We are in prime stargazing season and there are all sorts of nighttime adventures to be had. While there are plenty of great places to watch the night sky in and around the city, it might just be worth it to head out to Goldendale Observatory. It’s located near the Columbia River and is a great choice for a weekend road trip.
What makes Goldendale Observatory so cool and unique is the fact that it’s home to one of the nation’s largest public telescopes. The facility was renovated in 2021 but still has many of its historic elements. It’s a great place to learn and also take a further look into our planet’s deep sky.
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It’s a great place to visit during the day for its surrounding panoramic views and location on the top of a hill, 2,100 feet above sea level.
At night, it’s obviously one of the best places around the state to see stars, planets, and more. And because it’s close to camping State Parks like Brooks Memorial, Maryhill, and Columbia Hills you can visit at whatever time is best for you.
Goldendale Observatory is open by appointment and has a solar program to learn about the sun during the day and an evening program to check out planets, galaxies, nebulae, and more. Both programs are free and open to the public but make sure you reserve otherwise, you will be turned away. Keep in mind that a Discover Pass is required to access the grounds which costs $10 per day or $30 annually.
With that, enjoy and happy stargazing!
Where: 1602 Observatory Drive, Goldendale, WA
Hours: April 1st-September 30th: Thursday-Sunday, Solar Show: 3 PM-5 PM, Evening Show: 9 PM-Midnight, October 1st-March 31st: Friday-Sunday, Solar Show: 2 PM-4 PM, Evening Show: 7 PM-10 PM
All information on Goldendale Observatory is from Washington State Parks and is accurate as of publication date.