November 28, 2019
Ursids in the Dark Sky over Mt Hood
By: Mary Pellegrini
Oregon has some of the largest expanses of dark skies in the US. Photographers come from around the world to capture the infamous shot of Mt Hood and the Milky Way. I don't pretend to be one of these great photographers but our guest, Dave Muller from Oklahoma, is one. I share his photo with his permission.
Ursids: Next period of activity: December 17th, 2019 to December 26th, 2019. The Ursids are often neglected due to the fact it peaks just before Christmas and the rates are much less than the Geminds, which peaks just a week before on a night when the moon will be 96% full.
Observers will normally see 5-10 Ursids per hour during the late morning hours on the date of maximum activity. There have been occasional outbursts when rates have exceeded 25 per hour. The Ursids will next peak on the Dec 21-22, 2019 night. On this night, the moon will be 20% full.
Cloud Cap Inn is located at 6,000 feet elevation on the rouged northeast side of Mount Hood, and is listed on Dark Sky Finder. The air is exceptionally clear because of the altitude. There’s a light dome from Portland to the west, but the rest of the sky is very dark, with great views of Hood to the south.
The Cloud Cap Road is ten miles up, ten miles down. A gravel road, winding through the brittle spires left behind from the Gnarl Ridge and Dollar Lake fires. The best observing spot would be at the top of the road right next to the historic inn, where there aren’t too many trees in the way.
But you needn't venture that far from Parkdale. Dave's capture was taken just a couple miles up the road from us at the Old Parkdale Inn. He headed out about midnight, on a clear night for this amazing money shot.
Reserve your Stay Now
Let us be home base for exploring and enjoying the Hood River Valley and Mt Hood National Forest. After a full day, you’ll love the peace and tranquility of the Old Parkdale Inn. Relax in the gardens, perhaps with a glass of wine from a bottle you picked up at a local winery or our wine cabinet. We can even have a bonfire, roast some s’mores, if you’d like. We now have EV and Tesla Chargers for guest use.
Outdoor adventures such as kayaking, windsurfing, skiing, snow boarding, and hiking await. Mt. Hood Meadows, Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, and Timberline Ski areas are only a short drive away, as is the vast Mt. Hood National Forest where trails and wildlife abound. We partner with Timberline Ski Area, allowing us to offer discount lift tickets to our guests. Stay at the Inn and take advantage of our partnership with Wet Planet Whitewater to receive $10 your raft adventure.