Mt Tam Astronomy Program
Parking is available at Rock Spring and Quarry Lots (Map and Directions) and is free. Park only in these lots; do not park on the sides of the roads. Program participants are required to have a Parking Pass displayed on the dash of all vehicles. Please register and print your pass in advance at Eventbrite. Note: Mt Tam State Park closes at Sunset. On program nights the Pantoll Road gate leading to Rock Spring and the Mountain Theater will close at 7:30 pm, which may be before sunset in summer. Please arrive before 7:15 pm to allow time to park and walk to the theater.
When you approach the Rock Spring parking area, you will find the lot has been divided into two sections by a string of orange cones. Astronomers with telescopes park to the left of the cones, while the general public is asked to park to the right. There will be signs and volunteers to assist you. If the lot is filled, there will be a sign directing you to the upper Quarry parking lot. Go past the entrance to the Mountain Theater for about another 1/4 mile. The road will be closed by a gate, and there will be a sign directing you to park in the lot to your right. There is a short trail from the lot to the Mountain Theater. It is recommended that if you wish to observe after the program and you are in the upper lot, that you take the trail back to your car then drive down to Rock Spring for the observing. Some patrons do not stay for the observing, so you should find a parking space.
The programs, held in the outdoor Cushing Memorial Amphitheater, are about a three minute walk from the parking area. We gather at the end of evening twilight, when visibility is adequate. But by the time the program is concluded (45 minutes to 1 hour) it will be dark. Bring flashlights. There are lanterns along the path and on the stairs at the theater, but if you feel you need assistance please do not hesitate to ask one of the volunteers to help you. There are also a few flashlights available for loan at the Mountain Theater which can be returned at Rock Spring when you are finished with them.
The program end will be announced over loudspeaker. We ask that all guests leave the State Park promptly at the end of the viewing session that follows the program. State Park rangers will cite vehicles left in the park after the program ends.
415-388-2070 Pantoll Ranger Station
415-455-5370 Hotline-taped message updated for each program
415-289-6636 (415-289-NOFOG) San Francisco Amateur Astronomers