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The Best Spots for Stargazing in Southern California

Stargazing in the west is pretty amazing. The air is drier, which means there’s less bothersome air turbulence above you ruining the view. It’s also much more open, making more of the sky visible. But, you do have to contend with light pollution. If you’re looking for a good place to set up your telescope or just lay back and watch the stars where there are no city lights to get in the way, these are the best spots in Southern California.

1. Joshua Tree National Park
This park has some of the darkest skies you’ll find in Southern California. Set up in one of the campgrounds, hike further into the park, or pull off in one of the parking areas.

2. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Anza-Borrego has been designated an International Dark Sky Park, meaning it has exceptionally dark skies and offers some of the most incredible night sky views you’ll find anywhere.

3. Red Rock Canyon State Park
Besides being filled with incredible rock formations, Red Rock Canyon’s layout provides the perfect barrier to block any stray lights. It’s also sufficiently far away from LA, so the city’s glare won’t affect your view.

4. Benton Hot Springs
Imagine relaxing in hot springs while watching the stars come out. This is exactly what Benton Hot Springs has to offer. There is also very little light pollution, making it the perfect place to relax and stargaze.

5. Mount Wilson Observatory
What better place to observe the stars than an observatory? Mount Wilson has seen incredible breakthroughs in astronomy at the hands of some of the world’s most brilliant scientists. Step into their shoes and reserve one of the telescopes for a night.
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