Interesting article about dark sky parks

balzaccom

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Best dark skies I have ever seen (and I am a pretty experienced amateur astronomer) were at about 9,000 feet in Kings Canyon. Absolutely stunning stars--so many that I had a hard time identifying the constellations.

There are about 2500 stars in the sky that we can see in a very dark sky. In cities, we often only see 25 of them.
 

Janice

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In December 1994, we were at Anza-Borrego and saw more stars than I've ever seen anywhere before or since. Hard to find the constellations, just like you experienced, @balzaccom. It was spectacular!
 

Rockskipper

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I'll add that the country on the west side of the Tetons is pretty spectacular at night (near Alta). I was able to easily photograph the Andromeda Nebula. I've also seen unbelievable night skies in the San Juan Mtns.
 

zionsky

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North rim of the grand canyon was awesome.....until they added landing lights at the south rim airport:mad:
 

Parma

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Capitol Reef has my favorite sky I've seen. It was a new moon night and I got up around 2-3am to tinkle. I ended up waking up my son and others in the tent to come take a look. It was amazing how bright the stars were without a moon.
 

TeamJenkins17

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Fox Park in the Teton Wilderness was absolutely spectacular, we saw more stars than anywhere I’d ever been. In my opinion it blew the Sawtooths out of the water which is pretty incredible in itself. We stayed out from around midnight until 3:00am and the sky seemed to be glowing purple with so many stars it almost felt like you could reach up and touch them.
 

ImNotDedYet

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Death Valley's great. (and certified) Great Sand Dunes is dark sky certified as is the area around Westcliffe and Silver Cliff in CO. A lot goes into being dark sky certified as I know one of the people making the push for certification for Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. Obviously many areas in Utah fit the bill as well. I got dizzy looking at the stars while camping near the Government Trail on Cedar Mesa.
 

PaulMags

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Believe it or not, one of the best dark skies I ever saw ended up one fine October in the Nebraska Panhandle camped north of the Agate Fossil Beds and camped in the Pine Ridge Escarpment.

My wife at the time and I found a free county campground in a small canyon (yes!) with a flowing creek and cottonwoods popping yellow. The Milky Way more than lived up to its name. I kid you not; the Panhandle makes a surprisingly great destination if you never checked it out.

A few years later, I remembered this tidbit and saw the 2017 eclipse as the totality line went right through there.

Sioux County, NE, is about twice the size of RI but has fewer than 1800 people. And the "big" city of Scottsbluff is over an hour away.
 
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