Tahuya State Forest


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Location:

For all sites, use the Tahuya State Forest map located at the Washington Department of Natural Resources site. (Map - .pdf)


Tahuya Site 1:

The site is in a wooded clearing near several off-road trails.  The horizons are a bit restricted by the trees, but there is plenty of good open sky.  There are no artificial lights nearby, so one can get fully dark adapted.

Tahuya Photo

Tahuya Photo

Tahuya Site 2 (Mission Creek Trailhead):

To get there from Belfair:

This is a large dirt parking area for the Mission Creek ORV trails.  There is a fair bit of traffic that goes by on the NE Belfair-Tahuya Road, but trees and bushes block most of the light from cars if you set up at the very back end of the trailhead.  Trees block the view to the south and east to some degree, but there is good sky here and no artificial lights except for passing cars.  (This is one of the few places in the area to get cell reception, so some cars pull in to make a call. Last time I was there, one car did donuts and was quite annoying. I feel safe observing here, and this site works as a back-up when the Elfendahl Pass Trailhead is in use, but it isn't my first choice.

On a trip in 2007, I was there in mid-March at roughly 11:00 pm and could see all of Orion even though it was starting to get low in the east.  Farther north, the Pleiades and Perseus were also visible.  The Rosette Nebula was easily visible in my 8" from this site with a filter.  I also had nice views of M51, the Leo Triplet, and M42 among other DSOs. 

Photo from Terraserver:

Tahuya Photo

Tahuya Site 3 (Elfendahl Pass Trailhead):

To get there from Belfair:

This is a large parking area next to a campground for the trailhead.  The campground is free, so it is sometimes used by partiers.  The sky to the south is somewhat blocked by trees, but there are no artificial lights in the parking area and there is plenty of good sky to view.  I prefer this site over the others.

Note: The parking lot is used for overflow camping during special events. So, you may find it filled up and unusable at times.

Photo from Terraserver

Tahuya Photo


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Last Updated: 4/13/08