Looking to go stargazing in New Mexico? Read our guide to New Mexico stargazing locations to learn helpful tips and find the best spots to stop for viewing the stars. The New Mexico night sky is quite the sight to behold. You just need to know where to look to get the best stargazing opportunities.
Keep reading to find out the best dark sky destinations in New Mexico and start planning your road trip!
Tips for Stargazing in New Mexico
Use these tips when gazing at the New Mexico night sky on your next road trip.
- Download stargazing apps. Stargazing apps are a great resource for identifying constellations, planets, and more. There are many free apps on the app stores for iOS and Android devices.
- Check the weather forecast. For the best New Mexico stargazing experience, you will want to check the weather forecast in advance. The best nights have low cloud cover percentages.
- Start with binoculars. Before investing in a telescope, start stargazing in New Mexico with binoculars. You will still be able to see many stars and planets in the night sky and can decide if you’d like to purchase a telescope in the future.
- Stargaze in the fall and winter. Autumn and winter are typically the best times to go stargazing in New Mexico because the nights are longer and the skies are clearer.
Next, we are going to take a look at some of the best stargazing locations in New Mexico for beginner and experienced stargazers. Read on to find the best spots in the state for stargazing!
Best Stargazing Spots in New Mexico
Take a rental RV on a road trip through New Mexico to catch some night sky treasures while stargazing. Here are some of the best destinations to stargaze in New Mexico.
Cerrillos Hills State Park
About an hour outside of Albuquerque, this New Mexico stargazing spot is an ideal location to see shooting stars and the Milky Way. The hills at this state park stand nearly 6,000 feet above sea level and make for great stargazing points. You will feel up close to the dark sky on these high hills. Lie back and take in the great views of the galaxy above at Cerrillos Hills State Park.
Hyde Memorial State Park
The Hyde Memorial State Park is next on our list of stargazing New Mexico destinations. Located north of Santa Fe, Hyde Memorial State Park is New Mexico’s first state park and offers visitors clear views of the New Mexico night sky. Spend a night under the stars without having to worry about any light pollution at this state park.
Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge
The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge is a 30,000-acre landmass full of dark areas for some of the best New Mexico stargazing. It’s easy to find a good spot to park the RV and stargaze the night away here. There’s no need to worry about any light pollution at Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge. It has some of the darkest and clearest skies in New Mexico for stargazing.
Cosmic Campground International Dark Sky Sanctuary
The Cosmic Campground International Dark Sky Sanctuary provides visitors with unmatched New Mexico stargazing opportunities. Certified as the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary located in North America, this park is a must-see when stargazing in New Mexico. It offers 360-degree unobstructed views of the New Mexico night sky.
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
The mission ruins at Salina Pueblo Mission National Monument became a certified Dark Sky Park in 2016. The ruins are a beautiful backdrop for your stargazing New Mexico trip. There are three distinct sites at the National Monument: Abó, Gran Quivira, and Quarai. Each of these are a great place to see stars in the clear night sky.
The night sky viewing area at Capulin Volcano is recognized as a Gold-Tier International Dark Sky Place. On a clear night, visitors can see thousands of stars blanketing the New Mexico sky. The viewing area is open to visitors every night but no overnight camping is permitted. The Visitor Center Parking Area is the best place to park your vehicle for stargazing at Capulin Volcano.
Clayton Lake State Park
Clayton Lake State Park is a 170-acre reservoir known for its dinosaur footprints and fossils, but at night, it turns out to be a great place for New Mexico stargazing. It is an oasis for stargazers in New Mexico because the park is elevated at 5,186 feet. There’s even the Lake Observatory for serious stargazers who want to take their viewing to the next level.
RV Parks Nearby:
Pick up a Cruise America RV rental from our convenient Albuquerque location and get started on your road trip!
Stargazing Albuquerque Locations
Albuquerque is full of great stargazing spots that give you the opportunity to see the Milky Way and maybe a planet or two. Read on to find the best stargazing spots in Albuquerque, NM.
The University of New Mexico
Your first thought may be that there is too much light pollution at the University of New Mexico for stargazing in Albuquerque. However, the Campus Observatory offers visitors stunning views of the New Mexico night sky. There is a telescope available for use and expert astronomers to help you identify what stars you are seeing. The Campus Observatory is open to the public on Friday nights, free of charge.
Bachechi Open Space
The Bachechi Open Space is located on 27-acres of flat farmland. This Albuquerque stargazing location is far from light pollution and provides excellent views of the New Mexico night sky. Occasionally star parties are hosted, so check the schedule if you’d like to attend. This farmland is isolated from city lights and is a wide-open space to go stargazing.
Placitas, New Mexico is a tiny town outside of Albuquerque with no stop lights or streetlights in an effort to control light pollution. The town is full of people who love to see the dark skies in New Mexico so they make the effort to keep their town as an excellent place to stargaze. Visit this small town for some of the best stargazing near Albuquerque.
RV Parks Nearby:
Start your stargazing New Mexico trip with an RV rental from Cruise America’s Albuquerque pickup location.
Go Stargazing in New Mexico With Cruise America
Bring all of the comforts and modern conveniences of home with you on your New Mexico stargazing trip with a Cruise America RV rental. Our RV rentals are the perfect way to experience the fun of a road trip through New Mexico.
Book a rental today or contact us for more information. Happy stargazing!