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NM Dark Skies

Dark Sky Sites in New Mexico

Find the darkest skies in New Mexico for stargazing, astrophotography, and club events.

NM Nighttime Lights

2019 satellite image showing nighttime lights from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center.

NM nighttime satellite image



NM Light Pollution

2015 light pollution map showing sky brightness at the zenith from World Atlas data. Colors correspond approximately to the Bortle scale (see sidebar). Gray areas are the darkest skies.

NM light pollution map



NM National Parks

Map showing names of national parks, forests, reserves, and other protected areas that often offer the darkest locations for stargazing.

NM parks map

Darkest Locations in NM

Depending on your gear and what you are looking at, there may be many locations that are dark enough. This table attempts to list the darkest sites possible in from a Bortle/SQM perspective.

      1. Dark site
      2. Bortle scale
      1. Capulin Volcano NM
      2. 2
      1. Chaco Culture NP
      2. 2
      1. Clayton Lake SP
      2. 2
      1. Cosmic Campground
      2. 2
      1. El Morro NM
      2. 2
      1. Fort Union NM
      2. 2
      1. Gila NF
      2. 1
      1. Lincoln NP
      2. 1-2
      1. Salinas Pueblo Missions NM
      2. 2
      1. Valles Caldera NR
      2. 2
      1. Zuni Reservation
      2. 1-2