Grant Lake California

grantlakefall

Grant Lake, California

elevation: 7,136′
surface acres: 1000

Grant Lake is the largest of the lakes on the famous June Lake Loop, the far north end (top) of Hwy 158. Eastern Sierra

Often windy, barren hills surround much of the lake; Good fishing and easy access all the way around lake. High desert, with big open skies and great views. Public boat ramps (dirt).

Graded Dirt Road #1S29 skirts the north end of this lake. Dirt Road #1S30 wraps around the back (east) side, while the paved highway skirts the western shoreline.

Grant Lake Marina
760-648-7964

Full service marina, fishing boat rentals, boat launch ramp, gasoline & a market.
Grant Lake Marina Campground w/ 70 camp sites. Usually open from late April through mid October.

AUTUMN COLOR: Some pockets of aspen near this lake, but most aspen groves are deeper on the loop.

curveatlake

Picnic areas, hiking, back roads.
Views of Mono Lake.

Near north end of Grant, a Gravel Road #1N17 leads north from Hwy 158, thru BLM lands. Several short canyons w/ lakes and creeks; fishing, picnic spots, numerous hiking trailheads, some primitive campsites.

Silver Lake is next door.

nearby towns:

June Lake, CA
Lee Vining, CA

junelakeloop

Back of June Lake Loop

 

area maps:
Inyo National Forest USDA
Ansel Adams Wilderness Maps
Mammoth Lakes Map by NatGeo

California Eclipse

Moon Eclipse

The Blood Moon

Solar Eclipses & Lunar Eclipses

Eclipse schedule for 2014, as seen from California

This year 2014, we are in a for a real visual treat – 2 solar eclipses and 2 lunar eclipses. Make plans for your nights spent out of doors under the stars, camping out and sky watching the celestial events and meteor showers.

Or at the very least, turn off the boob-tube and park your lawn chair out in the backyard for a few hours. Comfortable: Hat, blanket, radio. Hot cocoa and sugary treats will help keep you awake and alert. Don’t forget the camera and tripod, just in case you real bored.

Apr 15: Total Lunar Eclipse
Apr 29: Annular Solar Eclipse
Oct 08: Total Lunar Eclipse
Oct 23: Partial Solar Eclipse

moonfire

 The California Deserts are sometimes the best place to watch the nights sky, unless the winds are kicking up. Deserts are warmer than other locations and if you position yourself well you can be far from any city lights.

The California Foothills, both coastal foothills or mountain foothills – are the second best choice, if you can drive up canyons and get well away from the sprawling suburbs. Choice spots would be ridges above 2000′ elevation, with minimal trees. Oak foothills are choice spots. Higher than 4000′ and you will be chillin overnight.

The California Mountains are the prime choice for summertime recreation of all kinds. Primitive camping on the back roads will save you fees at a developed campground. The higher in altitude, the less atmosphere above you – the better night sky viewing is above. Choose a meadow or mountain ridge w/ minimal trees. Burn areas provide wide open spots, so you can seek old wildfire ridges. Nights can get pretty chilly most all year long, so go well prepared. Jackets, gloves, hata and all. Keep all campfires to a bare minimum after 9pm, so you can focus on the stars in the sky.

your pupils will welcome the darkest of skies

The California Coast is often covered with a thick layer of clouds and moisture, so star gazing along the ocean front is not always great. Central Coast and NorCal beaches have less less population, so these would be the ideal locations. Choose an inland valley w/ rolling oak hills and dirt roads, over the busy beaches. There might be clear days and nights, especially if forecast call for heat – check the local weather forecast for accurate up to date conditions.

Large urban areas, the cities and towns of California are the worst place you can sky watch, due to light pollution, traffic and smog. Drive to the outskirts of town – pick a dark location, a park, open space or forest lands nearby. Arrive before dark to get the best spots, well off the main road. Choose viewing spots without street lights and without passing traffic. Find a nice level spot to set chairs up and bring lots of snacks.

wunderground.com
Weather Underground seems to be pretty accurate for many rural regions of California.

Stargazing California

How to watch a meteor shower

Follow videos fromYoutube
SuspiciousObservers
on YouTube

moonrise

Check out NASA for all the details

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2014.html

Comet ISON

Comet ISON Appears Intact

C/2012 S1

November is the month that meteor showers often ramp up for winter months, so stargazing is usually great during Autumn months. Expect to see more than your average star shows this year, around the new year and into late January as comet Ison travels around our Sun and past Earth.

Starting around Nov. 15th you will be able to see this anticipated comet with the naked eye. Astronomers, including those at NASA, say Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) has a chance to be one of the brightest comets in history after it reaches perihelion on November 28, 2013.

Helpful links to find out much more on Comet ISON.

Star Camping
Comets of 2013
Comets of 2014

The darkest skies are way out on the back roads of California.

The darkest skies are way out on the back roads.

Palomar Observatory

Perseid Meteor Shower

Sierra Nevada Mountains

This Summertime meteor shower is usually the best show of the year, if the new moon is near. High Sierra destinations are wonderful. Especially Eastern Sierra destinations, well away from the big city lights & urbanization of California.

Summer mild temperatures make higher altitude & mountain destinations favorable. The air is thinner, the sky clearer and the stars are closer at high elevations.

Perseids peaks in mid-August every summer. Perfect timing for planning a summer vacation or camping trip around this annual anticipated event. Look in the northeast part of the nights sky for grazers & numerous shootings stars, up to 60 per hour. Pre-dawn viewing is always best for meteor showers.

Annual event; August

How to best view a Meteor Shower

High Sierra Destinations

CURRENT MOON