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East of Bend, Oregon is an observatory that is open to the public in the summer on Friday and Saturday nights.  What is especially nice about this observatory is that you can camp across the road and simply stroll to the observatory when it gets dark.  Volunteers are there explaining the constellations and aim the telescope at interesting items all in a friendly informal way that pleases.


Photo credit:  Orygun, Wikimedia Commons

The campground is nice but lacks the gorgeous valley views that boondocking sites in the area have.   One boondocking site is up the road past the campground were you can camp with a pickup camper or tent.  I don’t think you can turn a trailer around. At that site, don’t be confused by the towers you see and think you have cell service.  They aren’t commercial cell towers.  Another site is about a half of mile east of the observatory.  Keep looking around and you can find a number of places to camp.


  • The road from Highway 20 is an excellent gravel road when I drove it.
  • The campground has only four sites.
  • Don’t worry about not being able to find a site to camp for the night.  You can find somewhere to pull off for the night.
  • Free camping when I was there.
  • No cell service.