Riverside Astronomical Society—Outreach, star parties, dark sky site, and you!

GMARS: Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station

Driving Directions

If you're thinking about attending a star party in the Inland Empire, the Riverside Astronomical Society's dark sky site, GMARS, is the spot for you. Where exactly is GMARS, you ask? It's in Landers and getting here is pretty easy. You can use Google Maps to see the location and to enter your starting location for driving directions. All roads are paved except for the last 2 miles to the property. But the dirt roads are fairly well-grated and shouldn't present any problems for normal passenger cars. Be careful if using a GPS device to get here as the street signs don't always match up with the map labels once you're on the dirt roads.

If coming from the LA, San Gabriel Valley/Pomona, Riverside, or San Bernardino areas:

Overview map of GMARS location.
  1. Take I-10 EAST to Hwy 62 and go NORTH. Continue on Hwy 62 for about 22 miles.

    • NOTE 1: If coming from the west, Hwy 62 splits off I-10 shortly after Hwy 111, which is the exit for Palm Springs.

    • NOTE 2: When you get on Highway 62 and leave I-10, the road is straight for 6 miles then gets curvy and goes uphill through a short mountain pass. When you come out of there, you'll be in Morongo Valley. After another long, straight stretch and an uphill portion, you'll be in Yucca Valley.

    • NOTE 3: Highway 62 is also referred to as Twentynine Palms Highway.

  2. From Hwy 62 in Yucca Valley, turn LEFT on Hwy 247 (Old Woman Springs Road). Continue on 247 for about 10 miles.

    • NOTE: In Yucca Valley, when looking for the sign for Hwy 247 or Old Woman Springs Road, note that there's an auto parts store and a 76 gas station on the left side of the road where you need to turn. While on Hwy 247, you'll pass the Giant Rock Meeting Room (good coffee and food) and La Copine (a great restaurant). Be sure to try these places!

  3. From Hwy 247 (Old Woman Springs Rd.), turn RIGHT on Reche Road. Continue on Reche Road for about 3 miles (see photo).

    • NOTE: At the turn, there is a sign for Reche Road, which also notes that Landers is 3 miles from there. Immediately after making the turn on to Reche Road you will pass a church, a small liquor store, and a little further down, a school, all on the left side (north side) of the road.

Aerial view of GMARS from WNW.
  1. Turn LEFT on Landers Lane. When you see the Landers Post Office (see photo) on the right side of the road, that's where you need to turn left. Continue on Landers Lane for a total of about 1.6 miles from Reche Road. (Landers Lane is paved for about the first 0.6 miles. After that, it's dirt roads.)

  2. Turn RIGHT on Botkin Road. You should see an RAS sign on the south east corner (right side) at the intersection of Landers Lane and Botkin Road. (see photo). Continue on Botkin Road for about 1/2 a mile.

  3. Driving directions to GMARS - final approach
    Final approach to GMARS with alternate roads.
  4. Turn LEFT into the RAS GMARS "driveway." You're here!

NOTE: Always enter GMARS from Botkin Road. This is the main east-west dirt road along the south edge of the property. If you go further north to Knox-Niman Lane, you will be met by locked gates.

If coming from the Antelope Valley, Apple Valley, Hysperia, or Victorville areas:

  1. Take Hwy 18 out of Victorville going EAST.
  2. Continue on Hwy 18. It'll turn into Hwy 247. Continue EAST. It'll eventually turn toward the south.
  3. Follow the directions from #3 above, but make a LEFT on Reche Road.