Zumwalt Prairie Preserve Unique Astronomy Site

Zumwalt Prairie Preserve

Zumwalt Prairie Preserve Overview

Zumwalt Prairie Preserve is a site in North Eastern Oregon that has an amazing astronomy and star gazing opportunities! It is a bit farther away from populated areas than other sites covered, but this preserve is one of the best available in Oregon!

This preserve is managed by the Nature Conservancy and is a Prairie Grassland. Involvement with the Nature Conservancy can be found here. The Prairie is open to the public and is far away from civilization; therefore,  the Bortle light pollution scale has the sight at a black zone. This makes this area one of the best night sky viewing areas in the state and maybe in the country.


  • How far outside of Portland? ~350- miles depending on the route. SO like 6 or more hour drive depending on traffic.
  • Google Maps Location


There shouldn’t be any issues with paying for parking, but stay on the roads and pull over to the side when going on a hike.

Overnight Accommodations

The closest campground is the Wallowa Lake State Park. There are 121 hookup sites (including 2 ADA sites), 88 non-hookup sites, 2 hard-sided rustic yurts, 3 group tent areas and a hiker-biker area. Reservations can be made using the Reserve America website.

Courtesy Oregon State Parks
Site Type Cost
Full Hookup $32
Group Tent $75
Hiker-biker per person $7
Pet Friendly Yurt $55
Tent site $20
Yurt $45



Current Seeing Conditions/Forecast Charts

The chart above is courtesy of ClearDarkSky.com and the chart below is courtesy of Clearoutside.com

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