Fremont Peak Observatory Association

Images of the events
FPOA Observatory - Public Night

Challenger Telescope
FPOA members adjusting
the optics of the 30" "Challenger" telescope

Advection Fog
Morning fog seen from the observatory.

CAMS Updates

About FPOA
The Fremont Peak Observatory Association volunteers spread the word about the wonder of the night sky, educate the public through presentations and observing sessions, and provide quality observatory facilities.

The Fremont Peak Observatory is a favorite destination of families as well as school, scout, and church groups. Each year over 2,000 members of the public are treated to a free multimedia presentation by a FPOA astronomer as the Saturday evening sun sets over the Pacific. As darkness falls and the stars emerge, they gaze in wonder at night sky splendors through the eyepiece of the 30" diameter "Challenger" Newtonian telescope, and a variety of sophisticated amateur telescopes, before returning to their campsites and homes. If you have never seen the the Milky Way under dark skies away from city light pollution, come visit us to see why astronomers have been traveling to Fremont Peak State Park for decades.

As part of our mission, we collaborate with schools in the Monterey Bay, Hollister, and San Francisco Bay area to tailor a rich educational experience for K-12 and college students, both through field trips to Fremont Peak, and classroom presentations. We also provide information for School Teachers  on ways to supplement their curriculum with local astronomy-related resources.  

Besides the public and educators, FPOA serves professional and serious amateur astronomers, philanthropists, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation.  Here is more information on our business model and values.

The Fremont Peak Observatory opened in 1986, and has operated every summer since, despite having battled the frequently brutal weather on the 3,000 foot peak. Devoted volunteer astronomers continue to maintain the observatory and "Challenger" telescope, contributing time, energy, and money, to keep Fremont Peak Observatory one of the finest amateur-operated astronomy centers in the United States.

The Observatory is open to the public for scheduled viewing and educational programs from April through October on Saturday evenings that don't conflict with a full moon.

 These programs are free to the public - a $6 per vehicle state park fee applies. Please refer to the program schedule for upcoming programs. 

Solar Programs will resume in Mar, 2018. Evening Programs in April 2018.  See our schedule.

The following pictures were taken by FPOA member Ric Babcock in late March.  One of the benefits of having an observer class membership is that you can access the telescope pads next to the observatory to set up your own equipment. Ric has spent a good number of nights working on his imaging skills - these photos are a great example of his skills.

M104 - The Sombrero GalaxyComet 41 P

The image on the left is of M104 - The Sombrero Galaxy.  On the right, a new visitor to our neighborhood, comet P-41.


--> Don't forget to renew your membership this year.
Students - Observer class membership available at a significant discount!
You can now renew online using PayPal or your Credit Card.
You can join or renew here Renew your Membership.

(Your membership information is not shared outside of FPOA.)

Join FPOA now


Contact Fremont Peak Observatory

Recorded Message: 831-623-2465

Note: As of 1/14/18 our phone line is not working.  We are working to determine the cause.  Please contact us by email.

Email: info at fpoa dot net
Mailing Address:
PO Box 1376
San Juan Bautista, California 95045

Typical hours of operation
(Varies depending on weather and availability)
8 PM to midnight on public program days.
Noon to midnight on days of solar programs.
At other times leave a message on our answering machine.

Latitude and Longitude:
36.7602 N 121.4987 W
36 45.614' N 121 29.922' W
36 45' 36.8" N 121 29' 55.4" W

Testimonials from some of our fans...

"A classmate and I were talking about how much fun the trip was and how seeing Saturn made the whole trip worh it. I see myself going more in the future just for fun. I learned more from talking to the guys out there. What makes it so nice is that they do this for fun and they are all volunteers and really enjoy this. You can tell when we were all talking to them, this is something they are really passionate about."

"On the way back all we could talk about was how amazing everything looked. Even though the road back home was really long, it didn't matter because the experience was great. I didn't know a place like this existed, where one can come and look at the sky and learn many things. I LOVED IT SO MUCH! That I am going back to take my son and family."

"The presentation that I found very interesting was Rob's because the passion is so intense about astronomy...The astronomers were approachable and gave us a lot of information about their line of work and what they have found in their careers. My experience about this trip was an eye opener for myself and my parents, and we talked about how exciting it was to observe the ring around Saturn."

Customer at telescope  Lining up for Challenger

Other Contacts

Fremont Peak State Park:
831-623-4255 or Web Site
Camping Reservations (Primitive):
1-800-444-7275 or ReserveCalifornia

Looking at planets

Information for Visitors

Information for Astronomers

Weather Resources for Fremont Peak


Copyright © 2009-2018 Fremont Peak Observatory Association
Last updated: 1/22/18  rjh
Web site Created by Doug Brown