If you are looking for things to do while you practice social distancing this summer, stargazing is a great summertime activity. You can get away from the crowds, spend time outside, and beat the western Colorado summer heat.
The Western Slope offers many great stargazing locations (especially if you’re already on a camping trip). Here are five of our favorites.
The campsites in Morefield Campground are centered around a meadow, which means you can snag some views of unobstructed nighttime skies.
Hike and observe wildlife during the day, then enjoy the expansive views of the stars at night. Features like toilets, showers, fire pits, and picnic tables make the park a great choice for overnighters and day-trippers who like access to modern amenities.
Plus, Mesa Verde is home to Colorado’s famous cliff dwellings. If you’re interested in an up-close and personal experience with Colorado history, this park is a must-visit.
Though Uncompahgre National Forest is known for its dense conifer trees, the Amphitheater Campground has a scenic overlook that offers a breathtaking view of the sky. The site is also close to Ouray, a small mountain town with a relaxing public hot spring pool.
For an unforgettable summer trip, you can camp in the Uncompahgre and hit the hot springs in the evening. You can even scan the stars from the comfort of the springs.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument has plenty of outdoor activity options for your family. You can bike, rock climb, go horseback riding, backpacking, hunting, and more. Exploring the monuments by day and checking out the sky by night means you can have an all-inclusive vacation.
The monument is open year-round, so you can plan a trip later this year if you aren’t able to visit this summer.
This spot is exactly what it sounds like: a viewing platform built specifically for stargazers. You can camp on-site in this park, but it’s also open for visitors who just want to spend a few hours enjoying the night sky.
Since this place is isolated, there’s very little light pollution. As long as the skies are clear, it’s easy to watch the constellations from here.
Curecanti National Recreation Area follows the Gunnison River. Parts of the park are nestled deep within mountain valleys, but there are still places that provide access to some wonderful stargazing.
If you have your own watercraft that meets the Curecanti Guidelines, you can also drift down the river to watch the stars, making this a solid selection for anyone who wants to shake up their stargazing experience.