Experience Biosphere 2

General Tours

Biosphere 2 is located north of Tucson, Arizona at the base of the stunning Santa Catalina Mountains. This one-of-a-kind facility sits on a ridge at a cool elevation of nearly 4,000 feet and is surrounded by a magnificent natural desert preserve. Come experience the remarkable Biosphere 2 which Time Life Books named one of the 50 Must-See Wonders of the World. See why visitors from around the globe journey here for this unique adventure not found anywhere else. Discover real-time research on the future of our planet as it unfolds in the world's largest earth science laboratory.

Biosphere 2 is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Visitors are welcome to arrive daily between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to explore the facility, exhibits, and grounds. Guided tours are available througout the day - please arrive no later than 3:45 p.m. It is not necessary to book a reservation for groups with 20 people or less. Upon arrival you will be directed to our many exhibits and discovery opportunities, and assigned to one of the next available general tours. Pets are not allowed inside Biosphere 2 or on the grounds, service pets that are trained to do specific tasks are welcome. Do not leave pets unattended in vehicles.

Tour Schedule and Hours

Specialty Tour Experiences (NEW!)

History Tour: This 45-minute outdoor tour gives you an in-depth look into what it was like to be a crew member inside of Biosphere 2. The guided tour also focuses on the design & construction of Biosphere 2 in the early 1990’s. The History Tour is offered every Saturday and Sunday at 10am and 12pm. The tour is $20 per person or a $5 add-on to a general tour.

Family Tour: This condensed, interactive tour is perfect for a family visit to Biosphere 2. Designed for families with children 12 and under, this guided tour follows the general tour route and concludes with an optional hands-on activity in our Ocean Gallery. The Family Tour is offered every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 1pm. Regular admission prices apply.

The Biosphere 2 visitor center houses exhibits and multimedia displays along with a bookstore and cafe. Should you choose, your experience at Biosphere 2 is facilitated by an expert interpretive specialist who takes you inside and under the glass. The beautiful trail system takes you along a once-in-a-lifetime tour route of the 3+ acre research facility where you will smell our ocean and feel a tropical rainforest up close. In addition to escorting you through the upper biomes, your interpretive specialist takes you through the basement technosphere and into one of the amazing lungs that helped moderate air pressure in Biosphere 2's once-sealed environment. Your tour can include the underwater Ocean Gallery where you can explore the million-gallon ocean and its research value - including coral reef resilience. Before or after your guided tour, take time to enjoy the many different exhbits, programs, and events that are offered all season. The visit and guided tour provides an opportunity to appreciate and discuss important science in a friendly, informal setting. Your experience will be like no other!

The under-the-glass guided walking tour of Biosphere 2 consists of approximately 150 stairs (up and down) and the route is just under one mile to walk round-trip. The tour duration is one hour and 20 minutes with a considerable amount of standing. Most tours begin in the Biosphere 2 Human Habitat, about a 5-minute walk from the Visitor Center. The guided tour includes time outdoors as well as inside the Biosphere 2 research facility. The weather can range from quite cold in the winter months to extremely warm during the summer months. Winter and spring weather can be unpredictable in Southern Arizona so wearing layers of clothing is recommended. Comfortable, closed-toed shoes are also highly recommended as the tour route includes standing, climbing, and walking. Hats and water bottles - we have refilling stations - are welcome.

Unfortunately, due to low ceilings (in some areas) and doorways, babies and children can NOT be carried on an adult's back.  Front carrying and front slings are acceptable. Visits, including guided tours, are available on days with inclement weather unless conditions pose a hazard to the safety of visitors and staff. The interior of the Biosphere 2 research facility is heated and cooled based on current research protocols and as a result visitors may experience a variety of heat and humidity conditions on the under-the-glass guided tour. Bottled water is allowed on the tour and encouraged. Visitors who have medical considerations, special needs, are non-ambulatory or have other conditions may want to arrange for a modified tour, please see the Accessibility page.