Club Viewing Sites
Quail Hollow Ranch is a Santa Cruz County Park, former summer home and horse ranch of the Lane family of Sunset Magazine fame.
Santa Cruz Astronomy Club helps the park out with several astronomical events a year.
The Ranch is off Quail Hollow Road, which connects between Zayante Rd and Glen Arbor Rd. https://goo.gl/TmHxyk
From Santa Cruz: Take Graham Hill Road towards Felton. Just past Roaring Camp, turn right on Zayante Rd. A little past Trout Farm Inn, turn left on Quail Hollow Rd, and turn right into the ranch, if you have a telescope and are arriving before dark, setup along the white picket fence in the overflow lot on the right of the road. If you are a visitor, use the main parking lot on the left, by the visitors center.
From the Bay Area: Take Highway 17 towards Santa Cruz. Take the Mt Hermon exit in Scotts Valley, follow Mt Hermon through Scotts Valley, past the quarry, all the way to the end. Turn LEFT onto Graham Hill Rd, At the next light, turn Left onto Zayante Rd, A little past Trout Farm Inn, turn left on Quail Hollow Rd, and turn right into the ranch.
Little Basin Campground is the former Hewlett-Packard Family Campground, now a unit of Big Basin State Park. Its operated as a group campground by reservation only, so the star parties we present here are just for the campers, and presenting astronomers and their guests. We can stay as late as we like, the campers are usually gone to bed 2-3 hours after sunset.
While we've only observed there once as of this writing, the site shows promise for darkness, if a couple local lights can be extinguished. There are a number of tall trees that inpact the horizons, but overhead is wide open.
- take highway 9 to Boulder Creek
- turn west on 236 in downtown Boulder Creek
- at 6.4 miles, turn left onto Little Basin Rd
- follow the signs and road 1.7 miles to Little Basin Campground, as you approach the visitors center, look hard to your left, we're up on the terraced parking lot. https://goo.gl/WV3ML1
Please drive slowly and carefully on the very narrow Little Basin Rd, and arrive well before dark.
Monthly Meetings - Harvey West Scout House
Our club meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month in the Scout House at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz, California. We now meet in the "Club Room" on the back side of the building, NOT the Scout Room adjacent to the deck. https://goo.gl/7BLEhn
Park on the street, as the parking lot inside the park may be gated after 9
Take Highway 1 to the River Street (Highway 9) intersection, turn North onto River (9). Turn left onto Fern Street. Go over the railroad tracks, take an immediate left onto Limekiln Street. Turn right onto Harvey West Blvd. The Scout House is located about 1/2 mile up on the left, just before the Pool House and after the baseball fields. The Club Room entrance is on the back side of the building, facing the park, so go around past the BBQ pits...
Yosemite - Glacier Point
Every summer the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club packs up our telescopes and camping gear for a trip to Glacier Point in Yosemite National park. It's a fun weekend of observing and sharing the night sky with park visitors from all over the world.
In 2017, it was the nights of June 16th & 17th, but the event was canceled due to weather.
If you are interested in attending this event sponsored by the park, please check out the files listed below the map.
In the Glacier Point Star Party FAQs (Frequently Answered Questions) document below you can find:
- A history of the Glacier Point Star Parties
- How the club dates are assigned
- Getting into the park
- Bridalveil Creek Campground
- The Star Party
- Maps of the campground site
- Map of Glacier Point parking and setup area
- Volunteer Service Agreement form. Please fill out and bring to park. A ranger will collect them from us at Glacier Point.
Google Map location of Bridalveil Creek Campground: https://goo.gl/PBwLuP
Glacier Point is at 37.727777,-119.572937 (or, 37° 43.66' North, 119° 34.38' West), 7200' elevation. Google view of observing area: https://goo.gl/NfkhCh
Henry Cowell State Park
This site is only available after sunset when there is a scheduled star party. VIsitors are welcome, regular state park day use fees apply, please use the "iron ranger" if the kiosk is closed, or put your state park pass on the dashboard. if you aren't bringing a telescope, please park facing away from us to minimize headlightglare when you leave, thanks!
Enter via the park's main entrance on highway 9 just south of Felton. There is no access to this part of the park from Graham Hill Road other than driving to Felton, turning left at 9, and a mile or so later, left into the park.
pay day use fees at the kiosk or iron ranger, continue straight to the main parking lot.We setup in the north corner of the main parking lot, https://goo.gl/5cGm3M ... if you are visiting, please park a little ways away from us, with your headlights pointing away so you don't blind us when you leave.
as always, we recommend arriving before its completely dark, no later than about 1 hour after sunset, and please no bright flashlights.