Goldendale Observatory State Park is a five-acre educational facility on a 2,100-foot-high hilltop, 1.5 miles north of Main Street in the city of Goldendale. The observatory houses one of the nation's largest public telescopes and has attracted sky-watchers since its opening in 1973. The observatory is open to anyone who wants to view the universe.
No camping available.Want to support Washington State Parks? Get involved by joining a friends' group. For more information, visit the Friends' Group web page.
Summer: 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, April 17 - Sept. 30
Winter: 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Oct. 1 to March 31
Tours are available by reservation. To make a reservation, call the park office at (509) 773-3141.
Winter Schedule for all Washington State Parks
Please note: There is a permanent burn ban in effect at Goldendale Observatory State Park. No open flames of any type are allowed, no smoking. Internal RV stoves are allowed.
For information on burn bans throughout Washington state, you may visit the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website
. Please note that individual park burn bans may differ from DNR burn bans and may change without notice. Please check current conditions upon arriving at the park.
Don't move firewood: Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by obtaining or purchasing your firewood at or near your camping destination (within 50 miles). Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by buying and burning your firewood locally. For more information, visit online at www.dontmovefirewood.org or the Washington Invasive Species Council website.
The Discover Pass now can be used on either of two vehicles!Annual pass: $30
One-day pass: $10
(Transaction and dealer fees may apply)
A Discover Pass is required for motor-vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Exemptions:
Your purchase of the Discover Pass supports recreation on state lands. However, the Discover Pass is not required if you are camping or renting overnight accommodations, for the duration of your stay at that state park. For additional exemptions and more information, please visit the Discover Pass website
The park has no camping. Camping facilities are nearby at Brooks Memorial State Park or Maryhill State Park. Check into your campsite at these parks before coming to evening programs at the observatory, as the programs run late.
Located on a hill overlooking Goldendale, Wash. in Klickitat County.
1602 Observatory Drive
Goldendale, WA 98620
From north on Hwy. 97:
Approaching the town of Goldendale, watch for sign reading "Goldendale Observatory, Next Right." Take this exit into Goldendale (Hwy.142/ Broadway). Drive one mile to four-way stop, turn right, and drive north 0.7 mile to fork in the road. Take the right fork, stay on paved road, and continue 0.7 mile up hill to observatory parking lot.
Goldendale Observatory downloadable pdf map #1
List of all downloadable Washington State Park maps
The park offers spectacular views of the countryside from atop the observatory hill in the daytime, and magnificent views of the universe at night. The observatory features a 20-foot-diameter dome and one of the largest public telescopes in the nation.
Goldendale Observatory is the fruition of the dream of four amateur astronomers, M. W. McConnell, O. W. VanderVeldon, John Marshall and Don Connor. These four citizens of Vancouver, Washington began constructing a 24-inch, Cassegrain reflecting telescope for Vancouver's Clark college. They ultimately donated the telescope to the town of Goldendale, which constructed observatory buildings on a hilltop north of Goldendale. Funding for construction was provided by donations, a federal grant and a bank loan. The observatory was dedicated as a public education center in 1973. The Goldendale Observatory Corporation, a non-profit, volunteer organization, operated the facility through 1980. Washington State Parks acquired the observatory in 1980.
The Goldendale Observatory is a major center for viewing astronomical events. It was the designated official headquarters of the National Astronomical League for the total solar eclipse of Feb. 26, 1979. The interpretive center offers afternoon and evening programs about telescopes and star-gazing.
| ||Available in the area|
| ||• Auto repair|
• Overnight Accommodations
• Pay phone
• Postal service
• Recreational equipment
All services are located one mile away in Goldendale.
|• 1 Amphitheater|
• Interpretive Activities
Goldendale Observatory Interpretive Center offers tours and sky-gazing opportunities afternoons and evenings year-round. Summer and winter programs vary. Contact the park for details at (509) 773-3141.
Free days at state parks
: Visit Washington state parks for free. The Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park on ten designated free days in 2013.
The 2013 State Parks free days are as follows:
Jan. 21 – In honor of Martin Luther King Day
March 30 – In honor of Washington State Parks' 100th birthday on March 19
April 27 and 28 – National Parks Week
June 1 – National Trails Day
June 8 and 9 – National Get Outdoors Day and Department of Fish and Wildlife Free Fishing weekend
Aug. 4 – Peak season free day
Sept. 28 – National Public Lands Day
Nov. 9 through 11 – Veteran's Day weekend
Please note: A Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife during State Parks free days. For more information, please visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov
Full list of events
at Washington State Parks
Picnic and Day-use Facilities
There are two unsheltered picnic tables, available first come, first served.
|Mammals||Birds||Fish & Sea Life|
|• Deer or Elk||• Eagles|
|Physical Features|| ||Plant Life|| |
| ||• Oak|
Park photo gallery