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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

SM Sunset, Blue Moon Rise, International Space Station, Meteor Shower, and Fireworks

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Stone Mountain Park   Hike: SM Sunset, Blue Moon Rise, International Space Station, Meteor Shower, and Fireworks  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Jul 31 2015  7:47 pm >> Fri, Jul 31 2015 9:47 pm
Registration Opens: Tue, Jul 21 2015 8:08 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jul 31 2015 4:04 pm
Event Duration:2 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:2 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Laura V
Charlie Cottingham
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:30
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 37 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Should the weather and the skies cooperate, we'll have an opportunity to pack in some great sights from the top of Stone Mountain on this evening. We should have a beautiful sunset which will land on the horizon just to the south of Kennesaw Mtn; a short time afterwards, we'll witness a Full Moon Rise to the east; a short time later the International Space Station will do it's fly-by; and very shortly after we should see, and feel the boom of, the fireworks from the beginning of the SM Laser Show. We may also get to see some shooting stars from the Delta Aquarid Meteor Shower.

We will hike to the top of Stone Mountain and after arriving on the summit, we will get comfortable, socialize, and watch the sun set - it will come down on the horizon just south of Kennesaw Mountain. A few minutes later, we will move around to the east side of the summit and watch a full-moon rise. We will then move to another viewing location to hang out for a short period and watch the brightest man-made object in the sky wiz by for a whopping 6 minutes. And finally, just a few minutes after the ISS leaves our view, the fireworks for the SM Laser show will begin to explode right in front of us. You may want to bring along a set of binoculars for better viewing of the ISS and the full moon.

About the ISS....  Wiz by?... that's right... it's zippin' along at 17,200 miles per hour! Brightest man-made object in space? Yep... it's the brightest object in the sky next to the sun and moon!  And if that's not enough to impress you, how about seeing $150 Billion speeding through space.  Yeah, that's 150,000,000,000 bucks, and your American tax dollars contributed about $75,000,000,000 of that.  How much does it weigh?... about 1 million lbs.  Only 6 minutes?... well, it travels entirely around the earth over 15 times in a day, so 6 minutes is about as long of a view as we will ever get in one pass.  How big is it?... about the size of a football field - including the end zones.  Yes, since we contributed more than any other country, it's measured in football fields (per NASA)... not soccer fields. Alrighty... enough with the numbers... in laymans terms, it's big, it's fast, it's expensive, and it's cool.

Feel free to bring beverages and/or some snacks to enjoy while we're hanging out on top... it's meant to be a leisurely, sociable, enjoyable evening. If anyone wants to leave early, you're welcome to head back down whatever time you wish and if anyone wants to stay a little longer for the fireworks at the end of the laser show we can do that also.

The hike (yes, there is a hike) will begin from the Confederate Center at 7:47 PM. Sunset is at 8:37 PM, moonrise at 8:45 PM, the ISS will come into view at 9:20 PM, and there should be some fireworks at 9:30.

If you have a pair of binoculars you may want to bring them for an even better view of the ISS and the moon.

Please take the time to look at the park map and parking options in order to be on time!

Any questions - please call or send me an email.


Required Items to Bring:
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Hiking or trail shoes.
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Snacks/beverages
  • Camera
  • Binoculars

How to Get There:
Event Directions:


GPS Coordinates: 33.81077, -84.16212

Directions: To the main entrance- From I-285 take U.S. Hwy 78 East (Snellville/Athens) exit. Travel about 7 miles and take Exit 8, the Stone Mountain Park Main Entrance. After entering the main entrance, proceed straight ahead. The road will fork at about 1 mile – stay to the right. Continue to follow the road for another mile.  Look for the large Confederate Hall parking lot on your left where we park during the hike.  We'll gather at our "usual AOC meetup spot," by the stone restroom building at the base of the Walk-Up Trail

You can also enter through the West Gate entrance, in Stone Mountain Village. If you enter here, turn right through the gate and you're just almost to the Confederate Hall parking lot on your left.


There's no charge for pedestrians or bicyclists to enter Stone Mountain Park.  There is usually plenty of free parking just outside the Park in the Stone Mountain Village area.  The Village is near the Park's "West Gate" entrance which is quite close to Confederate Hall and the Walk-Up trailhead.  You can park near the railroad tracks and walk about 1/2 mile up East Mountain Street and directly into the park, through a small gate (Note that this gate is often locked soon after sunset and you have to walk out around the nearby West Gate and then left to get back to East Mountain Street.)

Another free parking lot is the "Red Caboose Visitor Center" lot on the Main Street, which has its own paved walking/biking trail (the "PATH") into the Park. To drive to that lot, get off US-78 (Stone Mtn Freeway) at Exit #5, then bear right to exit again about a half mile ahead, turn left onto E. Ponce de Leon Ave, go through the first traffic light onto Main Street and continue about a half mile and look for the red caboose on your left.  In about 10 minutes you can walk into the Park via the paved PATH trail, turn left on Robt. E. Lee Blvd (for ~300 yards) and join the AOC group at the Walk-Up trailhead. (Note the gate on this PATH trail is often locked soon after sunset).

Additional directions and maps can be found at: aspx


There is a $15 daily parking fee to drive into Stone Mountain Park unless you have an annual pass.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.