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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Dark Sites in Southern California
      #5947191 - 06/29/13 09:09 PM

Hello, all. I'm looking for a few safe, low to medium altitude dark sky viewing locations in Southern California. I'm in the San Gabriel valley area 20 miles or so east of Los Angeles. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5947233 - 06/29/13 09:54 PM

These aren't usable in the summer but the south end of Joshua Tree National park, Desert Center, Amboy, the area east of 29 Palms. Also, Anza.

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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5948467 - 06/30/13 06:29 PM

Thanks Charles. When you say "not usable" in summer, do you mean due to heat or...?
Thanks,
CH


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MikeRatcliff
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/12/04

Loc: Redlands, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5948622 - 06/30/13 08:16 PM

Right, heat is a huge factor. Cottonwood Springs campground in the south end of Joshua Tree is a little higher in elevation that knocks off a few degrees. Also there is running water and flush toilets to make it a little more civilized. $15 fee per day. No shade or electricity. So bring 2 ice chests, a tarp for shade, and a cot or lounge chair for a nap. I also make a couple of trips to the gas station on I-10 at Chiriaco Summit (about 10 miles away) to cool off. You can expect the afternoon to be uncomfortable but otherwise OK. This weekend's heat wave may be too much.

Mt Pinos north of LA is a lot higher in elevation. I haven't been there, so maybe someone else can comment. But it draws a lot of astronomers.

Mike

Edited by MikeRatcliff (06/30/13 08:18 PM)


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Zoomit
sage


Reged: 12/04/06

Loc: Tehachapi, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5948743 - 06/30/13 09:44 PM

Here're some more ideas:

http://www.observingsites.com/ds_ca.htm

http://www.starimager.com/Primary%20Pages/Observing_Sites_Page.htm


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Zoomit
sage


Reged: 12/04/06

Loc: Tehachapi, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Zoomit]
      #5948753 - 06/30/13 09:51 PM

I'll add that in the hot summer months (Jul-Sep), the only appealing places for me would be Mt Pinos, Walker Pass Campground or Grandview Campground. BTW, I'm already 2 hrs north of LA so I'm biased that direction.

Mt. Pinos is very busy this time of year so it's definitely a more social event. I suspect Walker Pass is not frequented very much and Grandview is great but a longer haul to get there.


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Zoomit]
      #5948774 - 06/30/13 10:06 PM

in the first link that Brandon put up, I was near the Barstow spot last night with my family. Seeing wasn't great last night and will be this way for a while because of the heat. But is a good area when it's nice. Also in that list the San Deigo one where the SDAA site is at is nice too, I goto a area that is about north from that spot off the 8 and it's really nice there. With the heat at this time haze and so on it's hard.

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CharlesW
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/02/12

Loc: Chula Vista & Indio, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5948787 - 06/30/13 10:15 PM

Can I ask why you are limited to low to mid altitude? There are some good places above 6000' in SoCal.

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Alph
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 11/23/06

Loc: Melmac
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: CharlesW]
      #5948982 - 07/01/13 01:40 AM

Quote:

Can I ask why you are limited to low to mid altitude? There are some good places above 6000' in SoCal.



Is it really so hard to name them?


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5949148 - 07/01/13 06:15 AM Attachment (12 downloads)

Quote:

Hello, all. I'm looking for a few safe, low to medium altitude dark sky viewing locations in Southern California. I'm in the San Gabriel valley area 20 miles or so east of Los Angeles. Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.




Compared to the San Gabriel valley, just about anywhere that is further out from the city and light pollution will be darker. The desert and the mountains are prime choices. This time of the year, I prefer higher elevations, it's cooler during the day and not so cold at night.

I live in San Diego, there are some nice spots down this way. They are not as dark as the middle of the Navajo reservation in NE Arizona but the Milky Way is clearly visible, blazing overhead. Mount Palomar is not the darkest but there are campgrounds and the 200 inch is nearby for a visit during the day. The Laguna mounts have a number of locations and overlooks and the skies are quite dark there.

The San Diego Astronomy Association site it at Tierra del Sol in eastern San Diego, it's quite a drive for you, it's about 70 miles east of San Diego. We have a small place about 4 miles north east of Tierra del Sol. It's most often clear and dark.. I was out there for Wednesday-Saturday nights, there was a lot to see.

Jon


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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5949570 - 07/01/13 12:26 PM

Thank you all so much for your help on this. ONce it gets a bit cooler I will head out! Thanks again.
Chuck


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5949603 - 07/01/13 12:53 PM

Quote:

Thank you all so much for your help on this. ONce it gets a bit cooler I will head out! Thanks again.
Chuck




No need to wait for it to get cooler, just go to higher altitudes. At 6000 feet it's warm but not hot during day. At night you will be wearing a jacket.

Jon


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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5949809 - 07/01/13 02:35 PM

Medical issues make altitude a problem.

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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5950145 - 07/01/13 06:33 PM



Hey Jon,

is that spot in the photo near by the club's spot? I been going to a few spots off the 8 at exit Japatul Valley RD (79) I would like to check that one out, where is that? The place I go is close to the hwy I get car lights a lot. it's a good spot, but the head lights kill it.. lol we have to close our eyes when a car comes.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5950496 - 07/01/13 10:39 PM

Quote:

Medical issues make altitude a problem.




Ahh... so, what is the upper limit?

Jon


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5950502 - 07/01/13 10:45 PM Attachment (9 downloads)

Quote:



Hey Jon,

is that spot in the photo near by the club's spot? I been going to a few spots off the 8 at exit Japatul Valley RD (79) I would like to check that one out, where is that? The place I go is close to the hwy I get car lights a lot. it's a good spot, but the head lights kill it.. lol we have to close our eyes when a car comes.




This spot is about 20 miles further out 8 East, past Pine Valley, past the Immigration Check point. It's an old helicopter pad from the forest service. We called it the Starpad.

Directions, 8 East to Kitchen Creek Road. North on Kitchen Creek Road about 1.7 miles (not sure anymore), on the right there is a NO SHOOTING sign. Right there is a narrow paved road that leads to the pad. It's paved and at a slight angle.

Since that photo was taken, a new border patrol station was put in down in the valley. I am not sure how it affects the light pollution but there are no cars passing by..

Jon

Edited by Jon Isaacs (07/01/13 10:45 PM)


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5950525 - 07/01/13 11:01 PM

awesome, thanks so much. I heard of that spot but didn't know were it was.

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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5950539 - 07/01/13 11:11 PM

Thanks again everyone from you kind help.
Chuck


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5950639 - 07/02/13 12:35 AM

Chuck, what is the altitude cap you feel comfortable with? There's a campground at Walker Pass trailhead that looks pretty good. It's at 5k feet.

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/Recreation_opportunities/...

Not a day trip, but not too far from your neck of the woods for a campout.

Though not in southern California, per se, another decent camp site for astronomy is the Lake San Antonio overflow campground in inland Monterey County. The Calstar star party is held there each year. It's pretty dark and not high at all in elevation. It'd be about 4 hours from your area.

Though not super dark, I'm very partial to Anza Borrego State Park. You can rent a casita with a private pool, and drive a short distance to darker sites for few hours of observing and then make it back to a proper bed for a good night"s sleep.

The next time we go to the Mojave National Preserve, I'll be sure to invite you. The group campground is dark, private and at bout 3000 feet.

Good luck,

Jim


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Americal
sage
*****

Reged: 09/14/07

Loc: La Verne, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5950748 - 07/02/13 03:42 AM

Chuck, there's a lot of possibilities from where you are. I'm in La Verne and distance is darkness in the LA light hole. There's a commercial campground up the Mt Baldy Road at Cow Canyon saddle that's always been very accommodating to me. I personally have always been an open-country desert camper, I travel prepared but I've never had a problem with people in the open/uncitified desert. The farther out you go the fewer the people/problems. My preference is around Opal Mountain northwest of Barstow. It's about 2 1/2 hours from home, 3200' and dark (some light dome south from LA and slight east from Vegas). North of Lucerne Valley on the side roads off CA 247 after you cross the dry lake are some pretty good spots but you are closer to LA. Kinda depends on your dirt road confidence level and your vehicle. A pickup will handle most of the desert roads but you wanna do it in the daylight. PM me and I can get you some GPS coordinates.

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youngamateur42
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/21/12

Loc: La Verne, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Americal]
      #5951195 - 07/02/13 11:43 AM

Same as AMERICAL, wait, your in La Verne, me too!!!!

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krp
Vendor. DarkSiteFinder.com


Reged: 11/10/10

Loc: Central Illinois
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: youngamateur42]
      #5951384 - 07/02/13 01:46 PM

I'm interested in this thread since I will be in southern California at the end of the month. The moon will be in the way most of the time, but I'm hoping to get out for a couple hours of darkness on the 28th. I'll be in Anaheim, is Mount Palomar worth the trip? I'm mainly interested in taking wide angle pictures of the milky way, from a more southerly location. It looks like there are some pulloffs with great views south off of E Grade Rd.

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acochran
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/19/08

Loc: So. CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: krp]
      #5951689 - 07/02/13 04:32 PM

Mt. Palomar roughly 2 hour drive south of Anaheim. In a green zone Milky Way is visible, but with a moon photos will be a problem. Desert is darker, but could be a waste of time with the Moon in the sky. Mt Pinos 2 hrs North of Anaheim a popular astronomy spot, but you can't escape the Moon.
Andy


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: acochran]
      #5951829 - 07/02/13 06:08 PM

The moon will rise at 11:40pm on the 28th. So you will have a little time, the milkyway is fair view from up there depending on the weather. You should take a tour to see the hale 200 inch telescope in the day.

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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5951912 - 07/02/13 07:06 PM

Barstow, which is at 2200 ft vs 900 ft for Amboy Crater (and about 80 miles away, but similar desert environment) posts these average daily highs and lows:

Avg High Avg Low
Jan 61 37
Feb 65 40
Mar 72 46
Apr 80 51
May 90 60
Jun 99 68
Jul 105 74
Aug 103 73
Sep 96 66
Oct 83 55
Nov 70 43
Dec 60 36

If the dry adiabatic lapse rate is to be believed, the temperature at Amboy should be about 6 degrees hotter. (I think the true differential is less than this though, a few degrees at most.)

The temperatures are quite pleasant at night even in July.

The day heat is another matter entirely. It is a dry heat of course, and if you drink copious amounts of water and stay in the shade during the daytime temperatures above 100 (but below 110) are pretty tolerable - for me anyway.

Fans can help, and you might consider making a portable swamp cooler:
http://burningman.rengeekcentral.com/swampcooler.html

Still, even a desert rat dude would think twice about heading out in July or August, with those daily 100+ temperatures.


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hm insulators
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/22/07

Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: careysub]
      #5953180 - 07/03/13 01:58 PM

Choran, depending on what part of the San Gabriel Valley you're in, one spot I've done some hiking in (at least during cooler months) is off the end of something called Shoemaker Canyon Road. You have to go up Highway 39 to what I believe is East Fork Road, go up that a ways, and then Shoemaker Canyon Road bears left from that for a couple of miles. Check local fire restrictions first. If nothing else, scope it out, so to speak, during the daytime, and then again at night. The location I'm thinking of is fairly low altitude and down in a big canyon a little bit, so you won't be able to see all the sky but on the other hand, should help with blocking the L.A. light dome, too.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5954049 - 07/03/13 11:38 PM

Chuck, Tom (Americal) is a great resource for SoCal observing sites. Tom has reconnoitered for and guided a bunch of us NorCal'ers on a couple of southerly dark sky odysseys; first to the Mojave National Preserve and then later to an ancient Paiute rock art site near Bishop called "Sky Rock". He's become a very good friend and fixture on our long dark sky trips. In fact, I'll be spending a week with Tom and some other clubmates this September in New Mexico. Absolutely the finest kind.

- Jim


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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: choran]
      #5954222 - 07/04/13 01:50 AM

There are two campgrounds in the Mojave National Preserve that are at significant elevations: the Hole-In-The-Wall Campground at 4400 feet, and Mid-Hills Campground at 5600 feet.

Both are in the satellite map "grey zone", but rather close to the edge of the Las Vegas blue zone light dome (of the two, Hole-In-The-Wall is a bit farther away).

The dry air cooling with altitude is nominally 5.5 F per 1000 ft, so they should be 14 F and 20 F cooler than Barstow respectively, making the daytime temperatures quite tolerable even at the height of summer.

(I'll have to test this out in August.)


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the1andonlyfinn
member


Reged: 07/17/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Americal]
      #5955087 - 07/04/13 06:11 PM

If you are looking for a short drive and decent skies, Lytle Creek off the I-15 (SIERRA AVE EXIT, TURN LEFT/NORTH) is very close to SGV and about an orange/yellow zone. There is a ranger station w/ benches, parking and bathrooms, and numerous pull-over spots along Lytle Creek Rd. Taking it to it's end brings you to the Firing Range, after sundown it's abandoned with little if any vehicle traffic. It is also a bit cooler than the dark sky locations in the Mojave, but the trade off is more light pollution. Still, for a close drive, it can't be beat.

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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: careysub]
      #5955230 - 07/04/13 08:18 PM

Hole in the Wall and Black Canyon Group and Equestrian Camp share the same approximate elevation. The Group camp is across the canyon from the Visitor's Center and Hole in the Wall, and shielded from the noise and light of the often crowded and RV'ed Hole in the Wall site by scrub and some swales/berms (not to mention about 1/3 of a mile of distance). There are pictures of that campsite in this report:

http://www.cloudynights.com/item.php?item_id=2673

It is a great site. The square dance pad is nice for telescopes. But, it ain't 20F cooler than Barstow. It's hotter'n a *BLEEPITY, BLEEP, BLEEP*. Mid Hills is a little cooler (maybe 5F cooler than Black Canyon) but if it's hot in the lower Mojave, it's still plenty hot in the middle Mojave (under 5k feet). Windy too.

Amboy, CA, is at 2060 feet elevation. During our trip some of us hiked Amboy Crater. In those pictures it's about 102F. Black Canyon, at 4400 feet was in the mid to low 90s at the time, for comparison. It was much windier at 4400 feet than at 2000 feet, too.

If you do ever reserve the Black Canyon campsite, be sure to reserve BOTH HALVES. They reserve the ramada covered camping part and the equestrian corrals part separately. You could end up with a bunch of drunken, bonfire lovin', ho-downin' horsey types as neighbors if you don't take both sites.

The Vegas light dome is an ugly scar on an otherwise very nice sky. Also, if you happen to be there at the time of year that the Zodiacal Light is prominent, kiss at least one Zodiacal constellation off your observing list. It was *that* bright and annoying. Still, I can see us going back there at some point. It was fun, and we left dozens of things on our daytime "see & do" list undone.

Regards,

Jim


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5955236 - 07/04/13 08:27 PM

For aviation purposes, we use an adiabatic lapse rate of 3.5F/1000 feet.

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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: EddWen]
      #5955515 - 07/05/13 02:02 AM

Quote:

For aviation purposes, we use an adiabatic lapse rate of 3.5F/1000 feet.




That is the humid air lapse rate, the dry air (and it is most definitely dry in the Mojave in summer) the lapse rate is higher.

That being said, a 5.4 F change per 1000 feet is a bigger differential than I actually see out there. 3 F may be closer to what is actually seen. I suspect that surface heating effects account for the difference.


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: careysub]
      #5965930 - 07/11/13 03:39 PM

In SoCal, low enough to suffice for observing sites, and all relatively dark:
--Amboy Crater
--Afton Campground
--Cottonwood Springs Campground--Joshua Tree
--Desert Center (go north on the 177)
--Chuchupate Ranger Station parking lot--Lockwood Valley (near Mt. Pinos)
--Little Blair Valley
--Tierra del Sol
--Carrizo Plain National Monument

Also good, but above 5000':
--Mt. Pinos
--Mt. Laguna
--Figueroa Peak

All the above have Clear Sky Charts with road maps and lots of links.


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the1andonlyfinn
member


Reged: 07/17/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, California
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Starman1]
      #5966021 - 07/11/13 04:32 PM

Another option if you wish to avoid a very long drive is Silverwood Lake off the 15fwy and the 138, right after you get through the Cajon Pass. It is about a 30 minute drive from the 210x15. Particularly the Cedar Springs Dam, which is accessible from a forestry road off the 173 off 138. The dam is used frequently by night fishermen and is only a short walk from a parking area. Minimal lights from an office on the dam, sky very clear, 4000ft elevation, a yellow light pollution zone with a very good view to the South. Nebulosity in Sagittarius obvious, various star clouds obvious, Omega Centauri hazy but obvious when up. Not anywhere near as dark as Pinos or Amboy or Desert Center, but if you want to avoid a 4-6 hour round trip, here you go.

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frolinmod
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/10

Loc: Southern California
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: the1andonlyfinn]
      #5966236 - 07/11/13 07:21 PM

Quote:

--Little Blair Valley



Alas, nowhere near as dark as it used to be.

Quote:

--Tierra del Sol



Not particularly dark, lots of local light encroachment and way too much water vapor in the air most of the time. Local mountain areas (Laguna, etc) are much better.


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: frolinmod]
      #5966314 - 07/11/13 08:27 PM

I love heading up to Mt Pinos during the summer for the cooler temps. I missed last weekend but will definitely be heading up there this Sat.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5968003 - 07/12/13 07:19 PM

I think I really need to make the trip to Mt. Pinos soon.

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Zoomit
sage


Reged: 12/04/06

Loc: Tehachapi, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: WesC]
      #5968016 - 07/12/13 07:36 PM

Here are a few pictures of the parking lot last Saturday afternoon.

Mt. Pinos

I suspect the Mt. Pinos Chula Vista Campground parking lot, on a summer new moon weekend, hosts the largest "ad hoc" star party anywhere. Anyone know of a larger, unsponsored, unplanned gathering?


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Zoomit]
      #5968775 - 07/13/13 10:28 AM

I think we ought to do an ad hoc NorCal/SoCal CNer meet-up in early fall at lake San Antonio in inland Monterey County. We could grab the same overflow campground used for Calstar Star Party. It's close enough to either part of the state to be an easy part-day drive, dark enough to be worth it, and perfect for a one or two nighter.

- Jim


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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5968848 - 07/13/13 11:16 AM

Quote:

I think we ought to do an ad hoc NorCal/SoCal CNer meet-up in early fall at lake San Antonio in inland Monterey County. We could grab the same overflow campground used for Calstar Star Party. It's close enough to either part of the state to be an easy part-day drive, dark enough to be worth it, and perfect for a one or two nighter.

- Jim



And the skies are dark there, too.
Just don't overlap the end of October/early November Nightfall star party in Borrego Springs (average attendance 250-500).


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careysub
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/18/11

Loc: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Starman1]
      #5969151 - 07/13/13 03:07 PM

Quote:

In SoCal, low enough to suffice for observing sites, and all relatively dark:
--Amboy Crater
--Afton Campground
--Cottonwood Springs Campground--Joshua Tree
--Desert Center (go north on the 177)
--Chuchupate Ranger Station parking lot--Lockwood Valley (near Mt. Pinos)
--Little Blair Valley
--Tierra del Sol
--Carrizo Plain National Monument

Also good, but above 5000':
--Mt. Pinos
--Mt. Laguna
--Figueroa Peak

All the above have Clear Sky Charts with road maps and lots of links.




I also suggest exploring setting up in the Chambless area, 10-20 miles farther east along the old Route 66 from Amboy, perhaps off of Cadiz Road.

I scouted this area in the daytime, but haven't used it for astronomy yet.

According to the satellite light atlas map we see everywhere, this is deeper into the center of the grey zone.

And of course, if you really want to see the dark, dark summer sky there are the 4000 plus foot elevation regions in the northern Death Valley.

We should be posting GPS coordinates.


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Starman1]
      #5969472 - 07/13/13 07:09 PM

Alternately we lazy NorCal'ers could, instead, head down to the Anza Borrego event.

I had no idea that it drew that level of attendance. And the park has great daytime stuff to offer, too. Though if memory seves (and it's been awhile), Anza Borrego is dark, but not super dark. Still, how can you resist a place that has an annual "Pegleg Smith" Tall Tales contest?

- Jim


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5970357 - 07/14/13 12:57 PM

A week after the big new moon weekend at Mt Pinos I didn't expect many to show up last night (7/13). It was so quiet and peaceful, only about a half-dozen scopes were set up...



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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5970399 - 07/14/13 01:37 PM

501s or 505s?

- Jim


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Gastrol
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/04/11

Loc: los angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: jrbarnett]
      #5970404 - 07/14/13 01:40 PM

LOL.....they're not even Levi's. They're some off-brand jeans my wife bought from a street vendor....cheap.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Gastrol]
      #5972834 - 07/15/13 06:16 PM

How late into the Fall does people go up to Mt. Pinos?

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Starman1
Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)
*****

Reged: 06/24/03

Loc: Los Angeles
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: WesC]
      #5972918 - 07/15/13 06:55 PM

I go there if it's clear, and if there isn't a foot of snow on the road, all year long. When it's really cold, there are still usually a few stalwarts who dress warmly enough to handle it.
One March, at 9F, with not a breath of wind stirring, the entirely of SoCal was under 6000' of clouds with pretty much only that peak above the clouds, and the seeing was nearly perfect and the transparency was like Mauna Kea in Hawaii. I saw magnitude 21.89 on the Sky Quality Meter, which is unheard of anywhere in SoCal.
The bigger crowds thin out in October unless there is a heatwave.
New Moon weekend this month, the low was 50F, so nice and comfortable. I've seen 30s in the Summer up there.
It doesn't usually go below 40F until October, and not below 30F until late December or January. Temperatures below 20F are not common unless a cold front has passed through. The coldest I've ever seen up there on a dry-pavement night was -2F. And there was absolutely no wind that night.
You have to dress warm, but if you have something hot to drink (like coffee in a thermos) and nice warm ski wear/boots/parkas, you'll be fine.

When it's windy and cold, though, I prefer Joshua Tree or Desert Center, where it's commonly 30+ degrees warmer. I did see 14F one January night at Joshua Tree, but it was nice because of absolutely still air.


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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Dark Sites in Southern California new [Re: Starman1]
      #5972957 - 07/15/13 07:16 PM

You make it sound really nice, Don. I still have a few things I need to get together before I can make the rub up there, but I am definitely going to do it soon.

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