New Mexico is one of the best states in the country for stargazing. Our high elevations, dry climate, and bountiful clear nights are the ultimate adventure for the stargazing enthusiast.

Stargazing is an ancient and authentic experience. For indigenous people who lived on this land the connection to the night skies has always been both spiritual and sacred. For Native people today, the night skies are still used for guidance in daily living and religious ceremonies.

Rio Rancho Astronomical SocietyAlbuquerque Astronomical Society

New Mexico International Dark Sky Parks

New Mexico is home to Gold and Silver-Tier Dark Sky Parks, as certified by the
International Dark Sky Association.

Valles Caldera National Preserve

Designated as a dark sky park in 2021, Valles Caldera National Preserve is New Mexico’s newest International Dark Sky Park. This 89,000 acre National Preserve is in the heart of one of three super volcanoes in the United States and is known for its expansive mountain meadows, abundance of wildlife, and stunning views of the night skies. The Preserve is located in the Jemez Mountains from where it is possible to see the Milky Way, meteor showers, planets, and star constellations, unobstructed by light pollution.

Visitors have the opportunity to attend an astronomy event or can observe the night skies on their own.



Placitas is a small town that’s only 30 minutes away from Albuquerque. It’s a tiny community surrounded by desert, and it’s far enough from the city that you don’t have to worry about light pollution. This makes it an ideal spot for stargazing.

You may access the Placitas Open Space from Interstate 25 by taking Exit 242 onto Highway 165. From Highway 165 there are eastern and western entrances to the property.