Visiting the Very Large Array

Field Trip Guide


There are no fees for educational groups to participate in programs at the Very Large Array (VLA).

Transportation Funding

Thanks to generous support from VLA Members, transportation funding is available for K-12 schools to visit the Very Large Array.

Funding is limited and is capped at $1,000 per school, per year. Title I schools have priority. Funds may be applied to district and chartered busing. Funding does not cover gas or mileage for individuals or groups of individual drivers. To apply please submit an application.

VLA School Bus Fund Application
For questions, contact


Chaperones must be provided for any K-12 in-person visits to the Very Large Array (VLA).

Students must be supervised at all times. The required student-chaperone ratios are:

  • Pre-K through 3rd Grade: 1 adult for every 5 students
  • 4th through 6th Grade: 1 adult for every 10 students
  • 7th through 12th Grade: 1 adult for every 15 students

Chaperone’s are requested to promote good manners of their group and enforcement of the electronic device policy at the Very Large Array (VLA). They are responsible for staying with the group and keeping students together.

Weather and Walking

The Very Large Array (VLA) is at an elevation of 7,000 feet so visitors should prepare for extreme weather conditions year round. The path for the tours is level and approximately 0.5 miles in length, half of which is unpaved gravel.

Food Considerations

There are no food options on-site at the Very Large Array (VLA). Please plan to bring adequate food and beverages for your group during your visit.

Buses and Parking

If you are arriving in a bus please pull into the first parking lot you see on the right at the building that says “Very Large Array” on it. Your tour guide will meet you there.

Do's and Don'ts

Please familiarize your group with our Do’s and Don’ts while at at the facility


If you must cancel your reserved program, you must do so at least 48 hours in advance of the scheduled time.

Contact our Education and Public Outreach office at if you have any questions.