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Cottontail Observatory Location

The Cottontail Observatory is located on 82 acres of private land about 3 miles ESE of the town of Twin Bridges, MT. Twin Bridges is about 30 miles south of interstate 90, Southeast of Butte, and about 26 miles south of Whitehall, exit 249.

This is a DARK site at night. There is just the faintest glow on the Northwest horizon towards Butte. The few lights on the farms in the valley, about 2 miles away, are actually below the horizon from the site (elev. 5000 ft) and not really an issue. BLM land borders the site to the north and east, and it is also accessible. (but you have to go thru the site to get to it.)

The site is 2.7 miles from the HWY 287 turnoff and although it is gravel with one railroad crossing and 3 cattle guards, it is well maintained with no washboard. Look for Dry Georgia Gulch road, 2.9 miles south of Twin Bridges. There is also a gun club sign and a brown Forest Service sign that says "Access" at the turnoff. At the 3rd cattle guard,(1.6 mi) take the left "Y" and travel 1 more mile to the site. Below is a Google map of the area and several photos of the site itself.




Photo taken from the mountain on BLM land looking Southwest. Joe Witherspoon's home is on the right center of the photo. This photo taken before the observatory was built.


Below is a view looking Northeast towards the mountain, taken from the third cattle guard. You can just make out the road on BLM property winding up the mountain on the left. There is an old mining camp which has a couple of structures on it at the end of the road. Picture taken from the last cattle guard before turning left onto the property. Picture above was taken from this mountain.



Below is an image taken from the North looking southwest towards Joe's house. Land is relatively flat with very few rocks and has sparse range grass. You can see some of the sky view in this photo. In this afternoon shot, the haze is over the Ruby valley below. Elevation at site is a little more than 5000 feet.