Have you looked up lately and counted the stars? Chances are, if you live in or near a big city, you can only see a few of the millions of stars and planets that fill the night sky. Light pollution can obscure all but the very brightest stars, and most cities do not control excess or unnecessary night lighting. When you venture out into more uninhabited areas, the night sky comes alive with an uncountable number of stars. The Chiricahua Mountains are in an area of spectacular, dark night skies. Some of the world's largest telescopes are located on nearby mountains for just this reason.
Chiricahua National Monument is always open, so come experience dark night skies from Massai Point, Echo Canyon Trailhead, or even the campground. For really dark night skies, plan your visit to avoid the full moon. Check our calendar to see if any night sky programs will be happening when you visit.
Tuscon, Phoenix, and Las Cruces are the three primary light domes visible in the image. This imaging only shows artificial light pollution, so it's easy to get a sense of how dark our skies are. NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division
All light sources (natural and artificial) are included in this image. Notice the Milky Way arching over the Sugarloaf Fire Lookout. NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division
Experience the night sky from Massai Point, where very few light pollution sources mar your dark sky. NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division
The Milky Way produces a lot of natural light at Massai Point. NPS Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division
Last updated: October 11, 2018