A place near San Jose, CA to watch the Perseid meteor shower?

I want to watch the Perseid meteor shower coming up this August 12th. It’s been years since I’ve gone out[sup]1[/sup], and many many years since I’ve seen it outside light-polluted San Jose[sup]2[/sup]. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new moon that night, promising to make the shower particularly visible.
By “near” I mean within a day’s drive so I can get there, spend the night watching the show, then get home before having to go to work Monday.
I’d like to be able to pitch a tent, but if I have to just sit in the back of my pickup, I can do that instead.
1: Watched from the 50-yard line on Saratoga High School’s football field.
2: Watched from a campground in the Columbia River Gorge, highly recommended.

Loon Lake

It is only about 3 hours from San Jose. Beautiful camping spot no lights and wide open views of the sky.

We went out to Bodega a few years ago to watch them, and it was one of the best viewings I’ve ever had. I’ve watched them just about every year since I was a little kid.

This year I’m planning on heading up to Sugar Loaf in Kenwood. It’s one of my favorite places to camp and enjoy the night sky. There’s a huge open field in the middle of the camping area, no lights, really pretty area.

There’s also an observatory up there and it will be open that night. We’ve gone on public viewing nights and it’s pretty cool.

Google says it’s a little less than a 2 hour drive from San Jose.

I go up Alum Rock rd towards the observatory, until I get to the park. Good spot.

When I lived there, we went up to Skyline Blvd. for the night, to watch the Perseids. It’s in Los Gatos – you can Google map it. There’s a great turnout (you’ll know it when you see it), you can just park there and watch. It’s also a beautiful view of a whole lot of the Bay Area.

It may not be what you’re looking for – it is just a turnout off the road – but it’s definitely within easy reach of San Jose.

I used to live up there. It’s still a little close to the city lights, and not always reliably clear.
Thanks for the suggestions, everybody.

Eggzactly. It’s called Grant Ranch Park, and it’s far enough away from the city lights for you to have a decent view.

Henry Coe would be an excellent choice.

Head to Gilroy and drive up into the hills! When I lived in San Jose in '01, I spent a weekend on a friend’s 900 acre family ranch in this valley in the hills. It was so, so dark at night–growing up in RI where everything is close and small, I’d never seen darkness like that.

I actually saw the Northern Lights while up there. There was a lot of intense solar flare activity that summer, and it made for a gorgeous light show.

I never thought I’d miss San Jose, but I kinda do. :slight_smile:

Want to second that - it’s a nice park, less than an hour away from San Jose, and not usually crowded either.