Road Trip to Goldendale Observatory for Total Lunar Eclipse

Head south to get starry-eyed at the cosmos

Where: Goldendale, Washington, in Klickitat County.

WHY: To bask in the vastness of the universe at the Goldendale Observatory (1602 Observatory Drive, Goldendale; 509.773.3141; free admission).

WHAT: One of 20 global “dark sky parks” (public land that remains largely unaffected by light pollution and has an exceptional number of starry skies), perched on a hilltop near the Klickitat River. Peer through one of the country’s largest public telescopes—whose primary mirror is 24.5 inches wide, 5 inches thick and weighs 200 pounds—to check out the moon (lunar schedule listed online) or stars (best visibility on moonless, clear nights).

BONUS: The total lunar eclipse on April 4 makes for especially colorful visuals and can be seen during special all-night hours (1–6 a.m.).

SIDE TRIP: Goldendale is also home to the striking Maryhill Museum of Art (35 Maryhill Museum Drive, Goldendale; 509.773.3733; $3–$25), which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Check out the new exhibits, including local artist Raven Skyriver’s glasswork inspired by Pacific Northwest sea life, and an exhibit of 19th- and 20th-century photographs of the Native peoples of The Dalles region.


Related Content

Take a flight, rent a van, learn a survival skill

Take a flight, rent a van, learn a survival skill

Sometimes the Garden Island needs watering, but that’s OK—there’s no wrong way to experience paradise

Tour some of the state’s most scenic falls on a weekend jaunt full of mist, moss and spruced-up photo ops


When is the best time to visit the vibrant, Western Idaho town? “Right now” is probably the best answer—whenever you ask it