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Best stargazing spots in ANF

Hello all,

Given that the forecast for the upcoming 2015 Perseid meteor shower on Wednesday night/Thursday morning is looking good (low of 65*F, mostly clear, and very little moon), I thought I'd ping the hive mind for thoughts on good places in ANF to view the celestial show. I'm hoping to find a place that is accessible with a regular vehicle (not high-clearance & not 4WD). I also don't mind doing a short hike from the parked car to reach a good spot, but I was hoping to avoid a long cross-country trek in the dark. I imagine a lot of folks will head for Mt. Wilson, but I wanted to find out if there were perhaps better/darker viewing areas deeper in the forest.


ANF Meteor shower

Good question!  I was thinking the same thing...although I am leaning on Joshua Tree National Park.


Draw backs:

trees, mountains obstruct views
weather?  cloudy/very cold over night
(be sure to check weather before you go)

Good things:  Fabulous weather during day.  More shade options and hiking to be had.  Less misery/lower temps.

Mountains or Dessert: Dress for snow (mittens, ear warmer/hat/head band), snow pants, warm jacket)...warm sleeping bag and pillow to climb into.  Its darn cold in the wee hours of night when you aren't hiking/moving and even in a sleeping bag watching the stars you can get cold even in the dessert and especially in the mountains.  

That being said...perhaps Crystal Lake area North of Azusa might have something.  Find them on FB they also have campgrounds.  Never tried there for the meteor shower but heard people have.

Best wishes.  Be sure to post again if you have suggestions after your experience to share.

I have no doubt that Joshua Tree NP, Mojave NP, Anza-Borrego SP, or any of the other remote high deserts areas would be ideal viewing locations, but unfortunately I have to be back at a reasonable hour Thursday morning so I have to limit my options to places within a two hour drive of LA.

Crystal Lake is definitely an interesting idea! Some friends of mine are thinking about Chilao as a possibility too.

And yes, I'll be sure to post a follow up report.

I wouldnt worry about a lot of people in the forest at night. The law of wild wild west still reigns at night.

Chilao is a good spot....about as close to ideal as you are going to get so close to a major road. Even before that there is a big turnout/parking at 5111, which is an impressive place. Islip Saddle is another nice turnout/parking.

Crystal Lake is not that good. It is very dark, but a lot of trees plus too close to South Hawkins and Islip. It could be improved by parking at the end of Hwy 39 and walking along Highway 39 to the connecting ridge of peak 5495. Also improved would be be from the Valley of the Moon(which is a really nice night time view anyday)

Went to Chilao and it was pretty good. You still get a noticeable amount of light pollution/bleed along the southern edge of the horizon, but luckily it didn't interfere too much.

There were a lot of people parked in the turnouts along ACH between Red Box and Chilao.

Islip Saddle definitely sounds like another good location. I've been up the 39 but never stopped at Valley of the Moon before, I guess I'll have to fix that.

I always found Shoemaker Canyon in the East Fork a great place for stargazing.  It's on the Sheep Mountain Wilderness border with the East Fork and I was able to catch quite a few meteor showers out there on a clear night .  I've tried on the same nights to check how things would look off of Glendora Ridge Road and Rincon Shortcut but Shoemaker Road seemed to have the best show.  Also the parking lot on Baldy Ridge Road before it descends down to Baldy Village is a good place to watch.

Hope this all helps.  This should be helpful for anyone on the Azusa 39 side. Forum Index -> General Discussion
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