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The Webfooted Astronomer - August 1999


Mt. Kobau Star Party: A Table Mountain Alternative

Looking for a less crowded place to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower and still be with fellow astronomers? Try the Mt. Kobau Star Party in South Central British Columbia. The star party will be held August 7-14 on the summit of 6,045-foot Mt. Kobau, bordering the desert-like Okanagan Valley in BC's southern interior.

Held every August near the new moon, the star party has only about 150 astronomers, much less than the 1,000 or so that attend Table Mountain. The mountain top is virtually a wilderness area, with a "pack it in, pack it out" camping policy. There is no running water or electricity. But there are coal black, steady skies.

Pre-registration is not required. Prices in Canadian dollars are $15 for one person for one night and $30 for two or more nights. There are reduced rates for couples and families.

The Kobau access point is about 250 miles east of Vancouver, on Highway 3. The gate is always open and is marked by a sign labeled Kobau Lookout Forest Road. Look for the turnoff on the north side of the highway at the crest of a hill about 22 miles east of Keremeos, or 7 miles west of Osoyoos, near the B.C.?U.S border at Oroville, Washington. For more information, contact Mt. Kobau Star Party president Jim Failes at or visit the Mt. Kobau Web page at

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