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The 15 Best Places for Stargazing in Los Angeles

The 15 Best Places for Stargazing in Los Angeles

You should not underestimate the potential of stargazing in Los Angeles. Dark skies and glittering stars can be seen in a few locations in and around Los Angeles. You can find breathtakingly magnificent opportunities to glance up and be delighted within a few hours of the city. Let’s see where can you go stargazing in Los Angeles.

Saddleback Butte State Park

Saddleback Butte State Park, on the southern tip of the Mojave, provides you a sense of the desert and how wonderfully dark the night sky can be. The park is open from sunrise to sunset, but there is also a campground where you may spend the night and enjoy the stars.

Location: Lancaster, CA 93535

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Red Rock Canyon State Park

Red Rock Canyon State Park, located just north of the Mojave Desert, is home to a variety of stunning geologic formations. Although the formations block some of the night skies, there are still some breathtaking vistas due to the restricted number of trees.

Location: Cantil, CA

Big Bear Solar Observatory

Big Bear Solar Observatory is located on a spit of land near Big Bear Lake, two hours east in the San Bernardino National Forest. This observatory is great for seeing the sun, as the name implies! After all of that enjoyment, you may gaze out over the lake and enjoy pretty dark skies for stargazing.

Location: 40386 North Shore Lane, Big Bear City, CA 92314

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Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve is located 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, away from the city lights and the mountains that block them. There are hiking routes on the outskirts of the Mojave Desert for daytime enjoyment and unobstructed dark skies. This place is also a great option for a romantic getaway.

Location: 15101 Lancaster Rd, Lancaster, CA 93536

Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park, about 20 minutes beyond Topanga State Park, is another popular stargazing site for Los Angeles residents. Although there are some trees and hills in the park, they help to reduce light pollution, and the vast fields provide views of the night sky in practically every direction.

Location: 1925 Las Virgenes Rd, Calabasas, CA 91302

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Templin Highway

The two-lane Ridge Road Route, which runs parallel to Templin Highway, is a nice place to pull over and watch the stars. Just make sure to park in one of the pull-outs so you're not in the way of other stargazers looking for the optimal vantage point.

Location: 37700 Templin Hwy, Castaic, CA 91384

Mount Wilson Observatory

If you're willing to go an hour north of Los Angeles into the San Gabriel Mountains. The best stargazing around Los Angeles is reportedly found at Mount Wilson Observatory. You may observe a truly dark sky by watching through telescopes or simply looking up, as the area is protected by the mountains and Angeles National Forest. Find a spot, open up some wine and embrace the beauty of the night sky.

Location: 466 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada, CA 91011

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Heritage Museum of Orange County

Monthly introductory stargazing lessons are held at the Heritage Museum parking lots by the Orange County Astronomers. While it's better to attend one of those events so you're on the grounds with a group, this is where you'll discover some of Orange County's best dark skies.

Location: 3101 W Harvard St, Santa Ana, CA 92704

Topanga State Park

Topanga State Park, part of the Santa Monica Mountains, is one of the largest open space preserves surrounded by a city. Take Highway 27 to Topanga and hike one of the hiking routes that lead up out of town if you want to go hiking. There's a beautiful view of the black north sky and a startling quantity of stars from there. What's the best part? It'll just take you 40 minutes to get there.

Location: 20828 Entrada Rd, Topanga, CA 90290

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Griffith Park Observatory

Many people are familiar with Griffith Park Observatory from the scene in La La Land with all the stars; on a clear night, you can see many of the same stars from Griffith Park. Except on Mondays, admission to the observatory and grounds is free and open until 10 p.m.; there is a nominal fee to attend presentations in the planetarium.

Location: 800 E. Observatory Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park is well worth the extra drive time, but if you truly want to see everything, make it a multi-day trip. The International Dark Sky Association designated Joshua Tree as a Dark Sky Park, which means it possesses dark skies that are unrivaled anyplace else on the planet.

Location: 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277

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Borrego Springs

Anza Borrego Desert State Park is about a 2.5-hour drive from Los Angeles. It is located east of San Diego and is an excellent location for camping, dirt biking, and other desert sports. Plus, who doesn't want a dinosaur in the background while stargazing? Enormous T-Rex, a Chinese Dragon, a Scorpion, and other iron artworks have been erected up in the Borrego Springs area. They're fascinating to behold during the day and much more so at night.

Location: 200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Death Valley National Park

Don’t let the name intimidate you. Death Valley is one of the world's many Dark Sky attractions, and it's right here in Southern California, roughly 3.5 hours from Los Angeles. It's also a fantastic site to visit both during the day and at night for a spectacular night sky. However, the weather can be really hot throughout the summer! You will never be disappointed if you go stargazing in Death Valley. The terrain and surroundings are so different and unusual that they offer an excellent backdrop for the night sky.

Location: Death Valley, CA 92328

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Sequoia National Park

You'll find huge Sequoia trees by day and a spectacular starry sky by night in the Sequoia National Forest, about 3.5 hours north of Los Angeles. It's famous for its massive sequoia trees, particularly the General Sherman Tree, which towers over the Giant Forest. Streams and beautiful rock formations can be found underground in the Crystal Cave. Temperatures will drop by around 20 degrees Fahrenheit because it is located at a higher height. If you get too tired way there, It is easy to find romantic hotels nearby to spend the night.

Location: Three Rivers, CA

Mount Wilson, Angeles National Forest

Mount Wilson is usually a good option. We’re not talking about the Observatory, though you can hire its 100-inch telescope for a pretty penny. I'm referring to the mountain itself, which can be used as a blind to block out most of the light from the San Gabriel Valley. The Angeles Crest Highway/Route 2 makes its way north of Mount Wilson from La Canada to Wrightwood, with plenty of open turnouts for stargazing. The portion east of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road has particularly good ones. You can go there in day time for a romantic picnic as well.

Location: 701 N. Santa Anita Ave. 

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