Best time to travel to Colorado Springs, CO

Stargazing in Colorado Springs, CO

Best places to spot stars and planets in central Colorado

Best time: all year round (best late March–late September)

11 Mile Reservoir

Endless skies and high elevation make Colorado Springs attractive not just during the day, but also at night. Spot the Milky Way, Orion, and Cassiopeia as you gaze in the sky over the beautiful nature preserves and parks surrounding Colorado Springs. The Milky Way is best visible in Colorado between late March through late September.

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the best locations for stargazing in central Colorado. A remote preserve within an hour's drive from Colorado Springs hosts Night Sky Programs in partnership with the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. Reservation and a special pass with the program are required for stargazing activities in the park, which was officially recognized as an International Dark Sky Park. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument provides views of the Milky Way, planets, star clusters, nebulae, comets, and other wonders of the night sky.

Garden Of The Gods is the most popular park in Colorado Springs thanks to dramatic views and towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak. Low light pollution and rugged peaks will guarantee excellent nighttime photography in the park, which is open from 5 am to 10 pm during the summer season.

In approximately 1.5 hours, it's possible to get from Colorado Springs to Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, the first communities in the state to be recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as ideal for stargazing. These neighboring spots offer excellent astronomy experiences. Visit the Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe, which is equipped with an advanced telescope. It hosts a wide variety of astronomy and stargazing events throughout the year.

Practical info

What are the best times to go stargazing in Colorado Springs, CO?

Between late March and late September, stargazing in Colorado Springs is ideal, although the city is a perfect spot all year. Milky Way visibility is high due to clearer nights and lower light pollution. Visitors can enjoy sightseeing of star clusters, planets, comets, and nebulae. Show more

Where can I go stargazing in Colorado Springs besides Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument?

Garden of the Gods and Silver Cliff and Westcliffe are popular for stargazing in Colorado Springs. Garden of the Gods has the towering sandstone formations, snow-capped Pikes Peak, and low light pollution. Silver Cliff and Westcliffe have been endorsed by the International Dark-Sky Association as one of the best locations for stargazing and have an observatory with an advanced telescope. Show more

What is Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument?

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is a remote nature reserve and fossil site located an hour from Colorado Springs. The park has a unique feature as an International Dark Sky Park due to no light pollution which provides excellent night sky visibility. Visitors can see a range of celestial objects such as the Milky Way, comets, star clusters, nebulae, and planets. Show more

What kinds of celestial objects can I see while stargazing in Garden Of The Gods?

Garden of the Gods provides excellent stargazing opportunities because of its low light pollution and rugged peaks that offer stunning views of the night sky. You can sightsee star clusters, planets, comets, and nebulae. Additionally, the site provides an ideal location for night photography highlighting the park's dramatic rock formations against the snow-capped Pikes Peak. Show more

What astronomical events take place at Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe?

The Smokey Jack Observatory in Westcliffe hosts several astronomy events throughout the year. With an advanced telescope, it is popular among serious astronomy enthusiasts. Visitors can stay at the observatory's Pikes Peak Astronomy Centre, which often has clear or partly cloudy skies ideal for astronomical studies. The site offers weekend observatory viewings, star parties, and lectures on different topics related to astronomy. Show more

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