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,
us to see why
astronomers have been traveling to Fremont Peak State Park
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
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 upcoming programs.
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.
The image on the left is of M104 - The
Sombrero Galaxy. On the right, a new visitor to our neighborhood,
Don't forget to renew your membership this year.
Students - Observer class membership available at a significant
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.)
Contact Fremont Peak Observatory
Recorded Message: 831-623-2465
Email: info 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 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
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
"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):
$15 peak, $11 non-peak.
800-444-7275 or ReserveAmerica