Bortle 1 sites in the U.S.

List of Class 1-2 Bortle parks and places in the U.S. Bortle 1 are the darkest skies on Earth for stargazing, astrophotography, star parties, and club events. Often these are national and state parks and forests that are remote or "protected" against light pollution.

A Bortle value represents the potential of a location, not what it will be when you are there. Local factors such as dust, wildfire smoke, haze, humidity, clouds, or atmospheric turbulence can diminish the Bortle value that night.

The IDA column indicates if a site is an IDA-certified sanctuary, reserve, or park. Also use your local astronomy club for guidance as they will know the darkest places near you.

NAME IDA STATE
Boswell Bay Beaches MPA Alaska
Buskin River State SRA Alaska
Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve Alaska
Denali NP Alaska
Fielding Lake SRA Alaska
Lake Louise SRA Alaska
Liberty Falls SRA Alaska
Matanuska Glacier SRA Alaska
Porcupine Creek SRA Alaska
Security Bay MPA Alaska
Shuyak Island Alaska
Squirrel Creek SRA Alaska
Wood-Tikchik SP Alaska
Grand Canyon NP park Arizona
Bodie SP California
Death Valley NP park California
Lassen Volcanic NP California
Modoc NF California
Sinkyone Wilderness California
Smithe Redwoods SNR California
Yosemite NP California
Dinosaur NM park Colorado
Lone Mesa Colorado
Manuka SP Hawaii
Mauna Kea Hawaii
Nez Perce NF Idaho
Payette NF Idaho
Salmon Challis NF Idaho
Coastal Rivers Maine
Muskallonge Lake SP Michigan
Judge Magney SP Minnesota
Buffalo Camp Montana
Flathead NF Montana
Hell Creek Montana
Painted Rocks SP Montana
Samuel McKelvie NF Nebraska
Valentine NWR Nebraska
Berlin-Ichthyosaur SP Nevada
Black Rock Desert Nevada
Great Basin NP park Nevada
Sheldon Antelope Refuge Nevada
Wild Horse Reservoir SRA Nevada
Umbagog Lake SP New Hampshire
Clayton Lake SP park New Mexico
Cosmic Campground sanctuary New Mexico
Gila NF New Mexico
Sumner Lake New Mexico
Black Mesa SP Oklahoma
Bates SP Oregon
Chandler State Wayside Park Oregon
Fort Rock SNA Oregon
Golden & Silver Falls SRA Oregon
Goose Lake SRA Oregon
Ochoco NF Oregon
Wallowa-Whitman NF Oregon
Black Hills NF South Dakota
Big Bend NP park Texas
Anasazi State Park Museum Utah
Canyonlands NP park Utah
Capitol Reef NP park Utah
Goblin Valley SP park Utah
Goosenecks SP park Utah
Otter Creek Reservoir Utah
Medicine Bow NF Wyoming
Yellowstone NP Wyoming

NP = national park | SP = state park | NF = national forest | SF = state forest | NWR = national wildlife reserve | SRA = state recreational area

U.S. nighttime lights satellite map

US night lights satellite image

2019 satellite image showing US light pollution. See full interactive map at Blue Marble Navigator.


U.S. light pollution map

US light pollution map

2015 map showing US light pollution based on Bortle scale/SQM data. See full interactive map at LightPollutionMap.info.