Every year, stargazers from all over the country gather for a week in Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest in the high desert to bond over a love of dark nights and starry skies. Why here? Because the lack of light pollution in this part of Eastern Oregon makes this one of the best spots in the nation to view a tapestry of constellations, planets and stars that are all but invisible in more urban environments.
The Oregon Star Party is an annual event created by star watchers who like to camp and bond in hushed tones (why do people always whisper when it’s dark?). Here, you’ll roll into camp with your lights off, settle in, and share the celestial view with fellow travelers who come ready with everything from Target brand telescopes to scopes that look like they were hijacked off of the summit observatory of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea.
But will it happen this year? While the pandemic has put the kibosh on large gatherings everywhere over the past year, the Oregon Star Party is optimistically hoping to host its next event this August. Plans will be confirmed in late May.