The Santa Barbara Astronomical
The Santa Barbara
Astronomical Unit Webpage is here to inform our members and the general
about Astronomy related events and activities in and around Santa
Club, Figueroa Mountain & Mt Pinos Observing Sites
Gun Club Driving
Looking West Towards the Entry
Looking North towards Figueroa
Looking East SkyGlow from SB
Our dark sky
observations take place at the Winchester Canyon Gun Club located off of West
for a map of the area near the Gun Club
The Gun Club is
located at an elevation of roughly 3000 feet. It is removed enough from
Santa Barbara that much of the sky glow is eliminated. There are several
concrete pads and picnic tables which make for a nice area to setup.
Most of set up all the way in the back.
To get to the Gun Club, take
Highway 154 north over San Marcos Pass. Get off at West Camino Cielo. The exit
is a left-hand turn, almost at the top of the Pass.
Proceed about five miles until the pavement runs out. The road is very
twisty and often only one lane wide, so this 4.2 mile distance takes about 15
minutes or so.
The Gun Club is located on the right-hand side of the road. There are two large
trees with a yellow locked gate between them.
On your way in or out at the Gun Club, please close the gate behind you and slide the lock
through its slots so the gate appears to be closed and locked.
After Dark Car Lights off please,
If you will be
arriving after dark please turn off your headlights before you turn into the
gate. Use either your parking lights or a hand held flashlight to navigate
through the gate and into the site.
Contact Paul Winn at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joe
coordinate getting into the site and to be sure that there will be an
Figueroa Driving Directions
Looking North East
for Map to Figueroa Mountain
is the best Dark sky you can get to around here in an less than 1 1/2 Hour
drive. From where I live in Goleta its about 1 1/4 hour to get to the
site. There are 4 site's you can go to. Here I will give directions to the
2 sites that I think are best.
1. Take the 101 North. Exit at the 154 turn-off to Los Olivos. Itís about 8
miles past Buellton.
1a. From Santa Barbara. take San Marcos Pass
(154) to Los Olivos. Turn Right on Figueroa Mountain Road.
1a. SKIP TO Step #3
2. Go east on the 154 towards Los Olivos and turn Left (north) at Figueroa
3. Stay on Figueroa Mountain Road at 11.8 miles you will come to the Ranger
Continue past the Figueroa Ranger Station. You will see the station down
to your right.
5. At about .7miles further you will see a dirt road on the left with a metal road gate.
This goes to
Catway. Continue on the paved road.
Site # 1 The Lookout Take the next
dirt road to your left 1.1miles past the Ranger Station.
If you stay on the pavement and you come to Figueroa Mt. Campground, you've gone
1/4 to 1/3 of a
mile to far. Double back.
7. Follow the dirt road for about two miles.
the Pino Alto turnoff take the right fork. Take the next fork
to the right as
If you find yourself going downhill you are on the wrong
road. Follow the signs to the fire lookout. This
is the spot.
SITE #2 The Saddle
take the dirt road on step #6 Continue on the paved road
Mt. Campground It will take you about another 6 to 10 min's
to get to the RED MOUND on the right.
9. At about 4 Miles you will come up on a
Big Area of Red Dirt (RED MOUND) on your right side. Your
almost there. Some
times you might see some of the Vandenberg members at this spot.
10.Drive 0.7 miles past the next open gate. The
road is kind of narrow in spots and winds through a lot trees,
then starts down a little hill.
You will see a small turnout on the left that is where we set up.
Make sure you have a forestry pass.
You can get a forestry pass at Big 5 Sporting Goods; the cost is $5.00 per day.
Drive time from Santa Barbara via 154 and little traffic 70 minutes.
It's about the same from Goleta via 101 N.
The Saturday closest to New Moon
is the traditional gathering time for the dark sky observers.
If you will be
leaving before any of the others, please check around and coordinate your
departure time with those who are taking astro-photos.
Mt Pinos Driving Directions
Click here for a
map to Mt Pinos
Take US-101 South 29 miles to CA-126
E/State Route 126 (signs for Santa Clarita)
40 Miles to I-5 N take the ramp to Sacramento.
Drive 33 miles to exit 205 for Frazier
Mountain Park Rd.
Turn left under the freeway and
Continue up Cuddy Valley Rd for 14.6 Miles.
Cuddy Valley Rd turns slightly left
and becomes Mt Pinos Rd.
Continue for about 9 Miles to the Mt
Pinos Parking lot