The 5 Best Places To Stargaze In Colorado

Colorado is known to be a winter wonderland destination, but it certainly offers outdoor fun year-round. According to Culture Trip, Colorado has a variety of landscapes, making it the perfect place for nature lovers. You'll find lakes, forests, prairie grasslands, sand dunes, red rock formations, and of course, the Rocky Mountains. It's also becoming known for its skies as well. As astrotourism, also known as celestial tourism, grows, many people are searching for nature-based destinations to get the best views of all the possible celestial phenomena that they can.

In Colorado, astrotourism is welcomed for visitors to learn about the importance of dark skies. In fact, the state's Lake Fork Earth and Sky Center earned its designation as a dark sky park from the International Dark-Sky Association in 2020, joining 15+ other locations (via The Colorado Sun). Anna Watson, chair of the board of the International Dark-Sky Association Colorado chapter, said the state is becoming a "showcase of dark sky places because of our amazing view of the night sky and the Milky Way."

With all its nature spots and the state's love for dark skies, you are sure to find a location to get the best views of the night sky for a perfect night of stargazing and wishing on shooting stars.

Dinosaur National Monument

The Dinosaur National Monument is on the International Dark-Sky Association's list of Dark Sky Parks. The park is about a two-hour drive from Grand Junction, Colorado, sitting just at the border of Utah. It is popular for its preserved dinosaur fossils as well as its whitewater rafting on the Dinosaur and Yampa rivers. Because of its dark skies, the park also offers night hikes hosted by the park rangers for the ultimate stargazing experience. With its wide open space, you can certainly find a spot to view the stars and other celestial magic (via

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park near Alamosa, Colorado offers unique stargazing opportunities. According to the National Park Service, "half the park is after dark" because of the night sky viewing experience. Also a part of the International Dark Sky Association's list of International Dark Sky Parks, the park is especially known for its views of the Milky Way.

The park is open 24/7 and visitors are encouraged to minimize the use of bright flashlights, choosing red lights instead, so as to not affect night vision. For the best view of the stars, the National Park Service recommends visiting the park on moonless nights or during a late moonrise.

UFO Watchtower

Get more out of your stargazing experience by visiting the UFO Watchtower in San Luis Valley. This is a great spot to view the night sky and all it has to offer because there is no light pollution, according to the UFO Watchtower. Owner Judy Messoline says the location has a history of paranormal and "otherworldly" activity. And many San Luis Valley locals claim to have spotted mysterious flying objects and other alien activity, which they say has been common in the area since 2007. If you're in for a night of dreaming about and potentially encountering aliens, in addition to your stargazing, this is the place for you.

Mount Evans Byway

Mount Evans Byway is known as the highest paved road in North America and offers a scenic 28-mile drive leading to over 14,000 feet. Uncover Colorado recommends driving up to Mount Evans before sunset for safer road navigation. Along the road, you'll find pullouts, lakes, and mountain views, as well as Summit Lake Park, the Crest House at the summit, and Mount Goliath Nature Area. The byway offers many opportunities to settle in for a night of breathtaking views of the night sky, especially at the summit.

Jackson Lake State Park

Enhance your stargazing experience near the water at Jackson Lake State Park, which is also an International Dark-Sky Park (via Colorado Parks & Wildlife). Its perfectly dark skies allow you to properly see stars and the Milky Way. And the lake itself acts as a glassy reflective mirror. According to, the park is known as "the oasis in the plains," which earned its ranking as one of Reserve America's top 15 park beaches. If time permits, try camping overnight to get the full stargazing experience.