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.
With our large expanse of dark skies comes the opportunity to observe some spectacular meteor showers also.
Perseids: In 2021, the peak mornings for the Perseid meteor shower, August 11, 12 and 13, will feature meteors under moonlight. In 2021, the waxing crescent moon will set at early evening, providing dark skies for this year’s Perseid meteor shower. The Perseids tend to be bright, so we expect a good percentage to overcome the moonlit glare, as many as 50 meteors in an hour.
Orionids: In 2021 the Orionids will peak on the night of Oct. 21, with rates of about 10-20 meteors per hour. The Orionids sometimes produce bright fireballs, which may be able to overcome the moonlit glare
Geminids: The Geminids occur every year from about December 13 – 14. On a dark night, you can often catch 50 or more meteors per hour in a dark, moonless sky. But this year, a waxing gibbous moon will obtrude on the show for much of the night, before setting several hours before dawn.
Ursids: Die-hard meteor watchers in the Northern Hemisphere watch for Ursid meteors about a week after the Geminids. Next period of activity: December 17th through December 26th, 2021. The Ursids meteor shower usually peaks around the winter soltice. At its peak, observers may be able to view as many as 10 meteors in an hour.
Cloud Cap Inn listed on Dark Sky Finder
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. And we’d be glad to share some of close by dark sky options.
We’re your home base for exploring and enjoying the Hood River Valley and beyond
After a full day, you’ll love the peace and tranquility of the Old Parkdale Inn. Relax in the gardens, perhaps with your favorite beverage, by the bonfire, roast some s’mores, weather permitting of course.
What’s to do
The Hood River Fruit Loop is located in the beautiful Hood River Valley at the foot of majestic Mt. Hood offering you a variety of wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, and food. Outdoor adventures such as kayaking, windsurfing, skiing, snow boarding, biking 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. During the summer months stay at the Inn and take advantage of our partnership with Wet Planet Whitewater to receive $10 your raft adventure.