Experience Night Sky Magic at Valles Caldera National Preserve

Published on June 25, 2024

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Los Alamos, New Mexico, the gateway to three National Parks, invites summer travelers to experience the night sky in all its majesty at Valles Caldera National Preserve, a designated International Dark Sky Park.

A popular destination for fishing, hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing throughout the daylight hours, Valles Caldera transforms to a celestial wonderland after dark with sprawling views of the night sky, stars, and constellations. With six large pullouts for stargazing, as well as astronomy programs and full moon hikes, a visit to Valles Caldera National Preserve is a must for unmatched night sky views.

Valles Caldera will be hosting night sky events throughout the summer, including Stars & Sweets on Friday, July 5. Attendees at Stars & Sweets will experience the best of stargazing with experienced astronomers, along with sweets, booths, demonstrations, and a celebration of local culture.

“Whichever season you visit Valles Caldera National Preserve, the incredible natural landscapes will take your breath away,” Ellyn Felton, Marketing Specialist for Los Alamos County said. “This summer, bring the family and connect in the place where discoveries are made to learn about and be inspired by the night sky.”

Along with Stars & Sweets, Valles Caldera National Preserve has a variety of night sky programs running through October. View the full lineup at https://www.nps.gov/vall/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm.

To make the most of your stargazing experience, be sure to follow these tips:

  • Limit white light. White light—especially from cell phones—can limit your views of the sky. If using a flashlight, consider using red light to help your eyes adjust to the darkness. 
  • Bring blankets or reclining chairs. This will allow for increased comfort during viewing for all members of your party.
  • Use a map or an app. Add fun to the experience by using an app or a map to guide your star and constellation viewing.

To learn more and plan your visit, go to https://visitlosalamos.org.