Washington State Parks will reopen the newly renovated Goldendale Observatory State Park Heritage Site April 24, on a limited schedule.

To comply with the state’s Phase 3 order, the observatory will open at a reduced capacity. The free observatory programs will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only. Visitors must register online for the programs at https://parks.state.wa.us/512/Goldendale-Observatory. The facility will not open for drop-in visitors, and staff will not offer private tours. State Parks will not be able to schedule visits outside the Saturday and Sunday program dates.

During Phase 3, visitors will not have access to evening viewing through the main telescope.

Afternoon programming will include the opportunity to tour the newly upgraded facility. Registered participants will be able to view the sun through the observatory’s solar telescopes.

The current observatory schedule is temporary and expected to change. To find updates and schedule changes, check the park’s web page at https://parks.state.wa.us/512/Goldendale-Observatory; sign up to get email park alerts; or check Parks’ social media: Twitter (@WaStatePks) or Facebook (@WashingtonStateParks).

About Goldendale Observatory

Goldendale Observatory sits on 5 hilltop acres, two miles north of Goldendale and about 13 miles north of the Columbia River. The observatory houses one of the world’s largest publicly accessible permanently mounted telescopes. Last year, State Parks completed work on an extensive multi-year renovation of the observatory and grounds. Work included:

  • Converting the old Cassegrain telescope to a Newtonian telescope by replacing the telescope’s original mirror with a new, state-of-the-art 24.5-inch mirror.
  • Constructing a new building with a 140-person capacity auditorium.
  • Creating new exhibits on astronomy and other sciences.
  • Adding special lighting in the interior and outdoor landscape to preserve dark-sky viewing.
  • Increasing parking and restroom capacity.