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Dark-Sky Sites:







Town: Bend (observing site is 26 miles east of town)

Observing Site: Pine Mountain Observatory

Mailing address: Friends of Pine Mountain Observatory, PO Box 5795, Eugene, Oregon, 97405

Contact persons: Rick Kang  (FPMO) or Mark Dunway (caretaker) 

Phone: (541) 382-8331


Restrictions: We welcome visitors on Friday and Saturday evenings (and Sundays on long holiday weekends) from late May through September, weather permitting.  Please let us know in advance if you plan to bring a group of over eight people.  We may be able to arrange visits at other times by advance reservation. Skies need to be clear, "Dark Moon" weekends are best.

Directions: Pine Mountain Observatory is about 30 miles southeast of Bend, in Central Oregon. Take State Highway 20 east from Bend, toward Burns. Approximately 26 miles from Bend, just beyond the Millican store, turn right (south) on the dirt road and follow it to the top of Pine Mountain, about 8 miles.  Click here to go to to create a map.

Current weather:   Click for La Pine, Oregon Forecast

How are the sky conditions?  Pine Mountain is at 6,500 ft altitude (so dress warmly!!!) on the edge of one of the biggest dark sky areas in the country.

Typical naked eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:  

Zenith 7
East 6
West 6
North 6
South 6

Best horizon: Good horizon to South. One of the largest dark sky areas in the country to the South East.

Worst horizon: Some hillside to the East. Some light from Bend 30 miles to the northwest.

Comments from contributor: Pine Mountain Observatory, which is owned and operated by the University of Oregon, has 15-, 24-, and 32-inch telescopes.  The 15-inch is used for public viewing.  There is a free, albeit primitive campground nearby.  You will need to bring your own water.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.

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Town: Prineville (observing site is an hour's drive east of town)

Observing Site: Indian Trail Springs (site used for the annual Oregon Star Party)


Point of Contact: Scott Turner

Restrictions:  This site is on National Forest land so please observe all regulations and other Forest Services requirements. During the Oregon Star Party only registered guests are permitted on the site.

Directions: Directions to the site can be downloaded from a PDF file at the Web site for the Oregon Star Party: or click here to go to to create a map.

Current weather:   Click for Prineville, Oregon Forecast


How are the sky conditions?   Very Good.  The site is on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, at an elevation of 5000 ft.

Typical naked eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night: 7.0  The globular cluster M15 in Pegasus is an obvious naked-eye object as is the Pinwheel on an average night.

Best horizon: (direction and approximate altitude cut-off): Clear horizons to the East, South and West.

Worst horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off):   Northern horizon is cut off about 15 degrees by tall pines; however it is possible to go up Forest Service Road 800 get an unobstructed view of the Northern horizon.

Comments from contributor:  Very large alpine meadow site. The ground material is volcanic rock with an assortment of sage and wildflowers.  The site can have mosquitoes during the early spring and can be dusty also. The nights can be quite cold even in summer.  Not accessible in winter.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.

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