Best spot to view this year's Perseid shower near Seattle?
July 28, 2016 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Mid-August is peak Perseid and I don't want to miss it! Looking for suggestions and recommendations for dark, secluded spots with big sky views within a 1-2 hour drive of Seattle.

There is this question posted ten years ago but not many answers.

I'm hoping to elicit some personal recommendations or suggestions and links.

Ideal location would be:

--Quiet, away from traffic noise and headlights
--Less than one (or two) hours drive outside Seattle
--Less than a mile hike from where I park my car once I get there
--Other people present, but not a dense crowd. One of the best parts is laying in the dark and hearing everyone's exclamations coming out of the dark around you when a big one soars across.
--Public toilet accessible would be nice, but not required. Not afraid to pick a tree and pop a squat if I need to.
--Big sky view when laying down
--Beaches, campgrounds, dry lake or river beds, any place except where there might be a concentration of mosquitoes.

Thanks, stargazers!
posted by E3 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Look for your local astronomy society. Mine (not in PNW) maintains a field well outside the city for this kind of thing.

FYI, August 11-12 this year has a moon between first quarter and full, so it'll be up all night until early morning. But once it sets, you should have super dark skies. As long as you are willing to wait until the wee hours (like 4am), you should get to see something. Look up the moonset times for your chosen nights and region.
posted by intermod at 12:08 PM on July 28, 2016

Come to Port Townsend. Even in town the skywatching is brilliant.

If you want to get into the mountains, then I suggest Deer Park campground.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:05 PM on July 28, 2016

How about Olympic National Park?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:11 PM on July 28, 2016

Hurrican ridge specifically. Or out the road to Salmon La Sac and up to Easton Ridge.
posted by ptm at 9:57 PM on July 28, 2016

Sauk Mountain. The nice thing about Sauk is the parking lot at the trail head is already at significant elevation so you don't have to hike far in the dark. Views are mostly to the south. Light pollution is minimal but you do get a bit from the towns down in the valley.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:58 AM on July 29, 2016

If you head south on I-5 and take Highway 18 east, turn off onto the Auburn-Black Diamond road (just east of Auburn), you can head out into the valley where there are many secluded, dark side roads that may provide excellent viewing.
posted by lhauser at 4:40 PM on July 29, 2016

humboldt32: reviews mention that Deer Park fills up quickly, would that likely be a risk if we showed on on Thursday evening hoping to camp?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:49 AM on August 8, 2016

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