Life is fast and life is busy, and we have just what you need to slow down this fall. Come to Conejo Valley and roll out a cozy wool blanket in some of our favorite spots for stargazing.
The area offers more than a handful of perfect spots to get away from urban light spill and under dark skies and dancing stars.
Oak Canyon Community Park near Agoura Hills is not a very far trek out of town, and offers nicely dark skies for its proximity to the 101. Gates close at dusk, but pedestrians and cyclists can stay until 10pm.
Sandstone Peak Trailhead is perfectly nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains. The air is cleaner and the mountain views are beautiful. The extra dark skies here are popular amongst serious stargazers. It is especially nice considering the large, safe parking lot just across from the Circle X Ranch.
Moorpark College Observatory takes you up close and personal with the cosmos. The observatory offers public programs with “exceptional celestial events,” the chance to sit in on an astronomy lab – plus – maybe you’ll get a chance to peer through the observatory’s 12-inch reflective telescope while you’re there. The experience is unique but also limited so plan and schedule your visit early.
Now that you have some hotspots to check out, here are a few things you’ll want to pack for your night out:
- Red flashlight. This is to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark. You can pick up a multi-filtered flashlight before heading out and don’t forget to put a filter on any other lights like your smart
- Blanket or folding chair. True stargazing and mapping out constellations can take time; so don’t forget to bring something to help you get comfy.
- Layers to stay warm. While the hike out may get your blood flowing, the time you spend scanning the sky may mean cooler evening temps. Dress in layers to keep your focus on the stars rather than on your shivers.
- Bug repellent. Unless it’s the dead of winter, there may be some pesky pests buzzing about. Spray or apply your preferred repellent to keep these buggers off.
- Friends and family! Don’t forget good company. Stargazing is at its best when shared with friends or family. Name stars and constellations together or make up new ones. That’s the fun!
Pack your newfound stargazing tools, invite a friend and plan your trip!