Where is the best place to view the 2012 Geminids meteor shower (Dec 13/14) in the SF Bay Area..... where there will NOT be any chance of fog?
August 26, 2012 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Where is the best place to view the 2012 Geminids meteor shower (Dec 13/14) in the SF Bay Area..... where there will NOT be any chance of fog?

I thought this was a really cute idea to take your significant other to watch a meteor shower on their birthday that jbenben suggested in this post

I want to surprise my SO with this in December and I tried to google an area near SF Bay Area, where my SO is currently staying at temporarily, but I'm concerned about the ever-present fog um.... "fogging up" (pun intended) my meteor shower surprise for my SO.

Can anyone suggest an area no more than 1 (maybe 2) hours away from SF where there is a high chance of seeing this meteor shower this December?

posted by *phoenix* to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
An obvious question: where in the Bay Area? If you only want to travel an hour, it's important to know -- an hour from Mountain View is very different from an hour from Marin.
posted by brainmouse at 8:30 PM on August 26, 2012

December's unlikely to have fog, but likely to have actual rain and clouds. So there's no obviously good place (unlike places to escape the summer fog) and you'll need to keep a close eye on the weather forecast.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:35 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yea, no fog that time of year, but a reasonable chance of rain. If it's fine then getting away from city lights is the biggest concern.

East Bay: Chabot
South Bay: Mt Hamilton
posted by Long Way To Go at 8:54 PM on August 26, 2012

Best answer: We do meteor showers all the time!

I use this light pollution map, or one similar, to find optimal spots outside of LA.

Google "light pollution map" to get multiple resources.

Heading East and South towards the desert/valley floor is probably best for you, bit you may come up with a great mountain top from SF.

Bring supplies. You will undoubtedly be in the middle of nowhere.

Our first time we stayed at a highway-side motel, and drove out at 2am about 45 minutes for best viewing. Then we discovered camping within minutes of our target area, and that is now our regular viewing spot. We use a tent that has a zip-off fabric top and see-thru mesh undrneath, so we are protected from bugs and can continue to view the meteor shower all night long after retiring to our sleeping bags - so civilized:))
posted by jbenben at 8:58 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

In terms of low light Stimson Beach cabin rental for a splurge or Admiral Nimitz Trail on the hill just off the parking lot for a good view of the sky without too much light. It's not dark as in middle of nowhere, but it's pretty dark and easy to get to.
posted by zippy at 10:32 PM on August 26, 2012

We did this one time and stayed at the KOA campground in Willits - clear view of the sky and they had cottages as well as camp sites.
posted by metahawk at 10:32 PM on August 26, 2012

Top of mt Diablo is often above the fog layer.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 10:37 PM on August 26, 2012

Is Mt. Diablo accessible at night? Some acquaintances told me a crazy story about how they'd almost gotten locked in by accident when the gates got shut at night.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:56 PM on August 26, 2012

The fog layer's really not going to matter in December. It will either be overcast everywhere, or not at all, and no way to know until right beforehand. Traveling to the other side of the Sierras ups the odds of no rain and no cloud cover, but that's far more than a 1 or 2 hour drive, especially in the winter. The Central Valley will have more or less the same weather that the coast does in the winter.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:01 AM on August 27, 2012

Diablo does lock the gates at night but you can go camping up top.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 8:23 PM on August 27, 2012

Response by poster: brainmouse - oops! We would be in SF.

Thanks for the ideas y'all... really appreciate it! Good point that it's cloudy often in December (I try to forget that sometimes =) ).
posted by *phoenix* at 7:01 PM on September 3, 2012

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