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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Favorite Viewing Sites
      #4502569 - 04/07/11 11:33 AM

Hi Folks: Post your favorite viewing sites to share with others, right here!

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Maureen
Geek Mom
*****

Reged: 04/27/05

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4502635 - 04/07/11 11:54 AM

Aside from star parties whose sites are available elsewhere, my favorite site is in Maine. I go here every fall for a two week astronomy vacation. Use of a scope (or two?) comes with the cottage.
Here's the CSC for the place.
Maureen


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jpcannavo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/21/05

Loc: Long Island New York
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4502709 - 04/07/11 12:20 PM

Cool spot Maureen - and not to far for me in NYC! Check out Stone Tavern Inn below
It would be awesome if we could make this work as a sticky thread. We could include here include information on places around the country featuring dark skies, excellent seeing, lodging with observing equipment etc, astronomy B&Bs, dark sky parks, etc. - or even safe friendly dead end roads in dark country. Personally, I drove cross country twice with a telescope. By trial and error I came upon observing sites of varying utility from Cherry Springs Pennsylvania to Death Valley Calf. A resource like this would have been invaluable then, and remain so for so many of us who travel to observe.
BTW how many, for example, are aware of these places:
http://www.stonetavernfarm.com/Stone_Tavern_Farm_Home_Page.html
http://www.stellarcat.com/Pages/darksky.html
http://www.arizona-dreaming.com/
There are many more, but you have to dig around the web to find them
(spent a week at last place on the list...awesome!)
To quote TG, "make it work!"
Joe


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Maureen
Geek Mom
*****

Reged: 04/27/05

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #4502731 - 04/07/11 12:29 PM

Yes Joseph it is a really great spot and speaking from a woman's perspective, the cottage is adorable and has lots of "stuff" that women tend to like - like beautiful sheets, towels, dishes, wine glasses, appliances etc. There isn't a woman alive who wouldn't love you to death for taking her to such a beautiful place. That will make it much easier for you to go out each night "guilt free" and observe. The bad news is that I'm booked for the next 50 years for two weeks every Sept. (or occasionally Oct. which is still very mild)

And yes I have been to Stone Tavern Farm for several star parties. Am hoping to make it up there with some friends in May for some galaxy gazing.

Will check out the other places you mention. Thanks for the info.
Maureen


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TMK
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/30/08

Loc: A Cloudy Place
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Maureen]
      #4502845 - 04/07/11 01:20 PM

Well, anyone living in Connecticut can appreciate how far one must go to find darker skies. There is not a green zone in the entire state and only small patches of yellow zone.

Wedged between Boston and New York with Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford etc all adding to the problem there is one place I found thats actually quite nice all things considered but best yet its only about fifteen minutes from my house.

The site is the same place the New Haven Astronomical Society holds one of thier public observing sessions. The allure of this site is it resides in a town with a pretty strict lighting ordinance which has made a big difference.

There are no stray light sources at this site and the sky looks pretty amazing to me from this Orange zone location. The Milky Way can be seen in the summer month's. It's more than just I think I can see it, it's quite apparent and pretty amazing from this locale.

That Location is Youngs Pond Park located in Branford, CT. Pretty good spot considering how far I'd have to go to do any better.

So anyone along the shoreline of Connecticut might find this site of intrest and I do visit there to observe a few times a year.

Edited by TMK (04/07/11 05:03 PM)


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StarGeazer
sage


Reged: 11/23/10

Loc: Cross Junction, VA, USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: TMK]
      #4503096 - 04/07/11 03:29 PM

Being in north western Virginia, I try to get to Sky Meadows State Park a couple of times a year (yellow/green) near Paris, Virginia. I am planning a weekend trip to Spruce Mountain WV, near Cherry Grove, WV. It is a black/clear area >4000ft high. There is an educational facility there that provides camping and some facilities. It's one of the Mountain Institutes properties.

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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
North West NJ Viewing Site - Jenny Jump State Park new [Re: StarGeazer]
      #4503159 - 04/07/11 04:08 PM

I observe at Jenny Jump state forest. UACNJ has its dark site there. On Saturday anyone can observe, any other time, you have to be a member but for $35 a year, you have access to a dark site that is safe and has power.

There are no facilities at the site for nonmembers, but the park does have camping sites.

www.uacnj.org

Edited by hfjacinto (04/08/11 11:32 AM)


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #4503191 - 04/07/11 04:24 PM

Den Mama:

I think this is a great idea of a thread along lines suggested above. It would be a particular benefit for travelers. Nearly 4 million people visit Yellowstone/Grand Teton every year and I've often thought of putting together a list of sites here that I've found rewarding over the years.

Thanks.

Dark skies.

mm


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4503216 - 04/07/11 04:34 PM Attachment (81 downloads)

Quote:

Hi Folks: Post your favorite viewing sites to share with others, right here!




Thinking on it, my favorite, favorite spot is the Navajo National Monument hidden away up near the Utah border at 7300 feet elevation, the skies are black and clear.

Navajo National Monument

There are two campgrounds, the Sunset which has paved spots and flush toilets and the Canyon View where we stay which is more primitive with clean latrines and garbage cans. We make at least one trip a year...

Another favorite is the Valley of the Gods, about 50 miles to the east on BLM land. This is primitive camping, you haul out what you haul in. There is a bed and breakfast at the Valley of the Gods...

Valley of the Gods Bread and Breakfast

Both these places are very dark, there are faint light domes visible from the small indian communities. At the Valley of the Gods one can see a dome to the south that is from Chinle, a town of 5000 people about 50 miles to the south.

Jon


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KennyJ
The British Flash
*****

Reged: 04/27/03

Loc: Lancashire UK
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #4503246 - 04/07/11 04:48 PM

What wonderful idea for a thread .

This one ought to become a " sticky " RIGHT AT THE TOP of this forum , with a notice on the entry page or somewhere prominent , making all members aware of it's existence !

Kenny


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genedalton
member


Reged: 12/10/05

Loc: South Louisiana
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: KennyJ]
      #4503286 - 04/07/11 05:01 PM


Hello Carol, I bet your favorite is your backyard, I've found that is my favorite now. Camera assisted viewing has helped me fight these urban lights and of course the backyard is sooo convenient. GeneD


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TMK
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 12/30/08

Loc: A Cloudy Place
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: genedalton]
      #4503294 - 04/07/11 05:07 PM

Jon.

Thats just amazing I simply cannot imagine how beautiful the night sky would look.


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jpcannavo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/21/05

Loc: Long Island New York
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #4503508 - 04/07/11 06:50 PM

Jon
Great Stuff! These are the kinds of gems I had in mind!


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #4503532 - 04/07/11 07:04 PM Attachment (205 downloads)

Quote:

Jon
Great Stuff! These are the kinds of gems I had in mind!




Tom and Joe...

Here's a photo of the Valley of the Gods. I imagine when you are on the east coast it is hard to imagine places like this exist... maybe they help keep the dream alive, they do for me.

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (04/07/11 07:10 PM)


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: Capital Reef National Park new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #4503610 - 04/07/11 07:52 PM


Ninety-five percent is a black sky zone, the remainder is a gray zone. Most of the roads are 5,500 to 7,000 feet.

There are three campgrounds, with no reservations. Cedar Mesa, in the far south, is primitive, picnic table and outhouse, but is free! So is the one in the Cathedral Valley, at the very north end--also primitive. Check road conditions with the Visitor Center.

The main campground, in Fruita, has 70 sites and is embedded in orchards--cherry, apricot, peach, and apple. In late spring they are in full bloom. In the autumn you can collect the fruit. And it's cheap: $10 a night, $5 for us old folks. The only problem is that some wonderful ladies run a pie and jam store next to the campground and it is all too tempting to spend a lot of time there. No phone connections, but there is a coffee shop in Torrey (on the right as you enter town, in a mini mall) with good coffee and you can check your CSC there.

The park has a summer astronomy program and several of the rangers can direct you to good spots. I usually drive south from the main campground. There are side roads toward Grand Wash and Capital Wash (both with multiple nice hikes) and little pull-offs along the way that are not visited at night (don't drive far into the washes, you'll cut off your views!, already a problem to the east). To fully escape people I drive to the end of the road where it crosses Pleasant Creek. There is a large turnout to the right next to an old corral. DON'T TRY TO GO FARTHER--SERIOUS FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE, STARTING WITH THE CREEK BED. If you have 4x4, then head south and eventually west to Brown Reservoir (7,800 feet) where there is a campground--el remoto!--and access to the main highway, Route 12, between Torrey and Boulder. There is a CSC for Boulder; it's the one I check.

I've been going there for fifty years, and if I could have I would have bought property the first time I saw it. It's my wife's favorite trip away from the Tetons.

Unfortunately, there is major highway construction from now into July. But...autumn is less crowded anyway.

Enjoy!

Dark skies.

mm

Edited by mountain monk (04/08/11 06:02 PM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: mountain monk]
      #4503655 - 04/07/11 08:11 PM

Quote:

Capital Reef National Park.




Capital Reef is a wonderful place. I remember standing on at a viewpoint where the sign read:

"The average summer visibility from this point is 156 miles."

That 156 miles is far enough that if the earth were flat, you could see Navajo Mountain and the Navajo National Monument and a whole lot more .. Some big, beautiful country.

Jon


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hbanich
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/17/05

Loc: Portland, Oregon
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: mountain monk]
      #4503660 - 04/07/11 08:12 PM

Steens Mountain.

Located in southeastern Oregon, it sits near the middle of the largest remaining black zone in the US. The best places to observe are near Fish Lake around 7400 feet altitude where the air is usually very dry and transparent. If you like to fish, Fish Lake is a good spot for that too.

I like the wildness of the Steens as well as the beautiful skies. The day time views of the geology are worth the trip by themselves and I always make time to drive up to the summit at 9900 feet. The best time of year to go is July through mid-October only because that's the when the road is clear of snow. I'd love to be up there this time of year though - maybe rent a heavy lift helicopter to drop me and my gear for a week or so...

http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/burns/recreation/steens-mtn.php


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HfxObserver
Pooh-Bah
****

Reged: 11/12/04

Loc: Regina, SK, Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: hbanich]
      #4503758 - 04/07/11 08:57 PM

Here is one of my sites, most look the same here but they all vary a bit. I think these horizons are hard to beat!

Wascana Basin Saskatchewan


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Tim A.
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: 40 30'N 105 3'W
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #4504125 - 04/08/11 12:33 AM Attachment (139 downloads)

Use Google Earth to view attached KMZ. Several sites in Colorado, one in NM, annotated for astronomers (some more fully than others).

Edit: Sorry, the board won't accept KMZ files. See attached ZIP, which is just the KMZ in a zipped up.

Edited by Tim A. (04/09/11 02:11 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: HfxObserver]
      #4504383 - 04/08/11 05:50 AM

Quote:

Here is one of my sites, most look the same here but they all vary a bit. I think these horizons are hard to beat!

Wascana Basin Saskatchewan




Nice horizons but doesn't all that sand tend to mess up the works?

Jon


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jpcannavo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/21/05

Loc: Long Island New York
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: StarGeazer]
      #4504474 - 04/08/11 07:38 AM

Quote:

Being in north western Virginia, I try to get to Sky Meadows State Park a couple of times a year (yellow/green) near Paris, Virginia. I am planning a weekend trip to Spruce Mountain WV, near Cherry Grove, WV. It is a black/clear area >4000ft high. There is an educational facility there that provides camping and some facilities. It's one of the Mountain Institutes properties.



I have always been confused about the Spruce Mt situation. There is CMOR but there are also other potential observing sites nearby?
Joe


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ArizonaScott
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/29/04

Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #4504598 - 04/08/11 09:08 AM

Top of Mingus Mountain, central Arizona, near Prescott. That's the magical spot for me. I happened to sneak out of the tent in the middle of night to take a peek at the sky and was shocked to see M33 with the naked eye and well as many other deep-sky beauties.

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Maureen
Geek Mom
*****

Reged: 04/27/05

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Tim A.]
      #4504600 - 04/08/11 09:09 AM

Quote:

Use Google Earth to view attached KMZ. Several sites in Colorado, one in NM, annotated for astronomers (some more fully than others).




Tim what is an attached KMZ? I don't see any attachments in your post. Could you point me in the right direction?
Thanks,
Maureen


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Maureen
Geek Mom
*****

Reged: 04/27/05

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Maureen]
      #4504660 - 04/08/11 09:44 AM

This is just a suggestion, but I would find it helpful, when folks list their favorite viewing sites, if they would mention something about accommodations. It would be helpful to know if it's a site for tent camping only, or RV's, or if there are nearby places to stay.
Thanks,
Maureen


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Capital Reef National Park new [Re: Maureen]
      #4504772 - 04/08/11 11:00 AM


Maureen,

That's a reasonable request.

Re Capital Reef... There are no commercial accommodations inside the park, just camping and RV spots. Torrey has the usual Best Western motels/hotels in town, and some old, rather shabby ones too. A nice alternative is Pine Shadows Cabins in Teasdale, the town next to Torrey. They are modern, relatively inexpensive @100$, and nicely appointed. No black skies though, probably blue?

Dark skies.

mm

Edited by mountain monk (04/08/11 06:00 PM)


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jhors
Riddle me this
*****

Reged: 07/16/07

Loc: Mesa, AZ
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: mountain monk]
      #4504782 - 04/08/11 11:08 AM

If this is going to be a fairly comprehensive thread, it might be helpful for everyone to title their post according to the geographic area they are referring to. That way when viewing it in threaded mode you can easily scan for relevant posts, instead of having to read every one.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: mountain monk]
      #4504875 - 04/08/11 11:53 AM

Quote:

Den Mama:

I think this is a great idea of a thread along lines suggested above. It would be a particular benefit for travelers. Nearly 4 million people visit Yellowstone/Grand Teton every year and I've often thought of putting together a list of sites here that I've found rewarding over the years.

Thanks.

Dark skies.

mm




The credit goes to member jpcannavo for the suggestion!


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Cranford NJ Location - UCC Cranford new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4505311 - 04/08/11 03:44 PM

I edited my post to show the location.

For suburban viewing or when the moon is out several of us go out to Union County College in Cranford NJ by the Sun Dial at Sperry Observatory, not a dark sky but a nice place to set-up.


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hbanich
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 06/17/05

Loc: Portland, Oregon
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: hbanich]
      #4505331 - 04/08/11 03:52 PM

My second favorite spot is Indian Trial Springs, site of the Oregon Star Party. In central Oregon at 5000 feet it's a broad, dusty meadow surrounded by stands of Ponderosa Pines. Also in a black zone and almost as dark as Steens Mountain, Indian Trial Springs typically has much better seeing, often sub-arc second.

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jhors
Riddle me this
*****

Reged: 07/16/07

Loc: Mesa, AZ
Phoenix - East Valley new [Re: hbanich]
      #4505371 - 04/08/11 04:15 PM

A spot that a lot of folks use that live on the east side of town is the Picketpost Mountain trailhead site, located between mile marker 221 and 222, south of US 60. It averages SQMs ~21.2-3. It has some light domes, but it's convenient and the view of the summer Milky Way rising over the mountain is worth the drive alone!

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jhors
Riddle me this
*****

Reged: 07/16/07

Loc: Mesa, AZ
Re: Phoenix - West Valley new [Re: jhors]
      #4505379 - 04/08/11 04:20 PM

A very nice site west of Phoenix is the Hovatter Rd, or Antenna Site.

It's about 95 miles from downtown Phoenix and offers Bortle 2 skies.


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4505478 - 04/08/11 05:08 PM

Tonapah, Ely, and Great Basin National Park Nevada.

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jeff heck
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/16/06

Loc: stl,mo.
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: GeneT]
      #4505763 - 04/08/11 07:53 PM Attachment (83 downloads)

My current favorite viewing site in the middle of Kansas. I had the chance to get there Monday for another fantastic night out with my ghostly friends.

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ChipAtNight
super member


Reged: 01/09/08

Loc: N.C. (Love the Blue Ridge)
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jeff heck]
      #4505911 - 04/08/11 09:50 PM

Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Lat and long: 36.422380 -81.183040 some of the best skies in North Carolina, most new moon weekends from May to September there will be a small group of observers there.

This is the nearest dark sky site to my home, I'm sure we will make a few trips there this year!


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Tim A.
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: 40 30'N 105 3'W
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Maureen]
      #4506237 - 04/09/11 02:14 AM Attachment (70 downloads)

Quote:

Tim what is an attached KMZ? I don't see any attachments in your post.



My apologies. The board won't accept raw KMZ files, for whatever reason. I zipped the KMZ and attached it to the original, and also here. Note that you need Google Earth to open a KMZ file (and something to unzip the attachment; recent Windows versions do that for you).

Sites in Colorado, and one in NM. Not all the good sites, by a long shot, just a few I've enjoyed. Aside from the ones near cities (Fort Collins, esp.), all are remote. I've had my popup at all of them (excepting near town). I made notes where large RVs might encounter trouble.


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David Knisely
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4506289 - 04/09/11 03:24 AM Attachment (60 downloads)

Merritt Reservoir, in north central Nebraska (27 miles southwest of the small resort community of Valentine). This site is the location of the annual NEBRASKA STAR PARTY, and boasts of very dark skies (ZLM 7.4 to 8.1) as well as pleasant daytime activities. There is a resort with cabins next to the dam, although in the summer, they do tend to be booked up. There are numerous camping sites, some with showers and a few with hookups. A lot of people hit the site on cross-country trips. For more information about the Nebraska Star Party, you can check out the web page:

http://www.nebraskastarparty.org/

Clear skies to you.


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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4508311 - 04/10/11 02:45 AM

Northern Utah and some Southern Utah, Western Utah.

1. Pit n Pole, Rush Valley, Utah. This site is wonderful to the south, southwest and west. The SLC light dome impacts the north-eastern view. Zenith is also wonderful. Blue zone with gray very close nearby. It gets cold here and in the summer it is cool at night. I have seen newer observers leave early because they arrive in shorts and tee shirts because it is the desert. This site can also get very humid so if you have dew heaters, I would bring them. Here are some links to 3 images from the site on March 31st, 2011:

Pit n Pole 1

Pit n Pole 2

Direction on how to get there:

Directions to Pit n Pole/RushValley

Directions with links to more pictures from my blog:

Pit n Pole directions with image links

Pit n Pole is on BLM land and ATM's and motorcycles use the general area but I have never had an issue with them. It's just over an hour from Salt Lake City or 45 minutes from my home. You can camp and in the summer there are portable potties around but none in the observing area.

Here is an image a friend took at the Pit n Pole location of the summer Milky Way. I've posted it before but it won't hurt.



2. Lakeside Utah. About 1.5 to 2 hours west of Salt Lake City, the eastern sky is impacted by the Salt Lake area light dome. The south-west sky is lightly impacted by the Wendover light dome. Overall very dark skies, bordering on gray. Terrific site in late spring through fall. Muddy in the winter.

Directions: Interstate 80 West from Salt Lake City area to exit 62. Take exit 62 and at the end of the off ramp turn right at the stop sign. Cross over the cattle guard and continue going left at the frontage road sign (do not go right or you'll be lost). Follow that road out until you come to a BLM sign that says Eagle Range and an arrow going straight and then two arrows pointing left to Well #78 and Big Canyon. Turn left on the dirt road there and about 1/8 of a mile is a right turn with a 8 foot embankment. Turn in there and then drive toward the back of that and that is where we set up. No facilities at all, and your a good 30-40 miles from a service station. Camping does occur with many of us just sleeping on padding in the back of our trucks or SUV's. It does get cool here even in the summer with lows in the 40's, and in the spring and fall easily in the low 30's if not the 20's.

Directions again are available with pictures (no links on this one) at my blog located here.


3. Wolf Creek Pass, Utah.

My favorite site by far and it is the farthest for me at about 1 1/2 hours drive. If you live in the Salt Lake Area it is just over an hour away. There is a camp ground but you pay to use it and it has facilities. Where we observe you can also camp, it is U.S. Forest Service land and in Utah you can camp on U.S. Forest Service land or BLM land. If you camp where you observe there are no facilities there. This is a high mountain location at 9800 feet and it gets cold at night, even in the summer. You can also get an evening thunderstorm from time to time so be prepared for that. It is very, very beautiful and if you stay over, you can hike around and take pictures, or just rest up in a tent.

Directions and pictures included on my blog located here.

Directions with no images to Wolf Creek Pass Observing Area:

Wolf Creek Pass Observing Site Directions





4. Notch Peak and Great Basin National Park. West (very west) Desert of Utah: Outstanding site, probably some of the darkest skies in the United States. If you camp over and you can choose to camp in campgrounds with facilities or off the beaten path on BLM land, there is nothing out here. Have plenty of water, an excellent spare tire and in ALL of these locations know how to use them as the roads up to the sites are dirt and/or gravel and flats can be common. This is on the way to Great Basin National Park, where Ranger Kelly Carroll is an outstanding person to work and observe with. Anyway you can hike at Notch Peak if your staying over.

Notch Peak

Let me state you don't observe from up top, but you can drive up to a decent height and except for a far distant light dome from Delta, Ut, about 50 miles away. If your interested in this, you can observe at night, camp on the BLM land and then hike around the next day if you want to take in the view. Very hot and dry here. Have water and a spare!

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin is an outstanding park with amenities and is very dark and doesn't have the overall visitors that Bryce or some of the other southern Utah parks get. Plenty to do in the day too at Great Basin and Lehman's Cave is great as is Wheeler Peak. Baker is near the park with immensities.

5. Big Springs Park, Utah, about 35 minutes east of Provo Utah. Decent site, mountains impact views below 30 degrees (who wants to look there anywhere) but zenith is pretty good. You can run into weekend party youth but I've never had a problem. They usually leave really quick.

Google Map of Big Springs Creek

Directions: Big Springs Park

Directions:
Travel up Provo Canyon. Turn right at Vivian Park. Travel through Vivian park approximately 3.3 miles. Turn right into Big Springs Park. Travel through the park to the upper parking lot.

6. The Wedge Overlook. This is a wonderful site also. No LP, no impact and wonderful day time scenery. Known as Utah's Little Grand Canyon is a secret that perhaps I shouldn't share. Once there stay at campground 8. It is a LONG dirt road out there, have plenty of liquid and again a spare that is properly inflated and know how to change your tires. There are rude amenities but no towns nearby. Bring in what you take out and bring in food and water.

Directions and images I've compiled over at my blog can be found in this link.

If you don't want to go to the blog then here is a map:

Map to the Wedge Overlook

From Salt Lake City: Head south on Interstate 15 to the Spanish Fork area and take exit 258 for State Highway 6 heading towards Price (BE VERY CAREFUL on Hwy 6. It is a very dangerous road through the canyon. I mean very careful). Continue on Hwy 6 to Price and in Price take exit 241 towards Castle Dale. Merge onto Hwy 10 S/S Carbon Ave. Turn left onto Hwy 155 S and continue on S. Center St to Flat Bus Loop and go left. After 0.1 mile turn right towards Buffalo Rd or County Road 332. Go 3.2 miles to Buffalo Rd and turn left. Go 4.3 miles and continue straight as the road becomes Buckhorn Draw Rd or Co. Rd 332 still. After 5.2 miles Buckhorn Draw Rd becomes Fullers Bottom Rd. Continue straight until the dirt road has a slight fork and stay left at Co Rd. 405/Wedge Rd. Continue 3.9 miles and then stay to the right stay on Co. Rd 405/Wedge Road. Your about 3.5 miles out and you'll pass the campgrounds and we always use campground 8.

There is a video on YouTube that I've linked on driving out to The Wedge from Castle Dale.

Finally a year or so ago a member of our astronomy club took some information I had put together with his own and put it on this google map. These are not by far every site to observe and I've left some good ones off like Monte Cristo and Cooley Reservoir or up by This is the Place Monument and some personal sites. Hope this helps someone.

Edited by JayinUT (04/11/11 12:27 AM)


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edwincjones
Close Enough
*****

Reged: 04/10/04

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: JayinUT]
      #4508711 - 04/10/11 09:59 AM

My favorites viewing spot is going camping to any state or national park with dark skies
and viewing either naked eye, binoculars, or scopes;
dark skies above, beautiful nature below, family with me.

edj


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FLYcrash
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Chicago, IL, USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites - Chicagoland new [Re: edwincjones]
      #4509275 - 04/10/11 02:49 PM

I can't compete with you Westerners, but I can comment on the situation near my home...

The fastest way to darkness from the Chicago metro area (assuming you're reasonably near the city itself) is due south. Thus my favorite site is the Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area down the Illinois/Indiana border. It's 80 miles from my southside Chicago apartment and is in a yellow zone (green zone on the snow-corrected map). It's forested, so the horizons aren't great, but every time I go I try a different spot to see where I can get the best horizons.


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4509311 - 04/10/11 03:13 PM Attachment (63 downloads)

Manning Park.
2 1/2 hours east of Vancouver.


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BarbMoore
sage
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Reged: 05/11/09

Loc: South central New Mexico
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: stevew]
      #4509370 - 04/10/11 03:53 PM

The group shelter area at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, New Mexico.

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Prof M
sage


Reged: 07/26/09

Loc: Southwest Utah
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: BarbMoore]
      #4509723 - 04/10/11 07:25 PM Attachment (76 downloads)

Kanab Point on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Prof M]
      #4509775 - 04/10/11 08:02 PM Attachment (67 downloads)

Mt. Pinos in Southern California.
34d48m48s N
119d07m35s W
Altitude 8350' (2550m)
Black asphalt parking lot--about 2 acres.
Clear Sky Chart:
http://cleardarksky.com/c/MtPinoskey.html
Accommodations: a couple porta-potties, but no trash receptacles: "pack it in, pack it out". No tents allowed in the parking lot, but there is a camping area a couple hundred yards off the parking lot.
Descriptive reference:
http://www.observingsites.com/ds_ca.htm#pinos
Directions:
http://www.astro-tom.com/avac/observing_sites/mount_pinos.htm
Picture (looking south from northern-most point in lot):

Edited by Starman1 (04/10/11 08:04 PM)


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BlueGrass
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/25/09

Loc: Wasatch Front, UT
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: JayinUT]
      #4510009 - 04/10/11 10:12 PM

Jay,

Excellent post. I haven't been to Wolf Creek yet, but I'll be sure to make the trip at least once this year. Great info.


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Prof M
sage


Reged: 07/26/09

Loc: Southwest Utah
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jeff heck]
      #4510228 - 04/11/11 12:50 AM

Quote:

My current favorite viewing site in the middle of Kansas. I had the chance to get there Monday for another fantastic night out with my ghostly friends.




Ah! It was in the middle of Kansas where I first realized there was a Milky Way! Specifically, in my childhood backyard at 333 Sunset Drive in Salina KS, circa 1949. Looking up with my Dad, and later with my bride (1966), changed my life....

Edited by Prof M (04/11/11 12:51 AM)


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Spaced
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/01/05

Loc: Tacoma, Washington, USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Prof M]
      #4510993 - 04/11/11 11:51 AM Attachment (78 downloads)

South Central Washington, in the vicinity of Goldendale. That's Mt. Adams in the background, with Mt. Rainier hiding under the cloud in the far distance.

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Dave Mitsky
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/08/02

Loc: PA, USA, Planet Earth
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Spaced]
      #4511449 - 04/11/11 03:14 PM

I've been to some great dark sites in Arizona and New Mexico and have also observed from the Bolivian Altiplano. As far as the East Coast is concerned, Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania and Dolly Sods and Spruce Knob in West Virginia are the best dark sites that I've experienced. I've also enjoyed observing from the Stellafane grounds in Vermont and West Summerland Key (the Winter Star Party) and Chiefland in Florida. There are four "local" sites ranging from an hour to two hours away that have fairly dark skies and a number of others that aren't quite as good.

Dave Mitsky


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jeff heck
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 01/16/06

Loc: stl,mo.
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Prof M]
      #4511762 - 04/11/11 05:55 PM



Ah! It was in the middle of Kansas where I first realized there was a Milky Way! Specifically, in my childhood backyard at 333 Sunset Drive in Salina KS, circa 1949. Looking up with my Dad, and later with my bride (1966), changed my life....



Hey, Keith. My site is a few miles north of Sylvan Grove, Ks. There is a very small light dome to the east which is Salina and an even smaller one west which is Hays. I bet the skies in 1949 and 1966 were better than what I see now.


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jpcannavo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/21/05

Loc: Long Island New York
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: edwincjones]
      #4517134 - 04/14/11 06:14 AM

Quote:

My favorites viewing spot is going camping to any state or national park with dark skies
and viewing either naked eye, binoculars, or scopes;
dark skies above, beautiful nature below, family with me.

edj




Driving from Cody Wyoming, through Buffalo Bill State Pk, towards Yellowstone; there is a highway that winds along Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Lots of places to turn off the road, get away from the occasional car headlight and observe. There is a light domes to the east, from Cody, but to the south and west the skies are close bortle 2-3. I had one memorable night parked next to the water, alone, observing objects in Scorpio and Sagittarious with a 10" Dob.
Joe


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BoriSpider
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/10/04

Loc: S.W.FLA
Re: South West Florida(Naples) new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #4534006 - 04/21/11 11:08 AM

The EAS(my club) and the SWFAS use the Fakahatchee Strand
as their dark-sky site. What a great site CSC of the Fak.
No bathrooms or electric just bushes and lil' deep lakes bordering the roads we view on

My sister's backyard on the outskirts of Pinedale,Wyo.

And my friends backyard in GoldenGate,FL cause the condo people here at home put
up a string of white xmas lights around the pool area


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Husk3r
newbie


Reged: 03/30/11

Rhode Island new [Re: BoriSpider]
      #4534888 - 04/21/11 05:21 PM

I'm so jealous of all of you out west. I live in Rhode Island where it's all red, orange and (sigh) white. I make the best out of what I've got and head out to Point Judith (41.362166, -71.485704). Stargazing by the ocean is nice but I'd love a dark sky.

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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Connecticut, Northeast, Colebrook new [Re: Husk3r]
      #4545106 - 04/26/11 10:20 AM

Colebrook River Burying Ground
I found that site while clicking in the yellow on http://www.cleardarksky.com/lp/ClbkCTlp.html?Mn=telescope to try and find some place at least a little out of the way from Hartford that was in sort of darkish skies. It's quiet, and there the only lights visible were single bulbs quite a distance (perhaps a mile?) in a couple of directions.

The burying ground does not have any chains, and is not posted as closing at dusk. A couple of local gentlemen drove in while I was setting up and waiting for dusk and they told me that nobody would bother me there.

They also told me that they had seen people with LARGE telescopes up by the Colebrook Reservoir, but that they are sometimes chased out of there. I'd guess that would be somewhere around here: Colebrook Reservoir


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jpcannavo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 02/21/05

Loc: Long Island New York
In Georgia? new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #4550418 - 04/28/11 08:17 PM

Contemplating a trip to Atlanta Ga. Are there some dark observing sites (bortle 1-3) within 100 miles? Also, in general, how is seeing in Georgia, anything like florida, which is known for its steady skies.
Joe


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JimMo
I'd Rather Do It Myself


Reged: 01/08/07

Loc: Under the SE Michigan lightdom...
Re: In Georgia? new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #4552062 - 04/29/11 05:19 PM

Hi Joe,

Deerlick Astronomy Village has a members observing field, membership is really reasonable, and IIRC $5 bucks a night to observe. I've been there three times and have a friend who has a cabin there. It's also the home of the Peach State Star Party in the Fall.

Deerlick Astronomy Village


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Classic8
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/12/06

Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
Re: In Georgia? new [Re: JimMo]
      #4571772 - 05/09/11 04:13 PM

I used to go to a little forest preserve near Kaneville, IL which wasn't all that dark but much darker than my driveway and only 25 minutes away. It was a little-used place for a while, and I saw 2 or 3 of Auriga's open clusters naked-eye. A stream ran through it and the wildlife made a lot more noise than I did. Then they put a streetlight in the middle of it.

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Greyhaven
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/11/04

Loc: Greater downtown Maine
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4571922 - 05/09/11 05:44 PM Attachment (67 downloads)

I can't compete with Csa/montana's great skies out side my door.But 45 min away these skies are available.
be well
grey


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rocco13
Got Milk?


Reged: 07/29/06

Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Greyhaven]
      #4572036 - 05/09/11 06:57 PM Attachment (68 downloads)

There are multiple spots around Arizona that are fantastic, but of the handful that I've been to, I'd pick Five Mile Meadow. It's located about 30 miles north of Payson, and just up on the Mogollon Rim, at an elevation around 6900'. Just a slight bubble of light on the southern horizon from Payson, but not enough to interfere.

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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
*****

Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: rocco13]
      #4572927 - 05/10/11 09:12 AM

I have to add another site if your in Utah. About an hour west of Delta, Utah is Notch Peak Wilderness Study Area. We observe up East Sawtooth Canyon and there are places to pull over and set up or at the end before the dirt road forks, is a parking area that works nice. The parking area has wonderful views but the views to the south are blocked up to around five to seven degrees above the horizon. This is a Bortle 2 site with the only white light coming from the distance highway or if a car comes up the canyon, which isn't common. The roads are rough and it is recommended that you go with someone else, have plenty of water and fluids, and that your spare is fill of air. I have pictures on my blog. It is in a gray zone on the pre-winter/snow sky charts and is about an hour east of Great Basin Natl Park, another great site.

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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: genedalton]
      #4579685 - 05/13/11 02:44 PM Attachment (54 downloads)

Quote:


Hello Carol, I bet your favorite is your backyard, I've found that is my favorite now. Camera assisted viewing has helped me fight these urban lights and of course the backyard is sooo convenient. GeneD




Yes indeed; I have no need to travel with the exception of walking down to my observatory. My skies average 21.5 SQM.


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Badcat1022
member


Reged: 05/15/11

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4588099 - 05/18/11 06:01 AM

When I lived in Las Vegas we would go camping at Cathedral Gorge campsite. It has telescope pads setup. Also near Rachel NV close to Area 51 along the Extraterrestrial Highway. The Tikaboo Valley has a awesome view and dark skies, some of the darkeist skies in the nation. Now I live in Springfield MO and finding a dark site is tough but I have found a couple one is a campsite near Kisseme Mills and the only black is near the Ozark riverways.
Here is Cathedral Gorge campsite and powerlines in the Tikaboo Valley

Edited by Badcat1022 (05/18/11 06:05 AM)


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ChrisBeere
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: London, UK
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Badcat1022]
      #4589215 - 05/18/11 06:25 PM

Kimworthy, south west England. One of the best sites for astronomy in England in my experience. SQM 21.61.

This is the view to the west



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DennisDayton
member


Reged: 03/27/11

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4610840 - 05/30/11 11:44 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Hello Carol, I bet your favorite is your backyard, I've found that is my favorite now. Camera assisted viewing has helped me fight these urban lights and of course the backyard is sooo convenient. GeneD




Yes indeed; I have no need to travel with the exception of walking down to my observatory. My skies average 21.5 SQM.




I'm extremely envious of your location, Carol. I'll have to start checking land prices in Montana as I plan on retiring in a few years. Montana is one of the few states I have yet to visit (I think I've been to about 46 of them so far)
As a NOOB, I haven't found a favorite yet, but am planning on spending a week in July during a new moon at Cherry Springs Park in PA. It's listed with a 2 on the Bortle scale - I only hoping for a couple of clear nights during my stay)

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/cherrysprings/cherrysprings_darkskies.aspx

(also envious of those out west - I been to the Grand circle several times and truly enjoyed the night skies out that way)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: DennisDayton]
      #4611029 - 05/30/11 01:06 PM

You should try to visit Montana; you'd love it!

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DennisDayton
member


Reged: 03/27/11

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4611333 - 05/30/11 03:48 PM

Quote:

You should try to visit Montana; you'd love it!




I just might next year. I have really wanted to visit Glacier National Park as well as other parks in that part of the country. Just hope that gas isn't $10 a gallon by then! My dob fits fine in my Nitro and I could make a list of dark sites to visit on my trip!

Sorta back on topic, I have a question for you folks... As I mentioned earlier, I am staying at Cherry Springs Park for a week at the end of July the observation field has small observatories you can rent. Of the following, which would you rent and why? (I will have 5 other people - maybe - visiting with me, but all won't be in the observatory at one time, obviously). Here is what is offered:

Cherry Springs rents four, small observatories. Each has a concrete floor, 120-volt ground fault protected power outlet and red lighting controlled by a dimmer switch.
Observatory 1 is a 15' rotating Pro-Dome made by Technical Innovations, which has a slotted dome and is the best for imaging in high winds.
Observatories 2 and 3 are roomy, 12' clamshell domes made by Astro Haven that accommodate 3 to 4 people. The four-foot high walls provide wind shielding and can be partially closed for better shielding.
Observatory 4 is a 10' by 12' Sky Shed. This “open to the full sky” roll-off roof structure eliminates the thermal currents often associated with slotted/rotating domes.

Appreciate your comments (they also have a number of 4 - 6' concrete telescope pads in the field)


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cam1936
sage


Reged: 08/01/08

Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: DennisDayton]
      #4640893 - 06/15/11 07:13 PM

Anyone in south central Alberta have a favorite viewing site that offers good mix or drive time and clear skies? Anyone close to Calgary want to head out to a dark site? PM me!

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Mike E.
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 01/26/10

Loc: Moonstone Observatory
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: ChrisBeere]
      #4644587 - 06/17/11 06:42 PM

What would be the nearest major town or city near Kimworthy ?
I can not seem to find Kimworthy in my British road atlas, or on Google Earth.

Thanks.


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vsteblina
sage


Reged: 11/05/07

Loc: Wenatchee, Washington
Darkest Viewing Sites in Washington state new [Re: Mike E.]
      #4644711 - 06/17/11 08:10 PM

Here are a several dark observing sites in Washington state. Dark as your going to get this close to Seattle and Spokane.

Meadows Campground, Methow Valley Ranger District, Winthrop, Washington.

Google coordinates: +48.709726 -120.672691

Forest Service campground. Access is via Hart's Pass road. No trailers, good dirt road. Do NOT drive this road if you are afraid of heights!! Forest Service road...no guardrails.

The rectangular object on google earth is the astronomy pad put in by the Forest Service.

Tommy Creek Trailhead, Entiat Ranger District, Entiat, Washington

This site is far enough east that you avoid some of the glow from the Seattle metro area. It is also far enough away from Wenatchee that its glow fades. The trailhead is paved road almost all the way. Not a perfect southern horizon.

Google coordinates: +47.937525 -120.542490

This trailhead is a popular trailhead for horses and dirt bikers. So park away from the actual trailhead. You need a trailhead pass to stay here.

Pacific Lake, BLM, Odessa, Washington.

This site is a dried up lake bed. It is far enough east that you lose the glow from Seattle, however, you will see the glow from Spokane. No fee.

Google earth coordinates: +47.409085 -118.704104


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Bill Llano
member
*****

Reged: 04/20/10

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #4663001 - 06/28/11 12:35 PM

Kodachrome Basin State Park,Utah
Grandview Campground, Inyo National Forest,Ca
Kennedy Meadows,Southern Sierra Nevada,Ca
Are all dark,no light domes, fantastic viewing ,weather permitting.


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HellsKitchen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/05/08

Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Bill Llano]
      #4664437 - 06/29/11 08:12 AM

Found this location at the edge of a remote dirt road.... drove about 30km along it from the turnoff at the nearest hamlet to its other end at a T-intersection with a lightly trafficked but paved road.... during those 30km I passed ONE car.... in the middle of the day.







]



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marcink
sage
*****

Reged: 08/01/07

Loc: Lombard (Chicagoland), IL
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: HellsKitchen]
      #4664632 - 06/29/11 10:28 AM Attachment (65 downloads)

For Chicagoans Green River Wildlife State area is the best bet and it has been serving many amateur astronomer clubs for years. It is around 100 miles west from Chicago, very good access, green zone, camping, gravel roads, restrooms. The park ranges are so kind to shut all the park lights for the clubs. This is my favorite spot.

Another choice would be Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife area in Indiana - a very charming place with lots of birds, beavers, deer and all kinds wildlife. It's in the yellow zone. The best observing sites are on the east side of the lake, especially gravel ice fishing parking, next to the Patrol Rd. This area may be closed seasonally though. Parking space no. 3 is OK. Camping site is not the best spot, due to the lamps.

The closest gray zone I know is 7 hour drive from Chicago - Ozarks Scenic Riverways. Campgrounds aren't the best choice due to the lamps. The park rangers recommended a meadow close to the old Klepzig mill - to get there, take 106 East from Eminence, then turn right (South) onto State Highway H, then left (East) onto Highway NN and continue until pavement ends. Turn left onto Country Road NN-522 and continue until you pass an old Klepzig mill on the right. A little bit further there are some old barn remains on the left - you can park there and walk in the middle of the field to set up your telescope. You'll know you drove too far, when you hit the river.

I have added all these places to the Dark Sky Finder
http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/


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nomorestars
member


Reged: 09/04/10

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Maureen]
      #4672442 - 07/03/11 09:50 PM

Post deleted per nomorestars' request.

Edited by cildarith (07/25/11 09:05 PM)


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nomorestars
member


Reged: 09/04/10

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: nomorestars]
      #4697191 - 07/17/11 01:15 PM

Post deleted per nomorestars' request.

Edited by cildarith (07/25/11 09:06 PM)


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bherv
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/10/06

Loc: WMass
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4699601 - 07/18/11 07:21 PM

Arunah Hill in Cummmington, MA. On a good night Milky Way visible down to horizon. 2000 foot elevation. Only an hours drive for me.
Barry


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Lee.S
member
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: New Mexico USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: bherv]
      #4707047 - 07/22/11 03:55 PM

My back yard Lat 34 29 N Lont 104 13 W.A couple hundred square miles flat dirt, very few bugs,lots of sky in the eastern New Mexico plains..LeeS

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roscoe
curmudgeon
*****

Reged: 02/04/09

Loc: NW Mass, inches from VT
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Lee.S]
      #4710431 - 07/24/11 02:13 PM

I'll second Barry's post, Arunah Hill's a great spot, and has an annual star party and several observing sessions.

About 20 miles north, is the town fairgrounds in Heath, Mass, right near the Vermont border. There's one streetlight that annoyingly can't be shut off, but it's possible to hide in the shadows behind one of the buildings. It's green zone, and blue's only a few miles north, there is some south and southeast sky-glow. but north and west, it's mag 5.5 most every clear night. There's also a cemetery next door to the east, the back section's pretty empty, a row of trees gets rid of the streetlight.
Don't go into the big field to the east of the cemetery, though. That's somebody's hay field.

Russ


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Bill Llano
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Reged: 04/20/10

Re: North West NJ Viewing Site - Jenny Jump State Park new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #4719716 - 07/29/11 02:03 PM

I used to observe at Jenny Jump State Park when I lived in NYC,it is a blast to see it listed.

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Tom Clark
professor emeritus
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Chiefland Astronomy Village new [Re: Bill Llano]
      #4832953 - 09/28/11 08:50 PM Attachment (51 downloads)

Since 1985 my favorite place to observe has been The Chiefland Astronomy Village in NW Florida. When we retired in 1997 we bought the club observing field and moved there, right on the western edge of the club observing field, where we built our 24' dome with a 42" scope inside.

The site is still quite dark, with average SQM of 21.5. Clearest skies are from Oct thru May, but summer skies are often spectacular, with fantastic seeing.

Although Chiefland is not open to the public, we welcome astronomers who wish to visit for an astronomy vacation. You have to join our group (no charge) and read our simple rules to visit. We have a donation box to pay expenses, and for 25 years $5 a night has been the suggested amount.

There are 100 electrical outlets around the field, plus nine RV 30 amp outlets. Facilities included water, flush toilets, hot showers, and a wonderful observing atmosphere. More info at our web site.

The astronomy village has 26 famlies living there, with 18 private observatories in the neighborhood.


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jimg@sonic.net
newbie


Reged: 09/28/11

Loc: Sebastopol, CA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #4835742 - 09/30/11 10:38 AM Attachment (45 downloads)

Quote:

Hi Folks: Post your favorite viewing sites to share with others, right here!




Lake Sonoma - outside Healdsburg, CA - about an hour north of San Francisco.


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: In Georgia? new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #4858701 - 10/13/11 04:25 AM

Quote:

Contemplating a trip to Atlanta Ga. Are there some dark observing sites (bortle 1-3) within 100 miles? Also, in general, how is seeing in Georgia, anything like florida, which is known for its steady skies.
Joe




Atlanta is very fortunate for an enormous city to have blue zones in round-trip range - one is on the east side of Lake Oconee. There is a field used by the Atlanta Area Visual Observers, here.

The field is fronted by trees and easy to miss. If Liberty Church Rd turns to dirt, you've gone about 1/2 mile too far

I was shocked at how dark the skies were to be within 100 miles of astronomy hell, which is urban Atlanta.

You must be very careful driving at night. There are zillions of deer in the surrounding woods.

-drl


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: In Georgia? new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #4858739 - 10/13/11 05:33 AM

Quote:

Contemplating a trip to Atlanta Ga. Are there some dark observing sites (bortle 1-3) within 100 miles? Also, in general, how is seeing in Georgia, anything like florida, which is known for its steady skies.
Joe




There is another green location (dark green!) at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, here.. Considering that this site is only 50 miles from central Atlanta, the skies are amazingly dark. Armadillos are frequent visitors. There is a mailbox with a register and visitors are asked to check in. The field is always well groomed. A great resource if you don't have time to make it out to Oconee, which is twice the distance.

Again be careful of deer. Wild hogs are also known to tour this area - not to be messed with

-drl


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ChrisBeere
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: London, UK
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Mike E.]
      #4904453 - 11/08/11 12:21 PM

Quote:

What would be the nearest major town or city near Kimworthy ?
I can not seem to find Kimworthy in my British road atlas, or on Google Earth.

Thanks.




Barnstaple, North West Devon

Check out http://www.astroadventures.co.uk/


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Tim Gilliland
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Loc: Sand Springs Okla.
Re: Western Okla. new [Re: ChrisBeere]
      #4944665 - 12/01/11 04:21 PM

I spent a four nights at The great salt plains state park in Oct. It was very dark and the park ranger was great. The park has Rv and primitive camping. The primitive sites are better areas for observing as the RV sites have numerous street lights. It is a three hour drive for me and I probably will go back.

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Mr. Bill
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Re: Western Okla. new [Re: Tim Gilliland]
      #4965031 - 12/13/11 04:47 PM Attachment (76 downloads)

My backyard...facing south.

The historic 2100 acre Lassen homestead....all in conservation easement.

SQM 21.5 on a good night


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fedlog
member


Reged: 12/09/11

Loc: NW Oklahoma
Re: Western Okla. new [Re: Tim Gilliland]
      #4965041 - 12/13/11 04:56 PM

Quote:

I spent a four nights at The great salt plains state park in Oct. It was very dark and the park ranger was great. The park has Rv and primitive camping. The primitive sites are better areas for observing as the RV sites have numerous street lights. It is a three hour drive for me and I probably will go back.




Did you go out in the salt flats on the west side of the park? I live in Enid and it never occurred to me to head out that way.


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Harachnid1
newbie


Reged: 05/23/11

Loc: New Orleans, LA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: genedalton]
      #5012456 - 01/11/12 03:54 PM

I'm in South Louisiana too Gene! What part are you in? I'm right by the Louis Armstrong International Airport.

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jgibson1@emich
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Reged: 06/11/06

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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Harachnid1]
      #5015420 - 01/13/12 12:47 PM

Southern Utah is my favorite place that I have observed from thus far. Specifically, I am talking about a place south of UT-89 about 27 miles east of Kanab, UT south of hwy 89. Amazing scenery and black skies = AMAZING TIME!!! Spent 5 nights imaging and observing there.

Clear Skies,
Jason


Here is a last minute addition to the post!

Bing Maps Link I can't wait for April to get here. I will be heading to this spot and a couple new ones for a couple weeks.

Edited by jgibson1@emich (01/16/12 12:51 AM)


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Tim Gilliland
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/09

Loc: Sand Springs Okla.
Re: Western Okla. new [Re: fedlog]
      #5065760 - 02/10/12 03:59 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I spent a four nights at The great salt plains state park in Oct. It was very dark and the park ranger was great. The park has Rv and primitive camping. The primitive sites are better areas for observing as the RV sites have numerous street lights. It is a three hour drive for me and I probably will go back.




Sorry it took so long to respond. Actually I stayed in the campground. I was on the western edge of the one below the Dam. By going to the unimproved camp sites I was able to avoid the park lighting reasonably well. Best observing I have experienced short of Okie-Tex and one visit to the diamond mine in southern Arkansaw.

Did you go out in the salt flats on the west side of the park? I live in Enid and it never occurred to me to head out that way.




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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
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Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jimg@sonic.net]
      #5067013 - 02/11/12 11:22 AM

Chaco Canyon in San Juan County, NM, for me. Not because it has the darkest skies (it's a gray zone) but because it's place where astronomy, archaeology, archaeo-astronomy, naturalism (NOT naturism; it's a national park and you would end up in the brig ), geology, hiking and history all come together.

The elevation is reasonably high (~7k feet) so extinction is low. The climate is arid, so transparency is typically good. Seeing is average - not desert bad but not thick-aired seaside Florida good. And it's out of the way enough (long stretches of dirt roads are the only way into the Canyon) that it's peaceful and free from the hub bub of other campers and astronomers. On my hikes in and around the Canyon I would see either zero or one other group of hikers per hike.



That's the Tsin Kletsin ruin on the South Mesa.



That is the Penasco Blanco ruin.

This location was featured in Carl Sagan's Cosmos (PBS) and more recently in Brian Cox's (BBC) Wonder's of the Universe. There's an endless supply of things to see and do, day and night, and for me it represents a "complete" experience.

It's looking like we'll be doing Lake Sonoma for the March New Moon (Messier Marathon) club star party. Maybe we'll see you there?

Regards,

Jim

Edited by jrbarnett (02/11/12 11:31 AM)


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JayinUT
I'm not Sleepy
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Reged: 09/19/08

Loc: Utah
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5073085 - 02/15/12 12:55 AM

I am going to share my one of my favorite observing sites. It is in the Uinta National Forest south of Vernon, Utah. Skies are dark there, very dark, though to the north you do get some light from the small town of Vernon. Never has bothered me and the Juniper Trees allow one to block them out (or your car).

In January my friend Mat and I saw the zodiacal light there, and the winter Milky Way was wonderful. This is equal to the Wolf Creek area and during the summer there are a couple of ridges in the distance that you can drive up and observe from. There are ATV riders in the area during the day and most camp about 3 to 4 miles to the east at a local reservoir. Here are a couple of pictures I took of the area, though the skies were not too cooperative that day.

Looking south to southwest from the observing location:



Looking West from the observing site:



The observing site is behind me in this photo and this is the view heading back toward the Forest Road. The Juniper Tree in front has an owlet and the parents will fly back and forth form hunting during the night to feed it. The owlet can be noisy at times but it is rather cool.



Coming down the Forest Road heading south to the observing site:



This is a side road to a second observing site and you can see what the ground conditions are like. There are actually many excellent sites here that one can set up in. A fun place to observe from and you are about 3 miles west of the reservoir so no mosquitoes and really no people.




Edited by JayinUT (02/15/12 01:06 AM)


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TL2101
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Concord, Ca
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5090622 - 02/25/12 04:27 PM Attachment (86 downloads)

The great thing about dark sky areas is the daytime views can be pretty nice too. That's Mt. Shasta in the background.

This was the view from my tent at the Golden State Star Party. Near the town of Adin in Northern California.

Edited by TL2101 (02/25/12 06:56 PM)


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great lesson
sage


Reged: 04/04/10

Loc: Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: TL2101]
      #5090637 - 02/25/12 04:36 PM

A beach about 10 minutes away from my house. There is very little light pollution and I like observing while listening to the waves. I hate packing up and leaving the place

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Prima Luna
sage


Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: Huntington Beach, California
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: great lesson]
      #5090830 - 02/25/12 06:34 PM

Quote:

A beach about 10 minutes away from my house. There is very little light pollution and I like observing while listening to the waves. I hate packing up and leaving the place




I live a 2 minute walk from the Pacific. Aren't you worried about the salt getting onto your optics?


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great lesson
sage


Reged: 04/04/10

Loc: Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Prima Luna]
      #5090896 - 02/25/12 07:27 PM

I haven't had that happen. I go up onto a bluff

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Gvs
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Loc: Texas
Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: great lesson]
      #5098718 - 03/01/12 01:31 AM

A few of us will be heading to Bolivia later this year.

The best deep sky photos you can obtain without adaptic optics at nearly 22000 ft above sea level (2/3 of the atmosphere is below you!). (If you can't deal with Altitude, no problem, just stay at the base 14400 ft at the base or we can obtain oxygen masks).

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=sajama&hl=en&ll=-18.107187,-68.876209&spn=0.141134,0.264187&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=59.249168,135.263672&hnear=Nevado+Sajama&t=p&z=13

Temperature will be around 20F or less at night. No wind, no water in the atmosphere, no light pollution, and some nice hot springs nearby.

Any one interested in tagging along, please let us know. I know the country fairly well as I grew up over there.

Some photos from other sites:

http://www.linternaute.com/voyage/amerique-du-sud/la-cordillere-des-andes/image/66446.jpg

This is over two miles higher than Lake Titicaca. We will be stopping at lake TitiCaca for couple of days,

SSSP (Southern Skies Star Party) suggests doing the trip in July. This really is not the best time because Bolivians like to light up bonfires on July 23rd as well fireworks all night contaminating the atmosphere for days and degrading the experience.

I'll just ask one question, how many of you have been able to look at, or photograph the planetary nebula inside M46?

Here are some links from lake Titicaca.

http://www.sssp.org/2010/Astro/index.shtml
http://www.moonglow.net/sssp2008/index.html

We hope to provide better pictures starting this year.

Now we have an LX-10 a C-8 GPS XLT and most likely an 18 inch dobosnian.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
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Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: Gvs]
      #5099104 - 03/01/12 10:35 AM

While that high an altitude may be nearly ideal for photography, a cautionary note to visual observers: Physiologically, the starvation of retinal cells from inadequate oxygen starts occurring as low as 8,000' and becomes noticeable over 10,000'. This is even with several days of accommodation.
It seems that the sky may be more transparent, but because of the diminishment of our retinal cells' abilities to respond to it we cannot see any better at higher altitudes than we do at lower ones.
And above 10-12,000', we actually see less because of reduced sensitivity in the retinal cells.

[At 22,000', a substantial number of individuals are at risk of pulmonary edema and heart issues.]

As a side note, this same diminishment occurs when alcohol is consumed. For visual observers, it is wise to abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours before going out to view.


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: Starman1]
      #5099793 - 03/01/12 04:52 PM

Quote:

As a side note, this same diminishment occurs when alcohol is consumed. For visual observers, it is wise to abstain from alcohol for at least 24 hours before going out to view.



Well, that kills my idea of installing a mini wine bar in my new obs. ...lol...
I usually like having a glass of wine during my observing sessions.


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Gvs
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Loc: Texas
Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: Starman1]
      #5100220 - 03/01/12 10:03 PM

LOL.. yeah, you might, though with those that I've traveled we never had that condition. I am Bolivian and don't suffer that draw back was born at over 10000 feet and regularly worked at over 14000.

When I look at skies from the McDonalds observatory and compare them to Sajama, there is no comparison. We can see two orders of magnitude more at the Sajama site.

Actually having traveled to almost all places on Earth, this is were I've been able to have the best skies.

No light pollution for miles, because the country is not developed within 200 miles of that area. There are a couple of paved highways that come near the mountain, but its pristine for the most part.

But then again, to each his own.


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YetAnotherHobby
sage
*****

Reged: 09/02/09

Loc: Central CT
Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: Gvs]
      #5146215 - 03/28/12 10:11 PM

Another CT astronomer here - the White Memorial Foundation in Litchfield is open 24 x 7, and there is a club observatory on a knoll just south of the main buildings. The club members are a great bunch, and they conduct outreach meetings on a monthly basis. Much darker skies than my backyard in Central CT. Lots of wildlife - owls, fox, deer are frequent visitors. You can hear geese on Bantam Lake.

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Pretty Boy 810
member


Reged: 10/21/11

Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: JayinUT]
      #5186267 - 04/23/12 12:09 PM

OMG i wish i could be there!!!

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Pretty Boy 810
member


Reged: 10/21/11

Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Prof M]
      #5205517 - 05/04/12 12:20 PM

lucky

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TL2101
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/17/10

Loc: Concord, Ca
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Pretty Boy 810]
      #5275895 - 06/17/12 04:52 PM Attachment (220 downloads)

This is a view from our astronomy clubs observing site. Lucky for me it's only 15 miles from my house. Elevation is 3,849' on top of Mt. Diablo and took this shot looking over Suisun Bay. Taken last night before the clouds began to clear for a night of observing.

Edited by TL2101 (06/17/12 04:56 PM)


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Gvs
member


Reged: 05/19/11

Loc: Texas
Take a look at Omega Centauri, Cochabamba Bolivia new [Re: TL2101]
      #5291459 - 06/27/12 11:52 AM

Altitude gives you better contrast no doubt about it!



NGC 5139 globular cluster.
30 seconds
3200 ISO
(CPC-8-GPS-XLT)
Canon Rebel Ti2 18Megapixel.
6/6/2011 Cochabamba, Bolivia.
No post processing
Lat -17.42461,
Lon -65.91786
Alt 3340 meters (10958 ft ~ 2 miles high).

We are in the process of installing a set of 4 - 8 telescopes in Bolivia 4 miles high to be hooked up through the Internet for remote viewing.

Edited by Gvs (06/27/12 06:00 PM)


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stevew
Now I've done it


Reged: 03/03/06

Loc: British Columbia Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5342102 - 07/29/12 05:56 PM Attachment (169 downloads)

Another shot of my favorite site.
Manning Park B.C. I was there two weeks ago, and I am so impressed with the viewing conditions every time I go.

Steve


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Orionis91
sage
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Reged: 03/01/10

Loc: Maryland USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: stevew]
      #5371998 - 08/16/12 06:36 PM

I just got back from my vacation in PA, as you can guess, the goal was to see the sky from Cherry Spring State Park, but the weather and other circumstances made it so I never got to see the sky from Cherry Springs, but from my cabin I did, and the sky is just like nothing I had ever seen before!
I just can only hope my next time there that I get more then ONE clear night!


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festa_freak
member


Reged: 12/22/11

Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Orionis91]
      #5384289 - 08/24/12 10:36 AM

Wow! Some of those areas are good for looking ANY time of day. I'm a prarie boy and I head out of my city about 20 min onto a dead end farmers road and set up my binoculars there. I just saw the milky way for the first time last weekend (I've probly seen it before but this time I was 'looking' for it)!

I think I can see the lagoon nebula or whichever is easier to see in saggitarius from my position. I could go further from house but it's a good spot with barely any traffic.

Edit: I didn't swear but changed my first expression. Also, the milky way was visible from SW to NE all the way!

Edited by festa_freak (08/24/12 10:43 AM)


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krp
Vendor. DarkSiteFinder.com


Reged: 11/10/10

Loc: Central Illinois
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: festa_freak]
      #5385426 - 08/24/12 10:39 PM

Last weekend I went to Green River, which is probably the darkest and best viewing site in northern Illinois.
http://www.observingsites.com/ds_il.htm#dixon
I have heard there is a star party here every year:
http://bootlegastronomy.com/
Here's some more info I found after going there. There are 10 different parking lots that are all numbered. So you don't have to every worry about it being too crowded. A lot of people like lot 2, but I set up in lot 6. The view was more unobstructed even though there were a couple lights in the distance. Plus I felt a little safer since I could see any cars before they approached (There were about 5 all night driving down Pump Factory Road). I saw another astronomer and a camper set up by the office (the biggest lot). I do recommend getting there a little before sunset just so you'll know your way around and choose the best spot to setup. As far as I know, you can camp in any lot, with no fees or registration. I tried sleeping in my car, but got too cold. The views were amazing, I could see a lot of detail in the milky way, the lagoon nebula, double cluster, andromeda all with the naked eye. I saw a couple dozen meteors, even though the Perseid meteor shower was well past its peak. The best directions to look are south and west. Also keep in mind since it's a state wildlife management area, you will hear spooky animal sounds, and gunshots in the morning from the hunters. Here's a map I made showing the different parking areas.

And a picture of the milky way looking down Pump Factory Road, by lot 6.

Galaxy Road by kevin-palmer, on Flickr

Edited by krp (08/24/12 10:52 PM)


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Blaise
member
*****

Reged: 09/05/12

Loc: Austin, Texas
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: krp]
      #5417166 - 09/12/12 12:06 PM

Awesome pictures guys.

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bigbinoman
member
*****

Reged: 06/22/08

Loc: midwest(summer)/FL(winter)
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: krp]
      #5440650 - 09/25/12 09:21 PM

Green River Wildlife Preserve is my favorite IL. dark sky site also. When in FL I like Harmony and a remote site in Dade County. 3 miles of dirt road and farms to get there. Known as FOO (Farr Out Observatory) for the man who owns the land and invites local astronomers out on new moon weekends.

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contrailmaker
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 01/02/09

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: bigbinoman]
      #5453784 - 10/03/12 04:03 PM

For dark skies that would be right outside the door of my cabin in the Arizona White Mountains. It's bordered by state parks on one side and the hughe Apache reservation on the other. Pretty darned close to the darkest skies I've ever seen. For high power planetary observation I have seen none better than the steady skies over the deserts of southern Arizona.

cm


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SubaruB4
member


Reged: 11/14/12

Loc: Greenwich, CT
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Pretty Boy 810]
      #5523560 - 11/16/12 10:29 PM

New here but looking for members in the Connecticut area, I'm here in Fairfield county.

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condensermike
member


Reged: 11/03/12

Loc: chicago
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5523769 - 11/17/12 01:31 AM

once went camping in maine. best stars i have every seen.

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efedut
journeyman


Reged: 11/03/11

Loc: Calgary, Canada
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: cam1936]
      #5547607 - 11/30/12 06:10 PM

Quote:

Anyone in south central Alberta have a favorite viewing site that offers good mix or drive time and clear skies? Anyone close to Calgary want to head out to a dark site? PM me!





In Southern Alberta it would be Cypress Hills and Writing-on-the-Stone Provincial Parks. Waterton National Park is also very good. Jasper is splendid but not for the summer stargazing: too up North, it never gets really dark at night time.


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Sean Wood
super member


Reged: 04/19/11

Loc: North Carolina
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: efedut]
      #5561053 - 12/08/12 03:23 PM

My favorite spot locally here in North Carolina, Mount Airy being my home area, is on the Blue Ridge Parkway...36.513728, -80.938791... a small field that is away from EVERYTHING you do have a very slight sky glow "dome" from the Mount Airy/Winston Salem area, Which is fairly common for this area but mostly hidden by the surrounding trees on the horizon. NO street lights anywhere near by and it is the darkest skies I've seen in the area. There's only a small area to pull off of the road due to the way a slight hill transition works out, But this actually helps if there is on coming traffic, It shields you. Oddly enough being in the south you'd be surprised how late people are on the parkway and not necessarily stargazing... ha ha ha. The one truly ODD feature of note for this site.. no matter what time of year and how late I stay there is always country/blue grass music playing in the distance. Not loud mind you, pretty faint actually, but you can always hear it.

Google maps link... http://goo.gl/maps/o9UE1


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Starman1
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jimg@sonic.net]
      #5561121 - 12/08/12 04:04 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Hi Folks: Post your favorite viewing sites to share with others, right here!




Lake Sonoma - outside Healdsburg, CA - about an hour north of San Francisco.



Just a little ways north of there--at the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, I measured a sky about a half magnitude darker than Lake Sonoma, and it's only about a half hour farther. I think you go from a Green Zone to a Blue Zone in that extra bit of driving.
That does look like a pleasant site, though.


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aberrs
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: SubaruB4]
      #5562843 - 12/09/12 05:36 PM

From CT also. Litchfield county, where it is lovely and dark....

But SO CLOUDY THIS FALL. ARRGH!!!!


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Feidb
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Reged: 10/09/09

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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: aberrs]
      #5562904 - 12/09/12 06:23 PM

My favorite close site to Las Vegas is Redstone Picnic Area on the north shore of Lake Mead, Nevada. Maybe not the darkest, but close and dark enough. During the summer, the Lee Canyon weather station sometimes, though it is right next to the road going up to the ski area. We used to go to a place further up the road called Sawmill Trailhead, but one time a park ranger had a bit too much caffeine, someone smarted off to her, things got a bit heavy and that site is now off limits.

As for really dark sites, for me, it's either Cathedral Gorge State Park in central-eastern Nevada or Furnace Creek in Death Valley. Two extremes of altitude, but both places have been really good to me. I don't like to venture any further than either place as I don't trust my truck much past that anymore

When I lived in Spain near Madrid, my back yard in Eurovillas was pretty decent once I went around the neighborhood and popped the circuit breakers in all the street lights. That was from the early 70's, jump to mid to late 80's. Now it's severely light polluted from what I've heard. Too bad.


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ChrisBeere
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: stevew]
      #5566347 - 12/11/12 05:33 PM

Quote:

Another shot of my favorite site.
Manning Park B.C. I was there two weeks ago, and I am so impressed with the viewing conditions every time I go.

Steve




That looks beautiful


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ChrisBeere
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Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: Gvs]
      #5566376 - 12/11/12 05:59 PM

Quote:

When I look at skies from the McDonalds observatory and compare them to Sajama, there is no comparison. We can see two orders of magnitude more at the Sajama site.




This is simply not true. Altitude will only affect the extinction coefficient.

The Davis mountains have skies with a sky background of the theoretical limit.

Hard scientific facts here :

http://www.astropix.com/HTML/L_STORY/SKYBRITE.HTM

I have been to class 1 sites in the Atacama and Kalahari deserts and can attest to this first hand.


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Meadeball
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Re: Sajama Bolivia - August 2012 new [Re: ChrisBeere]
      #5573670 - 12/16/12 06:54 AM

You guys out West have some INCREDIBLE viewing sites ... I'll echo others and say I'd give anything for those views, day OR night! Wow.

Back East we don't have quite the vistas, but our sunsets are pretty. Here are two views looking west and east at Amelia Wildlife Management Area, about 20 miles west of my home in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, and about as near as you can be to the city with decently dark skies.





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notoriousmr
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Re: Favorite viewing sites new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5591489 - 12/27/12 05:14 PM

Awesome thread thanks:)

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theritz
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Re: Favorite viewing sites new [Re: notoriousmr]
      #5596295 - 12/30/12 02:48 PM Attachment (60 downloads)

My favorite site is in Germany (I live in the Netherlands which is the most light polluted piece of planet you can think of), south of Hamburg. It's a 5 hour drive so we book a long weekend there and go in a group. Last year we had an average SQM of 21.8 with a high of 21.93. Amazing...



The field you see is in the middle of a small town of 15 but usually there's only 5 people present. Some crazy person has thought it up to switch on a light. Here. On one of the darkest places in Europe.
Only disadvantage of the place: it's rather far up north.

Closer to home, a 35 minute drive, is only one spot where I can go: a moor to the east of where I live. The SQM touches 21 but that's it. There's domes around but the south is pretty good (dark clouds!) because it's a nature reserve there. The attached picture shows the surroundings. We have no real wildlife so the only animals that can give you trouble there is in spring when the wild boars have their young.

Edited by theritz (12/30/12 02:53 PM)


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jpcannavo
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5627485 - 01/17/13 06:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Den Mama:

I think this is a great idea of a thread along lines suggested above. It would be a particular benefit for travelers. Nearly 4 million people visit Yellowstone/Grand Teton every year and I've often thought of putting together a list of sites here that I've found rewarding over the years.

Thanks.

Dark skies.

mm




The credit goes to member jpcannavo for the suggestion!




How amazing to see this thread alive and well after being away from these forums and ama ast for nearly 2 years! Ones first child, does shake things up a bit though!
As is turns out I may be taking a new job at The Univ of New Mexico, and moving away from NYC, the worst place in the country to be an amateur astronomer. Now clearly NM has lots of Black skies. But I have two questions:
1) What are some user friendly but still Very Dark (black to grey zones) within an hour or two of Albuequerque.
2) How is seeing? Are steady skies rare, occasional or common? NYC is aweful, as well, in this regard. Star images are always bloated - seeing an Airy Disk in anything larger than 50mm scope is unusual!


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bunyon
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5628405 - 01/17/13 04:20 PM

Not a lot to add but a lot to second. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, so long as you aren't close to a city, almost any pullout makes for a good site.

But I've yet to see a dark site in the east that comes close to those in the west. A lot of Utah mentions up above but I didn't see Natural Bridges mentioned, which is also excellent. The park does a good job promoting dark skies and in two weeks I spent there, the campers kept dark. It's fantastically dark down in the park.

But every time I've observed in southern Utah I've been blown away. Capitol Reef, Bridges, or just driving out of town 45 minutes and pulling over. There are some seriously dark skies out there. And beautiful scenery.


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petrus45
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Re: Favorite viewing sites new [Re: theritz]
      #5637932 - 01/22/13 10:48 PM

Any suggestions for Ohio/Kentucky area? The closest really dark site seems to be in Monongahela Nat'l Forest in WV....

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quantumphysicist
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Re: Favorite viewing sites new [Re: petrus45]
      #5680617 - 02/15/13 02:58 AM

I have two favorite viewing sites. My absolute favorite of the two has to be In the Valles Caldera right outside of Los Alamos, NM. There is a road and right after you go over the rim into the caldera you can get off and get in the grass. High altitude, no light pollution, and often clear nights especially in the summer. Absolutely amazing views.

coordinates for Google Maps: 35.851671,-106.455162

Now that I live in florida my favorite location I have seen so far is the Shell Mound just north of Cedar Key. Bortle scale 2. Seeing is usually not that good due to the low altitude and humidity I could see more in los alamos but compared to whereI live it is amazing in comparison. It even has a bathroom and you can set up on an observation deck in the middle of the marsh with no trees surrounding you.

Coordinates in Google maps: 29.206825, -83.068831


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jpcannavo
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Colorado observing sites? new [Re: quantumphysicist]
      #5693738 - 02/21/13 11:00 PM

Very likely moving with my family and 16" F5 to Denver this summer. Wondering about Dark yet accessible locations within 2 hours of Denver?

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LateViewer
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Re: Favorite viewing sites new [Re: quantumphysicist]
      #5704201 - 02/27/13 08:26 PM

I only ran into this site tonight and think it is great.

Let me agree with someone along the thread that Stone Tavern Farm is really great.

I try to get there when I can.





Love seeing the viewing sites from around the world


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Geoff M
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Bill Llano]
      #5705874 - 02/28/13 06:01 PM

Quote:

Kodachrome Basin State Park,Utah
Grandview Campground, Inyo National Forest,Ca
Kennedy Meadows,Southern Sierra Nevada,Ca
Are all dark,no light domes, fantastic viewing ,weather permitting.




Wow, Grandview and Kennedy Meadows are awesome! I've never been scopin' at Kennedy, but I've had some epic hikes there...had a couple of great nights at Grandview-first view of M82 thru an 18"dob-wowww!(image was holding decently at about 500x) I would like to add Eureka Valley, which is accessible from Big Pine, CA and splits off the road to Grandview(White Mountains/Westgard Pass). Not as high as Grandview (better spring/fall spot), but has darker skies. One night, Venus in the sky was really blowing out my night vision(lol), and I kept mistaking the Las Vegas light dome (120 miles away)for sunrise. Seeing is usually great, too(resolved individual stars one night in Omega Centauri at 7 deg. above horizon) and clouds seem to avoid Eureka when the surrounding areas are cloudy). Nobody ever goes there, either. Saw 3 cars total in 4 trips. Well worth the drive from Tahoe's fairly dark skies!


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Rich0000
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5793527 - 04/11/13 11:23 PM

My wife and I have been traveling the country for the last four years after retirement. At present we are in the Davis Mnt. Region of Southwest Texas. I would have to say that this area has the darkest skies and the best atmospheric clarity I have observed from. The McDonald Observatory is near by and they "claim" the darkest skies in the continental U.S. The largest telescope in the northern hemisphere is located here for this reason. Number two would be the Apostle Island Area in northern Wisconsin. I have had many excellent nights observing there. Almost zero light pollution.
***************
Celestron 9.25HD on A CGEM DX
5" Maksutov on a SWAN AltAZ
20x80 D3 Oberwerks Binoculars
90mm Seben Maksutov
University Optics, GSO, Celestron, Clave Eyepieces
BLOG: http://skynotesbyrich.blogspot.com/
***************


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csrlice12
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Re: Colorado observing sites? new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5806817 - 04/18/13 02:20 PM

Quote:

Very likely moving with my family and 16" F5 to Denver this summer. Wondering about Dark yet accessible locations within 2 hours of Denver?



The Denver Astro society has a dark site (blue zone) about 1hr 15 min East of town. It has cement pads (North aligned), power toilet, break shed and a domed obsevatory with a honker of an SCT on a Losmundy mount (must attend a training session before you can use). The DAS is a very active club. Also, be forewarned, Denver has scope store, S&S Optika, which hosts montly star parties where they pull out their display models and is open to the public. I know there's a good amount of my annual income in their cash register....Great store and people.


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Thomas Karpf
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Reged: 02/09/09

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Re: Connecticut observing site new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5859462 - 05/14/13 09:42 AM

I like the Colebrook River Burying Ground in Colebrook, CT.

Heron Cove Park in Tolland is not bad, but you want to set up in the northernmost portion of the parking lot to avoid lights from the road.

White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield is good. One of the local astronomy groups (Mattatuck? Litchfield Astro Society?) has an observing field that they mow on a regular basis. You need to call/email White Memorial to ask to use the field, but they've never told me no.

The christmas tree field at the Goodwin Conservation Center is good as well, but you need to call to ask about using it.


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Starkid2u
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #5863504 - 05/15/13 11:39 PM

Here in the NE, one of the gems for viewing is Cherry Springs State Park in north central Pennsylvania. Excellent dark-sky site built specifically for astronomical viewing. PA's first official Dark Sky Park! The sky can be mag 7 with mag 5-6 common. There are even TWO official star parties held there, the Cherry Springs Star Party in June and the Black Forest Star party, held in September. A must-see for every astronomer who lives in the Eastern half of the USA. I'm a long time astronomer who's done some traveling to star parties up and down the US eastern seaboard and as far west as Missouri but I always come back to Cherry Springs in the fall for a great star party and a fantastic tour of the darkest skies in the NE!

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okieav8r
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starkid2u]
      #5869342 - 05/18/13 01:35 PM

My favorite place to observe is the Black Mesa area in the far northwestern tip of the Oklahoma Panhandle. As true dark sky sites go, it's the closest one to where I live in central Oklahoma, so I try to get up there a few times a year, one of those times being to attend the Okie-Tex star party. Other times, I mostly observe at my folk's cattle ranch near Beggs, Oklahoma, and a few other sites closer to me that I frequent with my observing friends.

Edited by okieav8r (05/19/13 03:18 AM)


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the1andonlyfinn
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5870660 - 05/19/13 02:15 AM

Living in Southern California, I'd have to say Amboy Crater along old Route 66. Gas station 2 miles away w/ water, easy parking, and after 8PM, NOTHING. No sounds besides a passing BNSF train, no lights save for the old Roys sign. Minor light dome from Vegas, barely detectable in the NE. Omega Centauri resolved in bino's just 8degrees off the horizon, pipe and snake nebulae obvious, northern coalsack clear as day. My first sight of the Milky Way in full glory. Plus you get a volcano as a bonus!

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krp
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Reged: 11/10/10

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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: the1andonlyfinn]
      #5878396 - 05/22/13 03:38 PM

I found a good viewing site in Central Illinois, southwest of Peoria. It's called Spring Lake State Wildlife Area: http://goo.gl/maps/ZYkEf The northern sky isn't very good with Peoria's light pollution. And all but one of the parking lots have the western horizon obstructed with trees. But as you can see on the map, there is nothing to the south until Springfield, 50 miles away. So the view of the Milky Way is very good (for Illinois), and you can see it reflected on the lake. The boat launch on Spring Lake Rd. has a couple streetlights and there are some lighted houses near there too. But there are several parking lots off of State Park Rd. where you can set up and the lights are far enough away that they are not an issue. Here's a shot of the milky way over Spring Lake

Portrait of a Galaxy by kevin-palmer, on Flickr

More here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjF51Zft

Edited by krp (05/22/13 03:40 PM)


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Smittty692k4
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: krp]
      #5924219 - 06/16/13 06:27 PM Attachment (28 downloads)

How about "Most Dangerous" viewing site?
Between Laredo, Tx and Eagle Pass, Tx.

28*0'33"N, 99*49'35"W

Sure is pretty though.


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BarbMoore
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5924790 - 06/17/13 02:11 AM

Our astronomy group hosts a monthly star party at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park in south central NM but my favorite place to view from would have to be New Mexico Skies.

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youngamateur42
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: BarbMoore]
      #5924891 - 06/17/13 05:50 AM

On the dark side of the moon of course!

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celtictexan
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Smittty692k4]
      #5924893 - 06/17/13 05:56 AM

I totally understand the dangerous part. The last time I was at BigBend NP there were signs everywhere cautioning against leaving a car unattended or hiking or camping without being in a big group. The only rangers I saw anywhere were in the offices. And the sky is so dark. Sad:(

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WStewart
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Reged: 11/02/05

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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: celtictexan]
      #5925351 - 06/17/13 11:59 AM

Quote:

I totally understand the dangerous part. The last time I was at BigBend NP there were signs everywhere cautioning against leaving a car unattended or hiking or camping without being in a big group. The only rangers I saw anywhere were in the offices. And the sky is so dark. Sad:(




That is sad to hear. It's been several years since I've made the trip to Big Bend, and I've been wondering if conditions there had changed with respect to safety.

At least Davis Mountains State Park is a little further away from the border.


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mak17
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: WStewart]
      #6079476 - 09/13/13 09:49 PM

+1 for the Chiefland Astronomy Village. Unobstructed views, bathroom, its safe, great group of regulars with big scopes, and mag 6.9 skies at last measure. Lots of parks nearby to hike and explore in the daytime. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve near Okeechobee is another good bortle 3 site with an astronomy pad with rv hookups and power. Nearby bathrooms too. Some good hiking trails during the day.

Edited by mak17 (09/13/13 09:50 PM)


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esd726
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6080472 - 09/14/13 02:00 PM

Only place I have ever observed, with anything more than naked eye, for over 30 yrs.....my backyard. Different house now, but still only in backyard

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immonacan
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: esd726]
      #6081922 - 09/15/13 11:47 AM

While my former residence in western NY, near Lake Ontario (out in the sticks) was decent... my favorites ... were in the higher hills in state lands of the NY southerntier, and even better, was remote higher elevations of the Adirondack Park. The best so far, was the area (and star party location, itself) around Cherry Hill Springs SP, in the northern PA wilds. I was pleasantly surprised, while camping once in the middle of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.. just how dark the sky was. No disturbing sky glow, from either Philly or Atlantic City. Did not take a scope with me, but sure enjoyed some good binocular astronomy.

Edited by immonacan (09/15/13 11:54 AM)


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jdown
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: immonacan]
      #6104291 - 09/27/13 01:50 PM

My astronomy spot is 7579' in the New Mexico Rockies, near the CO border (36 44 36 N; 106 30 25 W). With no lights around, it offered great views in May & June before our monsoon season. Now it is even better - the monsoon rains have cleared the sky of any dust & smoke. A few nights ago the Milky Way was stunning - bright clouds of stars stretching from horizon to horizon.
The only drawback to a place like this is that it spoils you for anything less.

Edited by jdown (09/27/13 01:52 PM)


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Starry Jan
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Reged: 01/12/13

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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Dave Mitsky]
      #6131695 - 10/11/13 06:14 PM

Dave, since you are an East Coaster, if you were 5 hours from Cherry Springs and 8 hours from Spruce Knob, would you go to Spruce Knob for the experience, or just go back to Cherry Springs?

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Starman1
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starry Jan]
      #6131728 - 10/11/13 06:38 PM

Quote:

Dave, since you are an East Coaster, if you were 5 hours from Cherry Springs and 8 hours from Spruce Knob, would you go to Spruce Knob for the experience, or just go back to Cherry Springs?



If you look at the LP maps for both, they are equivalently as dark, except the Spruce Knob area also has a few pockets of Grey zone (darker) in the middle of the dark blue "pocket".
I'd be willing to bet that which one was darker would depend a lot on local conditions, such as water vapor in the air, low clouds over nearby cities, etc.
I'd be tempted to plant myself in the middle of one of the grey zone pockets at Spruce Knob. But both are really long drives for you unless you're planning to stay 2 nights.

Meanwhile, out West here in SoCal, Mt. Pinos has finally been downgraded to a dark green LP site instead of blue. That's correct, unfortunately.
So we, too, are getting to need a 3-4 hour drive to reach dark blue or grey zone sites. And our local Blue and Grey zones are threatened. They too will go into green if the construction plans in Arizona for LCD billboards along the 10 corridor comes to pass and/or if the multi-megawatt Solar generating stations go in.
I can see us needing to drive 5 to 8 hours to get to a dark site in only a couple years.


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dtripz
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starman1]
      #6134269 - 10/13/13 03:19 AM

Spruce knob is significantly darker then Cssp, however the weather there is very unpredictable, had three nights which were supposed to be great transparency wound up being clouded over. It's also much more remote and makes Cssp seem civilized.

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nexguy
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Reged: 08/05/09

Loc: Wichita Falls, TX
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: dtripz]
      #6141963 - 10/16/13 10:25 PM

I drive about an hour outside of my town deep in to rural Texas. Bortle scale darkness of about 2. It's a public dirt road that leads to the opening of a ranch. Only distant house lights visible and cow moos to be heard.

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woodscavenger
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Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: nexguy]
      #6143032 - 10/17/13 02:05 PM

About 25 min south of me I am on the edge of black at Swan Falls reservoir. It sits on the edge of the Snake River Canyon. Toilets, large parking area, but no power. Nearly deserted road with minimal drive by white light. Great views in all direction but especially good to the south where the milky way touches the earth. Our club meets out there 1-2 times/month.

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John Higbee
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Reged: 07/17/12

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Virginia Northern Neck new [Re: Starman1]
      #6184200 - 11/09/13 08:32 AM Attachment (25 downloads)

Just found this thread...some great information here!

I was surprised that none of the "East Coasters" mentioned the Northern Neck of Virginia (the peninsula between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, and Chesapeake Bay). There is a broad swath of blue/dark green (Bortle class 3) dark sky conditions stretching from northeastern Northumberland County (Smith Point) southwestward into Lancaster County and the Rappahannock. This area is an hour from Richmond, two hours from Norfolk, and 2 1/2 hours from DC.

I've owned property in that zone for several years now, and the seeing is superb!

John


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penguinx64
professor emeritus


Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: Holland
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: csa/montana]
      #6213519 - 11/24/13 03:35 PM

You can't beat the Mojave desert, near Death Valley, California.

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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: penguinx64]
      #6214593 - 11/25/13 08:36 AM

For me it's either the backside of Mt. St. Helens near the Windy Ridge area....great spot! Or, Sunrise or Paradise parking lots at Mt. Rainier.

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Astro_yyz
newbie


Reged: 12/24/10

Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6230124 - 12/02/13 08:12 PM

My astronomy club's Carr Astronomical Observatory, in the Blue Mountain area, a couple of hours north of Toronto. Safe, dark, quiet, all the mod cons for observing even a place to crash after being up all night.

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Starry Jan
member


Reged: 01/12/13

Loc: Pennsylvania
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: jpcannavo]
      #6349090 - 02/01/14 12:37 PM

Hi, I took a look at Stone Tavern because I live in the Northeast, but I could not quite tell from the website where the astronomy observing would take place. The website says that camping is just for wedding guests. Where did you go to observe?

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Starry Jan
member


Reged: 01/12/13

Loc: Pennsylvania
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: StarGeazer]
      #6349109 - 02/01/14 12:44 PM

Hi, wondering whether the trip to Spruce Mountain is worth it. My usual dark sky spot is Cherry Springs, 5 hours from my house. Spruce Mountain would be about 9 hours drive. I have heard the site is prone to sudden weather changes and that it's dangerous to drive down in the dark so you need to be prepared to camp until daylight regardless of weather. Is that accurate?

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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starry Jan]
      #6349911 - 02/01/14 08:00 PM

Hi, I love to observe at our club's DSS some 75 miles south of Kansas City. I think would be considered blue to dark blue.
I have observed from the Montana side of Yellowstone National Park in summer of 2003 at the little hamlet of Silver Gate, Mont., pretty dark skies.
Most of the area around the national parks connected by Hwy 89 in southern Utah have very dark skies.

I went to the Texas Star Party feud in 1997, the year it was disconnected from Ft. Davis, and moved to Leakey, Tx. Still, the skies were dark, except you could notice some glow coming from, I presume, San Antonio. Definitely, inferior to Ft. Davis.

Edited by Philler (02/01/14 08:03 PM)


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6351198 - 02/02/14 01:08 PM

Quote:

For me it's either the backside of Mt. St. Helens near the Windy Ridge area....great spot! Or, Sunrise or Paradise parking lots at Mt. Rainier.




We went to St Helens Last night, what a view. I have never seen Jupiter like that, not even in photos. The spot showed up and was super peachey in color. What a trip. Temp was a cool 27 F. No wind, and the moon was only out for an hour. The humidity was reported at 91% but it took over 2 1\2 hours for our unaided corrector plate to fog up. We stopped at a viewpoint, 3rd one from the 504-505 interchange. There is a place near here to stay called ECOPark, but we were unsuccessful in raising them with either phone or email. When we drove by the place, someone was there working, but the gate was locked. We gave them the salute(You're # 1!), and carried on up to the top. I am glad we did. The dead volcano in the background's sno-cap was illuminated by the moonlight...It was beautiful


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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6351918 - 02/02/14 07:18 PM

Quote:

Quote:

For me it's either the backside of Mt. St. Helens near the Windy Ridge area....great spot! Or, Sunrise or Paradise parking lots at Mt. Rainier.




We went to St Helens Last night, what a view. I have never seen Jupiter like that, not even in photos. The spot showed up and was super peachey in color. What a trip. Temp was a cool 27 F. No wind, and the moon was only out for an hour. The humidity was reported at 91% but it took over 2 1\2 hours for our unaided corrector plate to fog up. We stopped at a viewpoint, 3rd one from the 504-505 interchange. There is a place near here to stay called ECOPark, but we were unsuccessful in raising them with either phone or email. When we drove by the place, someone was there working, but the gate was locked. We gave them the salute(You're # 1!), and carried on up to the top. I am glad we did. The dead volcano in the background's sno-cap was illuminated by the moonlight...It was beautiful




Ah, so you went in the main road from I-5 to Coldwater Creek science center or to the Johnston Ridge viewing area. Both are great places!


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6352343 - 02/03/14 12:15 AM

I still cannot get Jupiter and his moons out of my head. First night with a binoviewer...

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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6352560 - 02/03/14 05:05 AM

Quote:

The dead volcano in the background's sno-cap was illuminated by the moonlight...It was beautiful




Correction please.... Mt. St. Helens is NOT Dead! Far from it. It is dormant, just like most of the other Cascade volcanos in Washington. I was about to include Oregon's volcanos in this, but there are a few in Oregon that I would consider "dead".


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6354664 - 02/04/14 12:03 AM

Thank God Rainier is'nt un-dormant. That could prove interesting. I love the signs in Auburn, Volcano Evac. Route. Ya that'll work, you can't even drive at 5:00 pm.

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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6354800 - 02/04/14 02:52 AM

Quote:

Thank God Rainier is'nt un-dormant. That could prove interesting. I love the signs in Auburn, Volcano Evac. Route. Ya that'll work, you can't even drive at 5:00 pm.




UN-Dormant? With all of the "We're all gonna die" TV shows made about Mt. Rainier blowing and killing most of the population of Washington state, I don't really get your humor.

But yes, there are a LOT of Volcano evacuation route signs around. The increased traffic just wouldn't work with these routes. Add to that the Lahar sirens here in east Pierce county that go off for "testing" every Tuesday at noon.

If the Mountain does blow, we really will all die.


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6357785 - 02/05/14 02:04 PM

Perhaps, however you must understand there is no humor about it. It will blow up, without a doubt. I live far enough away to escape, depending on the direction of the explosion. It comes back to the old question, "Why would you live next to a volcano?" What, did your Momma tell you to stay in Seattle until it pops? If you don't live by it you won't die from it. On an unrelated note to this conversation, but relevant to this thread, I am thinking of going to Mt Walker for a viewing session. My Uncle claims it to be his favorite photo spot, among the southern states.(Alaskan)It is near Quilcene area,which has some lodging available. Also Port Townsend is not too far. The viewpoint's elevation is at a claimed 2805 ft. The road re-opens Mar 31, however we will be on our way home from Salome AZ, on our triumphant return from the Messier Marathon.

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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6357895 - 02/05/14 03:13 PM

Yes, perhaps one day it will. But then people live near or on earthquake faults in California, Alaska, the Midwest and even on the east coast. Then you have people who live in Tornado Ally, people who live on the costs where hurricane frequent. So we all live near a dangerous place on this planet whether we realize it or not.

Where it Mt. Walker?


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6358089 - 02/05/14 05:03 PM

Mt Walker is easy to find. On a map, follow 101 up to about to Quilcene, just before it actually. There is a road called NF-2730, stay on it until you get to the top. Coming from Northbound, turn on NF-011(not sure about that designation, often times maps are incorrect) to your right, then left on 2730.

To clarify, I misspoke when saying Thank God it's Un- dormant. I meant (semi)dormant. I recall a few burps from ol' Rainier a few years back...scary stuff. I do not wish death for the kind folks of greater Sea-Tac.

Edited by patg43 (02/05/14 05:08 PM)


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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6359105 - 02/06/14 05:56 AM

Ah....Mt Walker is in the Olympic National Forest on the east side of the Olympic peninsula. Got it!

Hmmm....wonder if it was named for the "Ghost Who Walks"?

I know that the Olympic Astronomical Society uses Hurricane Ridge a lot. Have you gone there?


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patg43
member
*****

Reged: 12/20/13

Loc: Union, Washington
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6360168 - 02/06/14 05:01 PM

No, I have not. I have gotten great reviews about the place from my Mom. She is new to astronomy, too. That was the first place she mentioned when I told her I would lug her scope to where ever she likes. She is a paramedic so she gets some 4 day-off stretches, but its like pulling teeth to get her out in the cold. I hear that the road to Hurricane Ridge is open year round? And she was saying something about hot springs? OAS huh, I will have to look them up.

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Philler
sage


Reged: 07/15/13

Loc: Kansas, USA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6363230 - 02/08/14 01:07 AM

I know there are some observers from the mid-west here on the CN. Just wondering, has anyone ever observed at the Monument Rocks or Castle Rock area in western Kansas? I checked it out on a couple of web sites and it really looks like a great dark sky area to go to for a couple of nights when we get some better weather.

Edited by Philler (02/08/14 01:08 AM)


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Duxrule
member


Reged: 01/19/14

Loc: Longview WA
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: patg43]
      #6364059 - 02/08/14 01:21 PM

The NPS says that the road to Hurricane Ridge may be closed weekdays during the winter. The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is about twelve miles to the west (as the crow flies), off of Highway 101, juse west of Lake Crescent. Olympic Hot Springs is closer to Hurricane Ridge, but is undeveloped, you also have to hike several miles in.
Olympic National Park


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LateViewer
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 11/17/05

Loc: Manhattan
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Starry Jan]
      #6426934 - 03/24/14 04:52 PM

Quote:

Hi, I took a look at Stone Tavern because I live in the Northeast, but I could not quite tell from the website where the astronomy observing would take place. The website says that camping is just for wedding guests. Where did you go to observe?




Sorry I have not seen this until now.

The last time I was at Stone Tavern Farm I did not camp. I stayed locally indoors. I set up below the pavilion and pond. Above the horse barn.

I am able to be there during the week when it is very quite.


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seawolfe
sage


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Favorite Viewing Sites new [Re: Duxrule]
      #6427881 - 03/25/14 05:54 AM

Quote:

The NPS says that the road to Hurricane Ridge may be closed weekdays during the winter. The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort is about twelve miles to the west (as the crow flies), off of Highway 101, juse west of Lake Crescent. Olympic Hot Springs is closer to Hurricane Ridge, but is undeveloped, you also have to hike several miles in.
Olympic National Park




I just cannot conceive of myself packing in my telescope... AVX mount, tripod, Edge 8 inch, large box of EP's, battery, chair, and on and on.... I'd so tired after the first trip, that everything else would be abandoned!

So, I think I'll stick to driving to my site and unloading the auto and set up near it. Thank you very much....


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