Every summer, amateur astronomers gather at Indian Trail Spring in the Ochoco National Forest, located 45 miles east of Prineville, Oregon, for the Oregon Star Party. We go to this remote location for the very dark skies, low humidity, and wonderful nighttime viewing.

In partnership with Ochoco National Forest, Oregon Star Party is a nonprofit organization staffed entirely with volunteers. Operating under a permit issued by the US Forest Service, Oregon Star Party is spread across 55 acres at Indian Trail Spring. This is a primitive site with an elevation of over 5,000 feet and an unobstructed 360 degree horizon. Oregon Star Party is considered to have the darkest skies of any major star party in the continental United States.

Each year, OSP’s volunteer planning committee plans youth and adult activities, secures door prizes, and arranges for vendors to sell their wares during the five day long event. Onsite amenities include portable toilets, trash receptacle and food service. Volunteers staff the entire event, including a first aid crew.

Please see our registration page to sign up for a volunteer shift.

Amenities

Porta Potties – OSP has Porta Potties throughout the camping areas, arriving Monday afternoon through Sunday. They are pumped daily.

Trash – A trash dumpster is available on the 800 road near the entrance to the event. Please deposit trash and garbage during the week or when you leave OSP.

Water – We are a dry camping site. Bring your own water to OSP. One gallon per person per day is typically sufficient. If we have hot weather, that may increase. OSP volunteers will have water available during their shifts, so if you volunteer during the event, bring your own bottle.
It is very important to stay hydrated at OSP’s dry desert environment. Our first aid people’s typical response is due to heat exhaustion incorporated with dehydration.


FAQ for Oregon Star Party 2024

1. Will the shower truck be onsite?

Showers won’t be onsite, but you can get a great shower for $5 at Prineville’s Ochoco Creek Park and Swimming Pool.
There is also a playground in the park for the kids to play and grass.
Crook County Swimming Pool
399 NE Garner St, Prineville, OR 97754

2. Do I have to wear a mask?

Masks will be optional at our event, but highly recommended to protect those of our attendees who have chronic, serious health issues. Please respect those who choose to wear them.

3. I want to buy ice. Can I preorder?

Ice pre-ordering is available during registration. You may be able to buy ice at the event but there is a limited amount for sale during the star party. Ice is on a first come-first served basis.
When the ice is gone, it’s gone.

4. What is the artwork for 2024 OSP?

We have our artwork contest winner, Evie, gracing the apparel on the website and the T-Shirts this year.
If you’d like to be part of the artwork for next year, watch for emails or notifications on facebook or the website for more information about the artwork contest.

5. If I don’t register early, can I still attend the event?

Yes, but with limitations and other issues.
1. If we reach our maximum number of attendees, we will not be registering additional folks on site. This happened in 2017 for our event due to the eclipse.
2. If you register early, you can pick the size of the merchandise you purchase and dinners.
After early registration closes, if we have merchandise available, you may be able to purchase them onsite. Availability may be limited or nonexistent.

6. Can I get a discounted registration if I only attend a night or two?

We do not offer a discounted or ‘by the night’ registration.

7. You ask for people to volunteer at the event. Why should I?

OSP is a great opportunity to volunteer to help make our event run smoothly. Our volunteers are what make OSP happen. Many hands make light work. Our entire committee is made up of volunteers who proudly attend  zoom meetings all year to make this event happen for you.

You might have an opportunity to meet people you might not get a chance to meet otherwise.

We would love to have you on site to help us make OSP a success again this year. If you preregister, you’ll see a link for signing up for volunteer shifts.

8. Is internet available? How’s the cell service?

OSP does not provide internet service. Indian Trail Spring is remote and cell service is carrier dependent and spotty, at best. We cannot guarantee you will have cell service. OSP won’t have access to the internet.

Organizers arrive at the onsite location ITS, usually a day or two before the event. They won’t be able to answer questions or post notifications on Facebook, Cloudy Nights, or our website.

9. Does the star party offer food in 2024?

Hillside Catering is providing wonderful food service this year: Breakfast, Lunch, Star Dinners, Short Order Food and ESSPRESO and other types of specialty beverage!
More information about Hillside Catering is on our registration page and also by clicking the button below.

10. If I want to help during the year, how do I do that?

You can be part of the committee at three levels, volunteer, associate or full committee member. You don’t have to have astronomy expertise to be part of the committee.
We would love to have you. If you’d like to join us, please contact us at:

[email protected]

We look forward to seeing you this year, 2024 for another great summer of astronomy!