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The Titan Missile Museum offers visitors a look at one of the Titan II missile sites used during the Cold War. Of the 54 in the US, this is the only one open to the public.
These sites were used to deter nuclear war during a very tense time in our military history. These facilities were open and on alert from 1963 to 1987.
In addition, this museum is also dedicated to showcasing soldiers' lives in its underground facilities and how they worked to protect the US during this cold war period.
You can only visit on a guided tour. This tour lasts for around 45 minutes. You will then be able to explore the above-ground exhibits on your own.
The tour requires you to walk down 55 stairs to reach the underground silo safely. There are no elevators for this portion of the tour. Keep this in mind before you book your tickets.
The 45-minute tour takes you to two main sections within this facility.
The first part of the tour takes you to the stations where the soldier sat around the clock in preparation for launching the missile to divert an attack. This part of the tour tells you more about how they were trained, the responsibility of each person in this area, and what they had to deal with daily.
Your guide will also have people sit in the seats and go through a simulated launch sequence.
The second part of the tour will take you right up to the massive Titan II missile. It is incredibly impressive, and you will be amazed at how huge it is as you stand just a few feet away.
The space is pretty tight inside, and the steps are steep. If either of these bother you, we recommend just checking out the outdoor exhibits. The price is the same, but you can tell them you don't want to go into the facility but prefer just to check out their outdoor exhibits.
After the tour, you can walk around their above-ground display area with a silo cover, antennas, a security jeep, and other memorabilia used at the time to help deter nuclear war.
Our favorite part of this section is the area where you can stand above the missile, look down through a window, and see it from a totally different perspective.
The above-ground area also includes QR code signs that will take you to a YouTube video with a more in-depth explanation. The museum has about 3 or 4 other QR reader codes. We highly encourage you to use them as they add so much to visitors' journeys.
Make sure also to spend a little time in their gift shop. It's cute and is a great place to buy some memorabilia.
As they say at the museum, "Launch Sequence Initiated" as you begin your new mission with a rare look at what was one of America's top-secret locations.
You can enter the gift shop anytime, but you must have a tour guide to see the structure and above-ground displays.
If you visit from October to May, the museum is open 7 days a week.
During the summer schedule, which starts in June and runs to September, the museum is open only from Thursday to Monday and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is closed on Thanksgiving & Christmas Day.
The hours stay the same no matter the date you visit. The museum opens at 9:45 am and closes at 5:00 pm. The tours start at 10:00 am, with the last tour starting at 4:00 pm. They run every 30 minutes throughout the day.
Only 26 people are allowed on each tour, so make sure to book your tickets in advance during their busier weekend and holiday tour times.
Here are the current admission prices for the Titan Missile Museum (subject to change):
To receive the discounted price, you’ll need to provide proof with your ID to confirm age, residency in Pima County, and that you are military.
The Titan Missile Museum is about a 30 to 40-minute drive south of Tucson, right outside the cute town of Sahuarita in Green Valley.
The Titan Missile Museum has a large parking lot that will make finding a place to park easy. We’ve always been able to find a spot no matter the day of the week.
The parking is free, it has easy access to the museum, and it is fully ADA accessible. This area is well-paved and very flat.
If you don't have a car, you have two additional options to get here from downtown Tucson:
421 Bus: This bus leaves from the downtown transit center. It will take you about an hour and a half. The SS/La Canada/Duval Mine Rd stop is about a half mile away from the museum entrance.
Uber/Lyft: You can also take an Uber/Lyft to get here. It takes about 35 minutes, and the cost is around $30 to $40 before taxes and a tip.
It is located at 1580 West Duval Mine Road in Green Valley, AZ.
The Titan Missile Museum is ADA Accessible but with restrictions.
To get to the launch control center and silo, visitors must walk up and down 55 steps. The steps are corrugated metal with spaces between them.
One of the restrictions is that the elevator to the missile is out of order, and there is no information on when it will be in operation at this time.
Also, the hallways in the museum are a little tight; if the tour is full, it might be challenging to maneuver around others.
You will also be required to stand for the full tour as they do not have seats or any place to rest inside the missile facility.
The museum does permit wheelchairs and scooters. Personally, we believe that it might be difficult, especially in a wheelchair, to navigate through it.
If you cannot walk down the staircase, you can still walk around the above-ground exhibits. The walkways are mostly flat, and all are paved.
If you have a hearing disability, the museum has free qualified Sign Language Interpreters. Please remember to ask them at least 10 days in advance by emailing or calling the museum.
Leashed service animals are allowed.
There are no wheelchairs to rent at the museum.
If you would like more information, we suggest you contact them ahead of time.
Since the museum was originally a missile command center, its long and exciting history will amaze you.
At one point during the cold war, there were a total of 54 Titan II Missile Silos in the United States, with 18 from Arizona. This missile site was among one of America's most top-secret locations in the country.
When the center opened in 1963, it was only run by men. Then, in 1978, First Lieutenant Patricia Fornes became the first woman to help run the center.
With the Titan II missile’s ability to be launched in under 1 minute and with only about a 25-minute distance to the target, it was considered a highly advanced piece of warfare during its time.
Due to its fast inbound target, the missile could be used as a counterattack and would not be destroyed.
The missile had a payload of 9 megatons and could destroy a whole city simultaneously.
The crew would have 8 or 9 alerts a month, which meant that they usually worked on a 5-week time frame. They were on alert 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This made sure the crew was able to be aware and ready at a moment's notice.
In November 1982, there were numerous meetings and conferences with the government and military to make Launch Complex 571-7 a cold war history museum.
By September 1985, the museum was considered an essential piece of cold war history. However, it took some time as the site needed to be converted, and many parts of the original structure needed to be removed.
However, other countries’ satellites could see if these missiles and silos were being dismantled, which might allow them to attack the United States. Therefore, certain security agreements needed to be met for it to become the Titan Missile Museum.
One of the security measures required them to cut holes into the propellant tanks to prove they were empty. They were then displayed on the ground’s surface for about a month. That would allow other nations to see that it was no longer in operation and was fully disarmed.
Also, the massive silo doors had to be permanently placed in a position that showed them half-opened. They had to install substantial cement blocks to lock them into place for this to work.
Finally, after everything was finished, the museum officially opened to the public on May 21, 1986.
In 1994, the Titan Missile Museum became a National Historic Landmark! It is only one of two ICBM sites in the entire world that the public can enter at this time.
Lastly, the former Governor of Arizona, Janet Napolitano, proclaimed the Titan Missile Museum a National Historic Landmark! It is truly a one-of-a-kind museum.