The nearest town of more than a few thousand people is Silver City, forty-two miles away. Other than that, the community of Gila Hot Springs (population about 30) lies about 3-4 miles away and Mimbres (population of a few hundred hidden in a nearby valley) lies about thirty miles away. There are only a few buildings clustered together in the staff residential area behind the Visitor Center and no street lights either in the visitor center parking lot or in the residential area. Therefore there is no noticeable light pollution to interfere with stargazing. Nights, other than during the rainy months, can be crystal clear with clear views of the Milky Way, constellations, and meteor showers.