Night Sky Viewing

Illustration of the Milky Way over Valles Caldera with text that reads: International Dark Sky Park.
Valles Caldera National Preserve's International Dark Sky Park sign.

Tyler Nordgren

Every summer, we host different night sky programs. During full moons we offer full moon hikes and during new moons we offer night sky viewing programs. These programs will be posted on the calendar, typically taking place monthly from June through October. When attending an evening program, please come well prepared with extra layers for warmth, a camp chair (night sky viewing programs), light with a red mode, and smart devices in amber/night mode. There is no running water in the park.

For observing the night sky on your own, the only nighttime access points are the pullouts along Highway 4, however as a newer unit of the National Park Service, Valles Caldera is working hard to improve access. As we move forward into the important stages of planning and responsible development to improve visitor access, our goal is to protect the cultural and natural resources that make this place so special, such as the night sky.

An International Dark Sky Park

Valles Caldera has one of the darkest night skies in the world, and it is a fundamental value that we are determined to protect. As of 2021, Valles Caldera has been declared an official International Dark Sky Park from the International Dark Sky Association.

Learn more about Valles Caldera's designation as an International Dark Sky Park and its continued preservation of naturally dark skies on the Night Sky webpage.


Stargazing in the National Parks

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    Last updated: March 17, 2023

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