Camp Oakes has other attractions as well.
Everyone may enjoy the pool, lake canoes, archery, mountain biking (your own bike), wall climbing, and catch and release fishing.

May 26-30, 2016 (Thursday through Monday morning)
Camp Oakes
Big Bear City, California

Main Telescope Field at the RTMC Astronomy Expo

The Riverside Telescope Makers Conference (RTMC) was founded in 1969 by Clifford W. Holmes for amateur telescope makers to share their craft. In 1975, the RTMC moved to its current home at Camp Oakes, a YMCA camp near Big Bear City. In 2000, the official name of the conference was changed to the “RTMC Astronomy Expo.” Located 50 miles northeast of Riverside in the San Bernardino mountains, the site offers space for camping, several dormitories and 18 three-sided shelters, a meeting/dining hall, and the Charles Walker Observatory. The camp is located at an elevation of 7,200 feet. Click on the following link to view a labeled aerial photograph of Camp Oakes.

RTMC now serves all aspects of amateur astronomy, from our BeginnersCorner to advanced topics, and from telescope making to “armchair” astronomy. RTMC also includes events for the whole family with swimming, canoeing, rock wall climbing, hiking, a zipline, and activities for spouses and young kids.
Detailed information on vendor sites is available on the printed registration form. You may also register online via PayPal.

Amateur astronomers attend RTMC because they can rub shoulders with many people who really know telescopes and love talking about them. Here, you can see and look through a great variety of telescopes, from small to very large, under some pretty dark skies at high altitude. You can also attend talks by professional and amateur astronomers on many different aspects of telescope use and construction, and on astronomy in general.

Vendors representing major telescope manufacturers, and private vendors selling many other items have booths at the telescope field and along the paths leading to it. They will show a variety of wares, including the latest astronomical equipment and software in use, often at reduced prices. The vendors contribute door prizes for Saturday and Sunday evenings. We don’t know exactly what prizes we’ll have in advance, but items range from clothing to eyepieces, accessories, and telescope systems.



The 49th annual RTMC Astronomy Expo will take place from Thursday, May 25 through Monday, May 29, 2017.


YMCA Camp Oakes, five miles southeast of Big Bear City on State Route 38 at Lake Williams Road between mileposts 44 and 45. This location is about 50 miles northeast of Riverside in the San Bernardino mountains.
Longitude 11645′ 15″ West
Latitude 3413′ 50″ North
Altitude 7250 feet (2210 meters)

Click here for maps and directions..

Moonrise and Moonset (PDT)

New Moon Weekend!! Astronomical Twilight ~9:30 PM
Thurs, May 25: Moonrise 4:49 AM Moonset 6:53 PM
Fri, May 26: Moonrise 5:42 AM Moonset 8:01 PM
Sat, May 27: Moonrise 6:40 AM, Moonset 9:05 AM
Sun, May 28: Moonrise 7:42 AM, Moonset 10:02 PM
Mon, May 29: Moonrise 8:47 AM, Moonset 10:52 PM