The Grassland Mountain Observatory
Perched at 4,130 feet elevation and providing star-gazers a stellar opportunity to explore space from the mountains of Madison County, North Carolina, you will find the Grassland Mountains Observatory operated by the Astronomy Club of Asheville.
From the observatory, visitors can enjoy a breath-taking “horizon to horizon” view of the sky and Appalachian Mountains. Visitors are encouraged to arrive before sunset as the views are spectacular. The sunset colors as the evening turns to night are incredible and one of the many highlights during this family-friendly experience. Tip: Bring some food and drinks and have a sunset picnic outside the observatory before the star-gazing party begins!
Typically, public star gazes are scheduled twice per month on Friday nights. If cloudy, the public stargazes are often pushed to Saturday. Private star-gazing sessions can be scheduled and accommodate as many as 8 people.
The observatory was built in 2009 and has a roll-off-roof with an attached warm room and public restrooms. The primary instrument is a Meade LC200R 16-inch f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope but often amateur astonomers will bring their own telescopes as well.
The Grasslands Mountain Observatory is a memorable experience fit for the whole family. The team of astronomers from the Asheville Astronomy Club are incredibly knowledgeable about space and passionate about making the experience as enjoyable as possible for amateur star-gazers. Some star-gazers bring their own telescopes and end up staying until dawn!