Dark sky places in NM

List of darkest places in New Mexico 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
Capulin Volcano National Monument 2
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carson National Forest
Chaco Culture National Park 2
Cibola National Forest
Cimarron Canyon State Park 2
City of Rocks State Park 2
Clayton Lake State Park 1
Conchas Lake State Park 2
Cosmic Campground 1
Coyote Creek State Park 2
El Morro National Monument 2
El Vado Lake State Park 2
Fort Union National Monument 2
Gila National Forest 1
Heron Lake State Park 2
Lincoln National Forest
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument 2
Santa Fe National Forest
Sumner Lake 1
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Reserve
Valles Caldera National Reserve 2
Villanueva State Park 2
White Ridge Bike Trails
White Sands National Park


Light Pollution Map w/ Bortle

On the left is a 2019 satellite image of NM 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.

NM night sky light pollution map