Best peak near Lompoc/Vandenberg to view rocket launch?

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395guy

 
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Best peak near Lompoc/Vandenberg to view rocket launch?

by 395guy » Wed Nov 11, 2020 1:40 am

I don't know the Lompoc/Vandenberg area. I would love to go up and hike a nearby peak to view a rocket launch. Which peak is best?

If it's high, but far away, that might not be good. Are there any decent peaks near Vandenberg to view rocket launches?

TIA.

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phydeux

 
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Re: Best peak near Lompoc/Vandenberg to view rocket launch?

by phydeux » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:56 pm

No peaks that I know of, but you could try Jalama Beach County Park & Campground. Its south of Lompoc, north along the coast from Point Conception, and at the very southern end of Vandenburg AFB. You won't be able to see the launch pad, but you should get great views from just after lift-off and as the rocket go out over the Pacific Ocean. Since its a campground you can make it an overnight trip if you expect a night launch (which is always awesome!). You get to it from a road off of Hwy 1 south of Lompoc. Check the Santa Barbara County website to see if its open (maybe COVID-19 restrictions? ). There's also a coastal park on the southern area of the Vandenburg property (Ocean Beach Park, IIRC), but I'm not sure if that's even open to the public any more (it used to be a 'day-use-only' park/beach for the public).

I'm not aware of anything north of Vandenburg, maybe someone else will chime in on that area.

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Re: Best peak near Lompoc/Vandenberg to view rocket launch?

by phydeux » Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:52 pm

Here's a "wild card" thought:

Call Vandenburg's PIO/Public Information Office and see if they have any public viewing areas for launches (all but the smallest military bases have a PIO). Most of VAFB's launches are military, so they may just say "no" but its worth a phone call. Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space center has them for most launches, maybe VAFB does too.

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Bob Burd
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Re: Best peak near Lompoc/Vandenberg to view rocket launch?

by Bob Burd » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:02 pm

Mt. Lospe is a P1K on the north edge of the base with a view. Check out the Point Sal Trail.
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