People flock from all over California, and even the rest of the country, to enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of Big Bear. Many common activities include skiing and snowboarding in the winter, or lake activities and hiking in the summertime. However, one of the best things to do in Big Bear is actually stargazing. While most of Southern California is covered by large cities and light pollution, Big Bear is remote enough to take in gorgeous views of the night sky. Be sure to take some time out of your vacation to stargazing during your vacation in Big Bear!
The Best Conditions for Stargazing
Even the perfect evening for stargazing can go wrong without the proper planning. The first step to a successful night of stargazing is finding a great spot. The best places for stargazing are those that are away from bright lights and are not dusty. Stargazing near roads is not ideal, as the headlights will affect your view and the cars will kick up dust. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see stars right away. Check the weather before you head out to make sure there is minimal cloud cover and not stormy.
Bring the Right Equipment
The right equipment is necessary to fully enjoy your stargazing experience! Many people don’t realize that, even in the summertime, Big Bear can get cold at night. When you go stargazing, be sure to bring a warm jacket or blanket to keep warm. Also, be sure to bring a flashlight so that you can safely see while you walk to the perfect stargazing spot, although many people the flashlight with red paper to help prevent light pollution. A folding or reclining chair, drinks and snacks, and binoculars are other must bring items.
Star gazing in Big Bear is much more rewarding when you can understand which constellations and planets you are looking at! Many stargazers bring a star or constellation map, along with a compass, to track what they are seeing. For the tech savvy, more smartphones offer an app for this as well. If you are a true beginner, you might want to head to the StarLight Festival, during which you can learn all about science and astronomy in Southern California!