mount Wilson: There is no public transportation to Mount Wilson. It is recommended that visitors arrange for a rental car during their stay. Transportation from LAX to Pasadena: Some visitors may stop in Pasadena during their stay. There are limousines and shared-ride vans that can take passengers from LAX to Pasadena. Alternatively, one can take the La FlyAway Bus from LAX to downtown LA. The Metro Gold Line train can then be taken from downtown LA to Pasadena. Note the La FlyAway Bus, does not accept cash.Tickets may be purchased at the bus with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit or debit cards only. The Observatory is an additional 25 miles from Pasadena, and visitors will need a rental car.
Driving Directions to Mount Wilson From the 210 freeway, follow the Angeles Crest Highway (California State Highway 2) north out of La Canada-Flintridge. Follow Route 2 past the Angeles Forest Highway turnoff. Continue on Route and turn right onto Mount Wislon Red Box Road. This is about 15 miles from the 210 Freeway. Drive about 5 miles more to Mount Wilson Circle. You will arrive at a small intersection near a number of transmitter towers. Follow the “Observatory” sign on the one way road to the far right around the towers until you reach the Forest Service gate, which is the entrance to Skyline Park and the Observatory.
Remember to turn on your headlights when driving on CA Route 2, beginning at La Cañada and when driving back down the mountain from the Observatory; drivers not using their headlights may be stopped and fined.
A map of the route to Mount Wilson can be found here: Map of Route to Mount Wilson
Alternate Route via Sunland Directions
This route is only valid if the main portion of the Angles Crest Highway (California Route 2) is closed . From Pasadena, take the I-210 west to Sunland Blvd. Turn right on Sunland Blvd to Oro Vista and turn left. Oro Vista Ave turns right and becomes Big Tujunga Canyon Road. Stay on this road for 12.9 miles. At Angeles Forest Highway turn right for 3.8 miles. On Angeles Crest Highway (California Route 2) turn left and continue on for 4.6 miles. Turn right on Mt. Wilson/Red Box Road and continue approximately 5 miles to Mt. Wilson Circle. Resources via Sunland Travel Route: There are many restaurants and stores in Sunland. These include a Ralphs Supermarket right off the freeway a Sizzler and Panda restaurant, a Yum Yum Donuts and a 31 Flavors Ice Cream, plus a Starbucks nearly on the corner of Oro Vista and Sunland Blvd. There are also plenty of gas stations. A driving map is available here Mt Wilson Map via Sunland If the map shows driving on the freeway, select Options, make sure Avoid Freeways is selected and hit Get Directions to see the Big Tujunga route through the mountains.
Arrival after hours
The Observatory gates are open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily from the first weekend in April through the last weekend in November. If you are planning to arrive when the gate will not be open, be sure that you know the gate code to the Observatory grounds a couple of days before your trip. Call Larry Webster (626-796-3730) or Theo during business hours for the code, as the code cannot be sent by email for security reasons. For last-minute arrangements, there is a pay phone just outside the Observatory gate (the charge is fifty cents), although there is no guarantee that anyone will be available to receive your call or that the pay phone will be operational.