Best Spots to Stargaze in Colorado

Posted by: admin August 28th, 2018

Anyone who has spent time in Colorado knows that it is a paradise for those who love views of snow-capped peaks, treks through pine forests sprouting from red soil, and a state culture of embracing the outdoors. For passionate outdoorsmen and women, it’s tough to beat a long day on the trails or slopes followed by some fireside relaxation gazing up at the stars. Our team at the Frisco Lodge decided to partner up with our friends and travel experts over at AllTheRooms to come up with a definitive list of all the best places to see the stars in the Centennial State.

Frisco of course!

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So obviously there may be a little bit of bias here, but Frisco does offer up some of the absolute best stargazing in the country. It’s a mountain town many people dream of. Nestled along the Rockies, with a charming main street, and miles of waterfront opportunities, on the Dillon Reservoir, there are a number of locations worthy of a stop. Our town and lodge are within minutes of multiple world-class ski resorts and we are also ideally located in the White River National Forest, all of which will be lit up at night by the distant stars.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

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Red Rocks is a music venue like no other, as it is carved into the side of a sloping natural rock and overlooks grasslands and Denver in the distance. For those who have been, it is likely their favorite site for a concert, and for those music fans that haven’t, it is probably at the top of their bucket list. While there are nearby city lights which may cut down some visibility, enjoying the live music and energy of the crowd while staring skyward is a magical experience.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Unlike Red Rocks, Great Sand Dunes National Park’s views of the Milky Way won’t be impeded by the glow of cities, as it is approximately 250 miles away from both its nearest big cities, Denver and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Known, clearly, for its towering sand dunes, the national park makes itself known as a good place for seeing stars as its largest and best-known dune is called Star Dune; which just can’t be a coincidence. The park also includes forests, canyons, marshes, and lakes.

Rocky Mountain National Park

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Colorado’s most popular national park, the Rocky Mountain National Park, is an outdoor haven with brilliant views of craggy mountaintops in every direction. Depending on the season these breathtaking vantage points can change from frozen snow-covered tundra to meadows full of colorful wildflowers and bugling elk. For stargazing, the park has a number of great campsites, while some are easily accessible from the entrance, we recommend some of the backcountry grounds that will require a fair amount of hiking. A few favorites include La Poudre Pass, Timber Creek, and Little Rock Lake.

Garden of the Gods

This public park and national landmark in Colorado Springs is 1,400 acres of natural goodness. Garden of the Gods is best known for its vertical fin-like rock formations, some of which are hundreds of feet tall. The night sky is brilliant and the view of Pikes Peak in the distance, silhouetted by the moon and stars, makes it is clear why Garden of the Gods lands on our list 

Aspen

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There is no shortage of luxury ski towns in Colorado, and Aspen could easily be replaced here with destinations like Vail or Beaver Creek, but since Aspen is a bit more remote than most other extremely popular mountain resorts, it is the best one for seeing stars. Also, with an abundance of high-end accommodations, this could be one of the best places to enjoy a night light show during a romantic getaway for two. 

The Top of the Flatirons

The Flatirons, Boulder’s most famous natural feature, can be viewed as the gateway to the Rockies as everywhere to the east is prairie flatland and because of their grand appearance. The popular Chautauqua Park offers a number of world-class hiking routes to the top of The Flatirons with views that extend from the plains to the east and out to the western Rocky Mountains, whose ranges are unable to be fully seen from the popular college town. The trails, like Flagstaff and Chautauqua, are well trafficked and excellently marked so an adventure down from the park at night should not be a problem when equipped with a headlamp.

Curecanti National Recreation Area

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Curecanti is located between the southwestern towns of Gunnison and Montrose and boasts access to the Blue Mesa Reservoir, which happens to be Colorado’s largest body of water. Taking a boat out onto one of the three reservoirs of the Gunnison River offers an amazing opportunity to see huge clusters of stars reflecting on the water’s surface.

Author: Zack Davisson

Zack is a recovering technical recruiter who traded in his suit and tie in Silicon Valley for salsa music and a passion for writing in Medellin, Colombia. When not writing for AllTheRooms you can find Zack with his nose in a book, puttering around nature, or getting ultra-competitive while watching Jeopardy.