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Full Version: Dark Sites for Stargazing in or near SoCal?
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Hey All, my son wants to take his girlfriend and telescope out to stargaze under the guise of a family camping trip so he can propose to her...  We've been looking for camping spots in or near Southern California that are exceptionally dark at night.  Remote is fine as long as it's reasonably accessible in a 29' class C and will allow tenting too.  We were looking at Joshua Tree area but parks are already booked.  I read Joshua Tree BLM got really tore up during the last government closure...  Any suggestions?  GPS coordinates?
Anza Borrego State park and the town of Borrego Springs. Lots of camping areas and great skies. It is a well known area for star gazing.


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"exceptionally dark at night"

yeah good luck with that. I found north of Death Valley or east of Joshua Tree to the south away from Vegas or Owens Valley to north of Bridgeport. the darker the better, Tonopah NV area has a good night sky. you need to be about 250 away from a major city.

you can see the glow from costal California almost to the Arizona state line. you can see the glow from Vegas in Death Valley and Joshua Tree.

be sure to account for the moon, nowhere is dark with a full moon out.

you do realize the whole desert is open for camping no reservations needed.

highdesertranger
Southern California observing locations
https://sites.google.com/site/california...-locations
Recently I stayed at Lunar Crater in Nevada and could see Vegas lights.
Anza Borrego is on my list of places to go.
Thanks to everyone for some excellent suggestions and resources! I totally forgot about Anza Borrego; I'm thinking we'll look closer for a good spot there. As many of you pointed out, city lights can be seen for hundreds of miles, that's exactly why I was hoping to gain some insight as to best locations. Thanks again!
How about Kennedy Meadows in the Eastern Sierra's
The stars at even the less-than-ideal spots in the desert and mountains are still astounding if you've only see the night sky while in a city.
Borrego Springs is one of those low light communities. They don’t have any bright lights at night. It is lovely for star gazing, but pretty dark to drive through town late at night.


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I totally forgot about this resource that I have saved. light pollution map,

https://www.lightpollutionmap.info/#zoom=5&lat=4385594&lon=-13313678&layers=0BFFFFFTFFFF

highdesertranger
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