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It’s the week long, annual Star Party On Mount Kobau and you’re invited to attend a great family event! Along with observing the night sky, there will be door prizes, guest speakers, and presentations.
Camping Admission is $25 for one night, $50 for two nights, or $70 for more for those staying more than two nights. For couples/families the camping admission is $35 for one night, $70 for two nights, or $80 for those staying more than two nights. There are no requirements for reservations, with camping spots chosen on a first come first serve basis.
This is a remote observing site, with great dark skies, but without a lot of creature comforts. You will need to provide your own water, but there are portable washrooms on site. You will also be required to pack your garbage out with you. When driving onto and off of the site you need to keep your speed down (5km/h recommended) to keep the dust down and off people’s optics.
Red Lights only are to be used between dusk and dawn, as white lights will ruin the night vision of everyone trying to enjoy the night sky. Be careful when you walk around in the dark. Many of the telescopes in the observing field will be powered, so there will be cables on the ground. Make sure you dress warmly, as it gets very cold at night when you’re standing around, even in the summer. You’ll want summer clothes during the day and winter clothes for the nights of observing. There are a number of additional site specific rules and suggestions that should be read on the Mount Kobau Star Party website before attending this event.
The Mount Kobau access point (49 deg 05.04′N 119 deg 35.62′ W) is about 400 km (250 miles) east of Vancouver, on Highway 3. The gate is always open and is marked by a sign labeled “Kobau Lookout Forest Road”. Look for the turnoff on the north side of the highway at the crest of a hill about 35 km (22 miles) east of Keremeos , or 11 km (7 miles) west of Osoyoos, near the B.C. – U.S.A. border at Oroville, Washington. At highway speeds, the turnoff can easily be missed, slow down or be prepared to brake hard as you near the top of the hill especially approaching from Osoyoos (for a map check the Mount Kobau Star Party website).
Once on the Mt. Kobau Forestry Road you can’t get lost. There are many breathtaking views enroute. The road is actually good gravel but there may be some potholes or short sections of washboarding. So unless you like dust covered equipment or have a penchant for re-collimation, proceed SLOWLY up the mountain. It’s only about 17km, but plan to take 30-45 minutes to reach the summit. Also be aware there are usually free-range cattle enroute which may occasionally be wandering on the road.