Colorado is world-renowned for its natural beauty
. There are the majestic Rocky Mountains, countless alpine lakes and waterfalls, steep canyons, enormous sand dunes, awe-inspiring rock formations, wild rivers, and more.
But that’s hardly all. A huge part of Colorado’s incredible beauty is its exceptionally clear skies. Thanks to the high elevation and minimal humidity, you can almost always count on bluebird days and night skies blanketed in twinkling stars
. To fully experience their beauty, plan a stargazing Colorado outing.
Tips for a Memorable Stargazing Colorado Experience
Believe it or not, there are several ways to make stargazing in Colorado even better.
- Many cities, towns, and colleges have astronomy clubs centered around stargazing in Colorado. They hold star parties and often have equipment loaner programs. For example, the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society (CSAS) loans telescopes to people to test before committing to the big purchase.
- When possible, head to a state or national park or national monument for some of the best stargazing experiences in Colorado.
- You can enjoy stargazing in Colorado year-round. Yes, even when it’s freezing out! In fact, winter brings some of the clearest skies.
- Different constellations are visible at different times of the year. Consider printing a star chart for each month to help you identify what you’re looking at.
- The darker the environment, the more stars you’ll see. If you need to use any light while you’re stargazing, use the red light feature on your cell phone or headlamp.
Best Locations for Stargazing in Denver
Stargazing and Denver may not seem like synonymous words. After all, Denver is a major city complete with numerous skyscrapers and stadiums. With its elevation, proximity to both the Rockies and plains, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, though, there are actually plenty of places to stargaze.
Lookout Mountain Park
An easy 30-minute drive from downtown Denver, Lookout Mountain Park offers stunning views of the Front Range and wide-open skies. To best enjoy this stargazing Colorado experience, simply drive along Lookout Mountain Road until you find a spot you like or hike the relatively easy Clear Creek Trail.
For an authentic stargazing Denver experience in the heart of the city, head to Chamberlin Observatory
. A joint effort by the University of Denver and Denver Astronomical Society, the observatory hosts weekly public nights and has an impressive 20-inch refracting telescope available to visitors.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
You’ve surely heard of concerts at Red Rocks, but how about stargazing? While the amphitheater is in the city, its unique structure and position provide some protection from light pollution (on nights there are no shows, of course). Red Rocks offers a unique opportunity for stargazing Colorado, particularly for city dwellers.
This tiny mountain town is 25 miles south of Denver — plenty far enough from the city to enjoy almost no light pollution, but still easily accessible. Find an open spot to enjoy some of the best stargazing experiences Colorado offers, then stop at Bud’s Cafe
for one of the best burgers in Colorado.
Jackson Lake State Park
About an hour northwest of Denver, you’ll find an expanse of prairieland and plains. The lack of mountain peaks near this state park creates some of the best conditions for stargazing in Colorado — there’s nothing to obstruct your view!
RV Parks Nearby: Cherry Creek State Park, Dakota Ridge RV Resort, and Bear Creek Lake Park
Best Locations for Stargazing in Colorado Springs
Flanked by iconic Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs is one of the most picturesque destinations in the Front Range. And with its notoriously clear “bluebird” skies, it’s easy to find epic stargazing in Colorado Springs.
Garden of the Gods
Although it’s easily accessible and located squarely within city limits, Garden of the Gods is perfectly sheltered from city light pollution. Particularly, if you’re into astrophotography, this is one of best places for stargazing in Colorado Springs — it’s hard to beat snow-capped Pikes Peak as a backdrop to night sky photos.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
For some of the best stargazing in Colorado Springs, head just an hour west of town. The national monument hosts night sky programs once a month year-round and became an International Dark Sky-certified Park
in June 2021.
Fox Run Regional Park
This park is just north of the city, but its thick pine forest and rolling hills make it seem worlds away. Head to one of the lakes or sports fields for incredible stargazing in Colorado Springs — Fox Run is just far enough from town to enjoy dark skies.
Higginbotham Flats, Manitou Springs
This large open space overlooks the quirky town of Manitou Springs, adjacent to Colorado Springs. Enjoy both the views of the town below and the expansive night sky above. It’s also just across from Cave of the Winds
, so consider making it a full day trip.
Paint Mines Interpretive Park
The wide-open sky and otherworldly hoodoos in Paint Mines, about an hour east of the city, offer up some of the best stargazing in Colorado Springs. Note that the park technically closes at dusk. Contact El Paso County Parks
to inquire about a nighttime permit.
RV Parks Nearby: Garden of the Gods RV Resort, Cheyenne Mountain State Park, and Goldfield RV Park
Experience a Starry Adventure in a Cruise America RV
With so many spectacular locations for stargazing in Colorado, the question isn’t if
you’re going — it’s when and where
you’re going! Whether you’re checking out the stargazing spots Denver has for a date night or you want to check off all the best places for stargazing in Colorado Springs, the experience is made even better with a Cruise America RV rental
. Contact us
today to learn more about the various RV models
we offer or to schedule a pickup from one of more than 130 locations