Have you ever tried to spot constellations in the sky while under the canopy of lights in the city? It’s pretty tough to do. But when you’re far from the busy streets, in spots where light pollution is low, the night sky lights up with glittery jewels from distant parts of the Milky Way.
With vast stretches of wilderness, Colorado stargazing does not disappoint. The key is to get as far from the bigger cities, like Denver and Colorado Springs, as you can. Here’s where you should go if you’re looking for the best stargazing in Colorado.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Located less than 90 minutes from downtown Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the best places to stargaze close to the city. By heading deep into the Rocky Mountains, stargazers escape much of the city’s light pollution.
What we love about Rocky Mountain National Park is that it boasts accommodations for all types of travelers. Outdoor enthusiasts can bring camping equipment and spend their nights sleeping under the stars. For those who prefer a bed to the ground, there are plenty of places to stay less than 10 miles from the park in Estes Park. You’ll want to drive over to the park itself for the best stargazing.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
The Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of the best stargazing spots in Colorado. It is one of four parks designated an International Dark Sky Park in Colorado. High elevation, low light pollution, and dry air combine for breathtaking views.
Whether you’re headed out for a romantic getaway or teaching the kids about the cosmos, a trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park is an excellent choice. Spend your days sandboarding and exploring the nearby mountains and the nights spotting constellations and shooting stars.
Cañon City, home to the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park and some of the best river rafting in Colorado, is one of the best places to stargaze near Colorado Springs.
This popular tourist destination attracts outdoor lovers who spend their days exploring and their nights spread out under the stars. The small town itself doesn’t have much to do at night, with very little light pollution. As a result, it’s a great spot not far from the city to bathe in starlight.
Cañon City has lots of great camping spots. But if you’re looking for something more luxurious, we invite you to stay with us at Royal Gorge Cabins. Not only are our cabins incredibly comfortable, but we designed the ground to maximize dark sky principles. This allows our guests to feel far from the city while taking in the twinkling cosmos.
The Colorado Springs Astronomical Society
Stargazing doesn’t need to be a family-only event. The Colorado Springs Astronomical Society holds regular stargazing events for members and attendees to take in the sights together. You won’t simply gaze up towards the sky but use telescopes to see the sky like you’ve never seen it before.
Dinosaur National Monument
Travel to the northwest corner of the state and you’ll find Dinosaur National Monument. Not only is this a wonderful spot to bring kids to learn about history, but it’s vast stretches of wilderness offer outdoor lovers a memorable getaway.
In 2019, Dinosaur National Monument earned the International Dark Sky Park designation after years of taking measures to limit light pollution. Today, it’s one of the best spots of camping and stargazing in Colorado.