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
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"
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.
are free to the public - a $6 per vehicle state park
fee applies. Please refer to the program schedule for
Programs will resume in Mar, 2018. Evening
Programs in April 2018. See our schedule.
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.
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
You can now renew online using PayPal or your Credit Card.
You can join or renew here Renew
(Your membership information is not shared outside of
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.
at fpoa dot net
PO Box 1376
San Juan Bautista, California 95045
Typical hours of operation
(Varies depending on weather and availability)
8 PM to midnight on public
Noon to midnight on days
of solar programs.
At other times leave a message on our answering
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
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."
Fremont Peak State Park:
831-623-4255 or Web
Camping Reservations (Primitive):
1-800-444-7275 or ReserveCalifornia