Mount Pinos is probably the best place near Los Angeles for viewing the stars because it has relatively low light pollution, clear skies, and is 8,847 feet (2,697 m) in elevation. Mt. Pinos is the highest point in Ventura County, and one of the most popular spots near Los Angeles for star gazing. As a bonus, if you are in a hurry, you can easily drive up to near the summit, just about 1.4 miles away. My girlfriend and I did just that. There were many people in the parking lot near the summit, many with RVs, telescopes, lawn chairs, cameras, and an occasional acoustic guitar. We walked along the trail to a couple of meadows near Chula Vista Campground and took these photos. That night was a new moon, and so many people wanted to see the Milky Way, as it is more prominent in the Northern Hemisphere during the summer.
In this photo, we are looking just about straight up at the sky, so this is not the densest part of the Milky Way.
Mt. Pinos, called “Iwihinmu” by the Chumash, was considered to be the center of the world (“Liyikshup”), an area where everything was in balance, and was the center of their ancestral home.
Photo: Ken Lee Photography
Info: Nikon D610, AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens at 14mm, 20 seconds, f/2.8, ISO 4000. 2014-07-26. I used a Protomachines LED2 for light painting.
Location: Mt. Pinos, California, USA
Equipment: Nikon D610, Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, Feisol tripod.
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