Logan Valley Star Party
June 17 - June 21, 2020
Please RSVP through our contacts
Summary of our 2019 Logan Valley Star Party:
Summary of our 2018 Logan Valley Star Party:
Upper: Logan Valley Star Party telescope field, June, 2018 by Chuck Barnard
Lower: post Logan valley Telescope Field, June, 2019 by John Benham
Location: Lat/Long: N44 11.25', W118 36.95' (copy and paste into Google Earth)
MagneticDeclination: +13 degrees 58' (east) http://www.magnetic-declination.com/
U.S. Forest Service Big Creek Campground, Malheur National Forest
Elevation: 5,140 feet (average)
Dates: June 17 - June 21, 2020 (Wednesday through Sunday) New Moon: Saturday, June 20th
- From Seneca: 20 miles east on paved CR 16 (county road)
- From East of John Day - Prairie City hwy 26: 20 miles south on paved CR 62 then 6 miles west on CR 16 to Big Creek Campground turnoff
- From West of John Day - South of John Day from US 26 on US 395 about 10-miles; then East on CR 65 (Canyon Creek Road) about 13 miles; then east on CR 16 about 7.5 miles to Big Creek Campground turnoff
- From Vale hwy 20: CR 306 paved to Van; continue north on CR 15 gravel to CR 16 then 7 miles east on CR 16 to Big Creek Campground turnoff
- From Burns hwy 20: US 395 north to Seneca, 20 miles east on paved CR 16 to Big Creek Campground turnoff
Big Creek Campground:
- 15 sites; water; two modern vault toilets; picnic tables; one larger group site (#1 and 2)
- $8/night; 1/2 off for Golden Eagle card holders
- Campground nestled in trees and next to Big Creek
- No reservations; first come, first served
- Potable water from spigot
- No trash or garbage - bring it in, take it out
- No RV dump station - nearest is Grant County RV Park, John Day
- USFS Big Creek Campground web page: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/malheur/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=40084&actid=29
- Larger RVs can park parallel to Big Creek Campground access road - bare open land with no amenities
- Suggest tarps for shade
- Along the perimeter of the telescope field
- Free - no camping fees!
- Open fire protection and restrictions: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/malheur/home/?cid=FSBDEV3_033802
- Public use restrictions: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd589130.pdf
Lake Creek Youth Camp - Malhuer National Forest:
- 10- cabins; each sleep 10; $25/night regardless of 1 to 10 people
- $65/each for 3-meals/day including cabin fee
- Meals alacarte by reservation (camp at Big Creek - meals at Youth Camp)
- Beautiful classic lodge; showers, flush toilets
- West of Big Creek Campground about 4-miles via CR-16
Perfect site for a star party:
- Absolutely transparent sky
- 360 degree low horizon; no air thermos due to wide-flat valley
- No light pollution
- Flat telescope field of mixed grass - no sage brush, no dust, no loose rocks
- Vehicle access to telescope field
- Mostly paved roads to campground
- Low likely-hood of wildfire smoke since in early June. Later star parties sometimes are smoked out by nearby wildfires (realtime wildfire map): https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/
- Current air quality conditions for Oregon (zoom in-out): https://aqicn.org/map/oregon/
- People can camp in nearby Aspen groves mixed with Tamaracks and Ponderosa Pines
- Many bird species for our Ornithologists/Audubon enthusiasts
- We are located just south of the spectacular Strawberry Mountains Wilderness! https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/malheur/recarea/?recid=39906
- Seneca, OR Weather.com 10-day forecast: https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/Seneca+OR+97873:4:US
- John Day, OR Weather.com 10-day forecast: https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/John+Day+OR+97845:4:US
This is a loosely organized star party. However, basic star party etiquette will apply - ie. no white light; please no dog walking on telescope field; green lasers may affect astro imagers; etc.
Anyone is welcome to give a presentation or share their astrophotography using their own laptops.
Being near the Summer Solstice, nights will be shorter but we are further south in latitude than most northwest star parties. The location is in a dark sky designation.
Average temperatures in June are +70F degrees high, +37F degrees low.
Please RSVP with email contact so we can advise on changing conditions. The Forest Service has put a cap of 75 attendees.
Strawberry Mountains Wilderness Area, June, 2018
Logan Valley view to SE from Strawberry Mountains day hike, June, 2018
Note: Photographs below taken in late October, 2017 - hence light snow on ground.
Strawberry Mountains Wilderness North View - telescope field
Northeast View - telescope field East View - telescope field (Big Creek C.G. in trees)
Southeast View - telescope field South View - telescope field
Southwest View - telescope field West View - telescope field
Northwest View - telescope field
Click on "View larger map" and more photos will be available.