Dark sky places in CO

List of darkest places in Colorado for stargazing, astrophotography, astrotourism, star parties, and astronomy club events. Often these are national and state parks and forests that are either remote or "protected" against light pollution.

National and state parks often let you stay overnight under the stars, hence their motto - "Half the park is after dark".

Bortle scale for sites is given where known. Also ask your local astronomy club for guidance as they will know the darkest places.

NAME BORTLE
Arapaho National Forest
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Chimney Rock
Crawford State Park 2
Crestone
Curecanti
Dinosaur National Monument 1
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Grand Mesa National Forest
Great Sand Dunes National Park 2
Gunnison National Forest 2
Horsetooth Reservoir
Jackson Lake State Park 2
John Martin Reservoir 2
Kelso Dunes National Park
Lone Mesa 1
Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest
Mesa Verde National Park
Navajo State Park 2
Norwood
Nucla-Naturita
Paonia State Park 2
Pearl Lake State Park 2
Pike National Forest
Ridgway State Park 2
Ridgway
Rio Grande National Forest
Rocky Mountain National Park
Roosevelt National Forest
San Isabel National Forest
San Juan National Forest
Slumgullion Center County Park 2
Stagecoach State Park 2
State Forest State Park 2
Steamboat Lake State Park 2
Sylvan Lake State Park 2
Uncompahre National Forest 2
Vega State Park 2
Westcliffe-Silver Cliff
White River National Forest 2


Light Pollution Map w/ Bortle

On the left is a 2019 satellite image of CO showing light pollution from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. On the right is a 2015 light pollution map showing sky brightness at the zenith from World Atlas data. Colors correspond approximately to the Bortle scale. Use as a guide to find the darkest sky locations near you.

CO night sky light pollution map