Bonny Doon Airport is a private airfield, and Astronomy Club members use this with the express permission of the airfield owners and residents for club dark sky observing sessions, usually two saturdays a month nearest the new moon. This site is at 2020 feet elevation, and has good south, west and northwest horizons. north to east are mostly obscured by a tall stand of trees, which help shield us from the San Jose light dome. The western sky can be very dark as Bonny Doon is on top of the first ridge off the Pacific, and there is no development on the Santa Cruz County north coast..
GPS Coordinates: N 37° 04.317' W 122° 07.721' (WGS 84)
If any non-members wish to join us on a star party evening, it would be best if they could contact a club member in advance and make sure someone is going to be there. There is a residence to the right as you come in. Please avoid this area, we will be straight ahead and to the left beyond the large wooden hangar building thats to your left as you enter. Please plan on arriving before or just after sunset in order to avoid headlights interfering with the other observers. Please park facing the entry gate so your headlights don't disturb other observers if you leave early. Also, there are no restroom facilities on the property.
DO NOT PARK ON THE GRASS NEAR THE HOUSE!
Please keep your voices down in respect for the residents and neighbors
THE USE OF THIS SITE IS RESTRICTED TO SCAC EVENTS
This site is an operational private airstrip. Any unauthorized use of the facility is Trespassing!
Go north on High Street, past the University of Santa Cruz (street name changes to Empire Grade here). Drive about 7 miles (hilly, curvy road), passing the intersection of Felton Empire Rd. on right, Ice Cream Grade on left. Continue on Empire Grade about 1.3 mile to Bonny Doon Airport. The airport entrance is on the left (west) side of Empire Grade, about 0.4 miles past Sunlit Drive.
Drive to Felton via Mt Hermon or Graham Hill Road... Graham Hill Rd. crosses Hwy. 9 at the main intersection in "downtown" Felton, where street name changes to Felton-Empire Rd. Go straight across 9, and climb west on Felton-Empire Rd. towards Bonny Doon. (steep, narrow, twisty road in the redwoods, drive very carefully and watch out for deer at all times) Drive about 4 miles up Felton-Empire Rd to Empire Grade at the very top. Turn right on Empire Grade. Drive north about 1.3 miles to Bonny Doon Airport. The airport is on the left (west) side of Empire Grade.
Astronomers with telescopes should back in and park on the gravel at the edge of the grass. If its not already dark, backing in allows leaving without the need for backup lamps or headlights. You can setup either on the gravel or the edge of the dirt/mowed field. Keep out of the lavender field, and stay away from the irrigation systems near the field.
Astro-photographers, and others using laptop computers, PLEASE use red shielding on your computers, setup beyond the south corner of the gravel pad (the far left corner as you enter), and along the dirt 'road' there, and setup with your screens facing away from the visual astronomers, perhaps using your vehicle as an additional shield.
If you are just visiting without a scope, please park near the gas pump by the hangar, try to arrive well before dark, and face the exit before parking so your headlights aren't facing towards the telescopes when you leave...