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Old 05-03-2018, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Memphis, Tn ~ U.S.A.
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Has anyone here ever been to Mount Wilson Observatory. If so what did you think and do you have any suggestions for a first time visitor

Thanks
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Retired in Malibu/La Quinta/Flagstaff
1,419 posts, read 1,422,489 times
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Been there often. Worth the drive. Check out their web site for hours of operation and parking.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Idaho
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It's a popular destination for cyclists who want to get some hill climbing in, especially on the weekends. Wear your hiking boots, and bring your camera. Lots of trails in the area. Nice views of the basin, when the air quality allows.
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:42 AM
 
29 posts, read 10,664 times
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It's a nice brief excursion and pleasant at the top. It takes about 45 minutes to drive from the city at the bottom (La Canada) up to the observatory on a very winding road. Once you're at the top, there's a walk of a few hundred yards to the observatory, fairly level on a good path so you won't need boots just for that. It's a nice walk through the forest, round trip maybe 20-30 minutes. You can go inside and see the telescope on the other side of a big plate glass, giving a good view but that's all there is to see except a very old little museum with astronomy photos. Warning to folks with knee problems: to see the telescope, you have to go up a steep staircase about two floors. One cool thing on the walk over is a photo of Einstein posted outside on the path standing at the exact spot where you are with the observatory in the background. There is a covered picnic area atop a steep 50-foot hill next to the parking lot, but trees block most of the city view except at the edge of the parking lot. There's an outdoor snack bar open on weekends. The parking lot gets full on weekends, and there's no place else to park at the top, so I'd recommend going on a week day. Used to be you were supposed to have a $5 day pass to park, which is not sold there at the mountain top, but check the Mt. Wilson web site and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument site for current rules since there have been changes underway after the area was recently designated a National Monument. In practice, since there is no "entrance booth", it seems that you can get away with not having a pass if you don't park longer than it takes to walk over to see the observatory and back. It's not heavily patrolled. ;-)
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Memphis, Tn ~ U.S.A.
2,002 posts, read 4,352,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrolman View Post
Been there often. Worth the drive. Check out their web site for hours of operation and parking.
Thanks. I looked at the website before posting but it was overwhelming. I was just wanting a 1-2 paragraph summary with suggestions
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Memphis, Tn ~ U.S.A.
2,002 posts, read 4,352,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
It's a popular destination for cyclists who want to get some hill climbing in, especially on the weekends. Wear your hiking boots, and bring your camera. Lots of trails in the area. Nice views of the basin, when the air quality allows.
Great tips. Thank you!
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Memphis, Tn ~ U.S.A.
2,002 posts, read 4,352,446 times
Reputation: 1416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigeleer View Post
It's a nice brief excursion and pleasant at the top. It takes about 45 minutes to drive from the city at the bottom (La Canada) up to the observatory on a very winding road. Once you're at the top, there's a walk of a few hundred yards to the observatory, fairly level on a good path so you won't need boots just for that. It's a nice walk through the forest, round trip maybe 20-30 minutes. You can go inside and see the telescope on the other side of a big plate glass, giving a good view but that's all there is to see except a very old little museum with astronomy photos. Warning to folks with knee problems: to see the telescope, you have to go up a steep staircase about two floors. One cool thing on the walk over is a photo of Einstein posted outside on the path standing at the exact spot where you are with the observatory in the background. There is a covered picnic area atop a steep 50-foot hill next to the parking lot, but trees block most of the city view except at the edge of the parking lot. There's an outdoor snack bar open on weekends. The parking lot gets full on weekends, and there's no place else to park at the top, so I'd recommend going on a week day. Used to be you were supposed to have a $5 day pass to park, which is not sold there at the mountain top, but check the Mt. Wilson web site and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument site for current rules since there have been changes underway after the area was recently designated a National Monument. In practice, since there is no "entrance booth", it seems that you can get away with not having a pass if you don't park longer than it takes to walk over to see the observatory and back. It's not heavily patrolled. ;-)
Exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks for taking the time to reply

[]
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:06 PM
 
Location: South Pasadena
688 posts, read 2,319,989 times
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Go see Mt Wilson the old fashioned way. Hike up 7 miles from Sierra Madre on the Mt Wilson Trail. The original telescope equipment went up this trail carried by donkeys.
Attached Thumbnails
Mount Wilson-20180506_071410.jpg   Mount Wilson-20180506_071036.jpg  
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:01 AM
 
Location: West Los Angeles
10,902 posts, read 10,598,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetscenes View Post
Go see Mt Wilson the old fashioned way.
Is that what Edwin Hubble did?
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: South Pasadena
688 posts, read 2,319,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exitus Acta Probat View Post
Is that what Edwin Hubble did?
William Pickering from Harvard University used the Mt Wilson trail in 1889 to build 2 relatively small 4" and 13" telescopes at the top of Mt Wilson. Hubble didn't come around until 1920 and he used the 100" Hooker telescope that was built starting in 1917. They used the Mt Wilson Toll Road for that construction.
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