Rules & Regulations

The Table Mountain Star Party Association wants to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone attending the event. Following these rules and regulations will help ensure that everyone on the mountain can achieve that goal.


If you have any problems or emergencies, please contact someone at the Registration Tent, Info Booth or the Stuff Shack, or locate one of the Directors.

It would be advisable to bring a first aid kit for minor cuts, scrapes and bruises.

Also, TMSPA wants you to be aware that this is a remote and primitive high-altitude site. As such,

Any medical or emergency help will take about one hour to arrive !
If you have any medical condition or emergency, be prepared to "care for yourself" until help can be summoned!

Registration Tent Hours

The Registration Tent closes at 8:00 P.M. every evening.  Please plan to arrive on site before this time.  If you arrive after the Registration Tent is closed, you will be asked to park outside for the night and cannot enter with your vehicle until the Registration Tent reopens at 9:00 A.M. the following morning. There will be no Parking Staff on duty during the closure. If you enter and attempt to park on-site, you will be asked to leave and park off-site. You may walk into the site.

Vehicles and Driving

The two main roads in and around the site can be very bumpy and dusty.  Please limit your speed to a crawl.  No one wants to have his or her telescope covered with dust just because you are in a hurry.

Driving in the dark is dangerous and can harm or even kill someone.  Only in cases of extreme emergency will we allow any vehicle to move around in the telescope field area after dark.

Parking and Camping Sites

Vehicles are not permitted off road unless in an area designated by the TMSPA parking staff.  The Forest Service regulates the location of camping and parking spaces and we must limit the number of vehicles crossing over grass areas, so go in and stay in - there are no in-and-out privileges. If you will be making excursions in your vehicle, you may drive onto the site once to set up your camp and then park your vehicle in an area designated by TMSPA; ask at the Registration Tent or Info Booth on where you can park your vehicle.

Camping is on a first come - first served basis.  The parking staff will determine the amount of space for each site and saving space between camping areas is not allowed. Please keep your campsite footprint as small as possible. There is a limited amount of space available to use for the event in which we must accomodate all the attendees. Camping spaces that are staked and flagged are designed to accommodate TWO vehicles and campsites.

A general overview of the camping and parking areas can be seen in this map.

No vehicles may park in the following locations, however tent camping is permitted in these areas:

  • Inside the tree line at the north end of the Telescope Field.

  • In the field north of the trees near the Student tent.

  • Anywhere on the west side of the road to Lion Rock.

Fires and Cooking

NO FIRES!!!  No fires are permitted anywhere on site.  This includes cooking fires, traditional wood fires and charcoal briquettes.  No fuel source that creates ashes may be used.  The only acceptable cooking sources are propane barbeques, and propane or white gas cook stoves.  

Cigarettes are to be disposed of in fireproof containers.

Lighting restrictions

***** Red Light Only after 10:00 P.M. *****

All vehicle headlights, parking lights, tail and brake lights must remain extinguished at all times. Please do not arm your car alarm system during the event, particularly at night. Thefts are extremely rare at TMSP, and while we want you to take any precautions you deem necessary to protect your valuables, having your car alarm go off at 3am is not very endearing to your fellow campers.

RV, trailer, and camper lights MUST remain extinguished unless there is proper shielding installed on all windows and doors, or red covers are on lighting fixtures.

Coleman-style lanterns or outdoor lighting of any type is NOT allowed.

Equip all flashlights with red filters and keep them pointed at the ground.  Also, keep your flashlights to a maximum of two D-cell sizes or smaller.  Larger lights, even with red gel, produce too much intensity and can ruin dark-adapted sight.

Laser Pointers

Due to the increased popularity of these devices and the safety concerns of our attendees, we have instituted a total ban of laser pointers of any color at TMSP.  Collimation lasers are okay to use but care should be taken to not inadvertently affect someone's vision.

The only exception will be OFFICIAL TMSP use for Sky Tours or Identification programs.  These programs will be conducted in specific areas only and will be concluded by Midnight.


Generator noise and fumes intrude on your neighbor's enjoyment of the outdoors.  For that reason, generators can only be used from 10:00 A.M. until Midnight, regardless of where you are camped.

If you have a medical condition that requires generator use, please contact a TMSP official for permission before operating your generator.

TMSP and official services generators are exempt from this rule, however they must be in approved locations and adequate sound dampening installed.


Please respect your neighbors and fellow viewers by keeping your music volume at a level that is not intrusive.

Garbage, Porta-Potties, Wastewater

Remember that Table Mountain is a backcountry location.  If you pack it in, please pack it out.  A dumpster is provided for your convenience.  Please use it.  You can help avoid higher costs by refraining from throwing away recyclable materials and taking them home with you.  If you must throw away boxes or plastic jugs, please flatten them as much as possible.

We request that you keep your camping area litter-free and that you sweep your site for garbage prior to leaving. This keeps our impact on the site as minimal as possible.

Please do not put trash, animal waste or other inappropriate items in the Porta-Potties.

The USFS requires that we remove all wastewater from this location.  There is no dumping of your RV gray tanks on-site.  Dumping gray or black water in the Porta-Potties is not allowed either.  Illegal dumping can result in a USFS citation.


Please leave your pets at home if at all possible.  Loose roaming animals can cause damage to the equipment on site. If you must bring you pet, please keep it leashed at all times while outside. Do not leave your animal unattended, even if it is on a leash.

Pets staked on leashes must be contained within the footprint of your campsite such that they cannot access the "public" areas such as the telescope field or onto a road.

Pet owners must pick up after their pets in all areas of site. No one wants to step in a mess caused by your pet in the middle of the night.

DO NOT USE THE PORTA-POTTIES FOR ANIMAL WASTE DISPOSAL. Bag it and put it in the garbage, please.


Bicycles can raise dust and there is a very high concentration of expensive equipment around that can potentially be damaged.  For these reasons, TMSP has banned bicycles from any point south of the "Y" on the road to Lion Rock that leads to the telescope field.  This includes the speaker's tent field, student field, vendor row, and the telescope field and camping area.  If you wish to bring and ride your bicycle, there are many Forest Service roads along with the road to Lion Rock available. Please dismount and walk you bike through the unapproved areas.

Commercial Displays / Vending

The US Forest Service Lease specifically indicates that no selling of any type may take place on site without the proper registration.  This means that if you wish to sell any product you must register as a Vendor and pay all appropriate registration fees.  Vendors may set up in the designated area only with prior TMSPA approval.  Absolutely no displaying or selling of wares is permitted outside the confines of the Vendor area.  If you do not register as a vendor and wish to sell items, the only place and time you may do so is in the Swap Meet on Saturday morning.

Anything not specifically covered under these rules will fall to the discretion of the TMSP Directors to adjudicate resolution.