The Biosphere 2: A Living, Breathing Study of Mother Earth

Biosphere2The engineering and conceptual marvel, the Biosphere 2, is 26 miles north of Tucson and a ‘must see’ attraction to learn the history, the benefit and the future of this man-made ‘living’ structure.

Driving up Highway 77 North toward mile marker 96.5, looking for the Biosphere structure in the distant hills is to be expected. A large boulder with the words “Biosphere 2” engraved sits in front of a flagpole marking the turnoff. A two-lane asphalt road winds its way to the visitor parking area 2 miles off the main highway.

Signs in the visitor parking area direct you toward the Visitors Center. The entry is down the walkway to the left. A gift shop is through the door to the left, the ticket counter is straight ahead. A pictorial history of the building of the Biosphere 2 is to the right. Taking a few minutes to study the history will assist with further understanding of the Biosphere 2 during the tour.

Following the path down to the Biosphere 2 and the start of the tour will take you by several Casitas and natural gifts given to the Biosphere 2.


The magnificent views from the vantage point of the walkway are incredible. Not only views of the Biosphere 2 but of the surrounding region.


Continue the path to the open portal to begin the tour. Don’t hesitate…walk through the portal!


The start of the tour is an amazing video in a theater with interesting storyboards. Take a few minutes to read the information. The tour doesn’t come back through so this is the one opportunity. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable and interactive, making the tour interesting and educational.

The Biosphere 2 experience was more than I anticipated. The educational experience alone was worth the price of admission but the experience of walking through the various atmospheres within the ‘living and breathing’ structure is memorable.


The living ocean is the first introduction to the environments you will experience. The internal area sealed under glass will awe and amaze. The other environments, the underground support system and the ‘lungs’ are all interesting, educational and inspiring.

Think about it for a minute – the level of knowledge, creativity, mechanical and overall engineering, especially for the time period, makes the success of the structure and the scientific discoveries an incredible accomplishment. This is a place everyone should experience. Find your own reasons but take the short drive out and spend part of your day exploring the Biosphere 2.