Stargazing spots. Visitors can also arrange guided and unguided float trips down the Rio Grande. Log In. Most of the park’s main roads are treeless and minimal the landscape provides minimal obstructions to the skyline. On a moonless night in April 2017, rangers set out to measure the darkness. Note: Due to the novel coronavirus, National Parks vary in opening hours and access. With no significant population centers for hundreds of miles, Big Bend provides an exceptional occasion for stargazing. Big Bend National Park: Texas. See more of Camping, Hiking and Stargazing Society on Facebook. Stargazing spots. This mountain lodge is located in the Chisos Mountains. Create New Account. Texas’ most popular national park offers up incredible stargazing opportunities. Would we do better driving our car and staying in the lodge or a motel, or would we be closer to our viewing spot by renting an RV? Is there a dark sky festival in Big Bend? Posted by 6 days ago. See which parks topped the list. Big Bend Ranch State Park Near Big Bend National Park. Close. Big Bend National Park . Can you see the Milky Way while stargazing in Big Bend? Stargazing at Big Bend National Park. Answer 1 of 3: We are staying a night in Alpine. Big Bend Park is open 24 hours a day, year round. Top Big Bend National Park Tours: See reviews and photos of tours in Big Bend National Park, Texas on Tripadvisor. Automotive Fuel. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is widely regarded as one of … El Paso is about 4.5 hours from the Persimmon Gap or Terlingua entrance. The Chisos Basin Visitor Center is a great resource for park information or a Big Bend National Park map. Recommendations include Paisano Village Inn, Retro Rents or Lajitas Golf Resort. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The Big Bend is named for the vast curve of the Rio Grande in remote southwest Texas. This 21-mile stretch of road provides access to Terlingua, TX along with the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Chisos Basin, and the Grapevine Hills Road. Glacier National Park (International Dark Sky Park) Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the … Big Bend National Park. https://www.tripstodiscover.com/best-stargazing-spots-in-texas Hoping for a clear sky. Campgrounds in Big Bend … A variety of guided outdoor activities are available. The SQM measures the amount of artificial light in the sky at a given time. See temporary closures and business changes, Check our Events page for star parties and other scheduled events, information about the Clear Sky Chart can be found here, current moon phase information for Big Bend Ranch State Park. A Clear Sky Chart is an astronomer’s forecast about sky conditions, including, darkness, cloudiness, transparency and the seeing quality. So, it’s … Your localized Astronomy weather forecast, from AccuWeather, provides you with the tailored weather forecast that you need to plan your day's activities Although summers in Big Bend can be hot, the cool evenings create all sorts of new possibilities. These items are contraband and illegal to purchase on the trails. Even more impressive, the organization ranked Big Bend #4 on its list of the top seven stargazing destinations on earth. Big Bend Ranch State Park is about 30 mins from Big Bend National Park – so it’s not technically in Big Bend National Park. The best places places for stargazing are along River Road, at the West Contrabando Trailhead, Big Hill and the Hoodoos. This can be a real surprise to visitors when they are outside on a clear night and see the Milky Way in its full glory for perhaps the first time in their life. We’ve created an authentic outdoor bush experience for your incredible evening under the stars, […] I've never been to Big Bend but I'm hoping to visit later this year. Big Bend is a diverse region with endless possibilities for adventure and discovery. There are day hikes for all skill levels and some are flat and easy while others are strenuous all-day hikes. The Headlands, a county park in northern Michigan, was the site of this image by photographer Yoshiyuki Takahashi. Terlingua Nights Cabins . Forgot account? Answer 1 of 3: We are staying a night in Alpine. There are no formal stargazing tours in the Big Bend National Park, and professional guiding is regulated by the National Park Service. There are currently three electric car charging options in the wide area "near" McDonald Observatory. One outdoor adventure that sets Big Bend apart from many national parks around the country is stargazing opportunities. Star gaze at night around . Big Bend National Park is a one-of-a-kind stop for all outdoor adventures. This tiny village creates a small amount of light pollution. The International Dark-Sky Association designated Big Bend Ranch State Park a gold tier Dark Sky Park in 2018. recliners & hammocks. The Headlands. Our one goal is to see STARS! The park has mountains, a desert, a river valley, and canyons. We want to stay as close to our star gazing spot as possible since we’ll probably stay up late that night. 2, just after the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Coming up second is the Big Bend National Park which is located in southwest Texas and borders Mexico. Big Bend National Park (International Dark Sky Park) Known for its breathtaking vistas and hiking trails, Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas is a beautiful place to take in the night sky. But be sure not to focus too much on the landscape: The stargazing in the dark Big Bend sky is extraordinary. Admission is $20 per vehicle or $10 per individual on motorcycle or bike and is valid for seven days. ... Hikers, a new hiking trail is coming to Big Bend … Texas’ Big Bend National Park ranks the highest, coming at No. Neighboring state park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, has also earned a similar designation. This 21-mile stretch of road provides access to the Rio Grande and Boquillas Canyon. Or you can call the park at (432) 424-3327. Big Bend is a natural place for star gazing. ?Tips? The best spot on this road to stop and view the stars is the Fossil Discovery Exhibit. Enter the east … When is the best time to go stargazing in Big Bend? (Visit Bortle Scale Ratings page to see ratings for all state parks.). In the southwest corner of Texas lies Big Bend National Park, a desolate area made up of the Chisos Mountains and part of the Chihuahuan Desert. Big Bend Ranch’s Bortle Scale rating is 1 in some areas. Which is why Texas is one of the best places for stargazing. The javelin are often seen near the roadways at night and hitting one isn’t good for the car or javelin. 2, just after the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. In brief, here are some of the best places for stargazing in Big Bend National Park: Read on for more details about each of these stargazing spots near Big Bend. Accommodations run the range from convenient and comfortable to resort luxury. Answer 1 of 3: We are staying a night in Alpine. It is named after Ross Maxwell, the first Superintendent of Big Bend National Park. These protected areas along with Big Bend create a mountainous desert area that is sparsely populated. Let us know in the comments! Big Bend Ranch is also an International Dark Sky Park. Getting to Big Bend National Park can be accomplished by driving from the following airports: El Paso to Big Bend National Park: 4 hours and 15 minutes, 287 miles, El Paso International Airport, 1. Midland is about 3 hours from the park’s Persimmon Gap entrance. It several small B&B’s such as Eve’s Garden Bed & Breakfast. She is a dedicated National Park lover who is working on visiting all 61 US National Parks. We will not be hiking in Big Bend due to heat and have age ranges from 76-5 years old. The park geologist position is one of the most coveted geologist positions in NPS. The lowest point in North America is actually an … When hiking along the Rio Grande, you might notice small displays of Mexican hand-crafts with prices. Annual passes are also available. Our one goal is to see STARS! Located in West Texas and far away from major cities, Big Bend National Park regularly awes stargazers during the night. We are considering the exact same thing in November and trying to decide where to stay. She has currently been to 53 of the parks. Stargazing in Big Bend Big Bend National Park. Park Route 12 provides access to Big Bend’s Hot Spring. They took 39 readings at 13 sites in the park using a hand-held photometric device called a Sky Quality Meter (SQM). The closest airport to Big Bend National Park is l ocated in Midland TX. The International Dark-Sky Association designated Big Bend Ranch State Park a gold tier Dark Sky Park in 2018. Big Bend National Park is known as one of the outstanding places in North America for stargazing. week or more exploring Big Bend National Park, Santa Elana Overlook (Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive), Mule Ears View Point (Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive), Maverick Junction (Panther Junction Road), Grapevine Hills Road (Panther Junction Road), Chisos Basin Overlook (Chisos Basin Drive), Fossil Discovery Exhibit (Main Park Road). Press J to jump to the feed. The best places places for stargazing are along River Road, at the West Contrabando Trailhead, Big Hill and the Hoodoos. The nearest standard fueling stations are in Fort Davis, 15 miles away. Big Bend National Park Is The Best Place For Stargazing In Texas What most individuals don t perceive about Big Bend is that it s not solely one of the remoted locations in Texas, however your complete world Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is the most scenic drive in the park. Maverick Junction is a great spot for those staying to Terlingua to see the stars in the park. Panther Junction Road runs from Panther Junction to the Terlingua entrance. Before entering the park, visit The Museum of the Big Bend located on the Sul Ross State University campus in Alpine. After all, we are on the other side of nowhere. Big Bend National Park is one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States, filled with incredible natural landscapes. Hoping for a clear sky. Make sure you get your fill, as you’ll need all that energy when you set out to discover Big Bend. He designed this road to highlight his favorite geological features such as Tuff Canyon or Sotol Vista. According to the International Dark Sky Association guidelines, a value between 21 and 22 is considered exceptionally dark. Big Bend is a diverse region with endless possibilities for adventure and discovery. You know how the song goes: “The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.” Well, maybe you’re too young to remember that tune, but it’s true, the stars ARE big and bright at night in Texas! Great Basin, Big Bend and other amazing national parks for stargazing It is a wildly beautiful natural region, with a complex and fascinating history. Time Lapse Photography of the Milky Way from Big Bend National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains during a October new moon. The Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only lodge in the park. For the best night skies in Texas, head west. 2. After all, we are on the other side of nowhere. See more of Camping, Hiking and Stargazing Society on Facebook. Park Route 12 runs from Panther Junction to the Rio Grande Village. Big Bend National Park is located in Texas next to the Mexico Border. To learn more, look up current moon phase information for Big Bend Ranch State Park or see the current moon phase calendar. See which parks topped the list. Should you see something, please don’t stop or intervene and call 911 when possible. Be sure to check if the park you want to visit is open before planning a trip. If, that is, no moon is around. This is the dry season in the park and you are less likely to encounter rain storms. Big Bend Ranch State Park Near Big Bend National Park. We may waive camp or park entrance fees for volunteers who sign up and provide observations and/or images. Alpine is about an hour from the park and had rental cars available. Content of this site copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department unless otherwise noted. Big Bend National Park is one of the largest and most remote National Parks in the lower 48 – it’s also one of the best national parks for stargazing!This mountain desert park offers a unique look at the geological history of North America while providing numerous hiking and outdoor opportunities and some of the darkest skies in the continental United States. The Big Bend is named for the vast curve of the Rio Grande in remote southwest Texas. Our one goal is to see STARS! More information about the Clear Sky Chart can be found here. Located in Southern Texas, Big Bend National Park’s dark skies have been legitimized by the International Dark Sky Association, claiming that the park’s skies are darker than any other national parks’ night skies in the continental U.S. How to Go Stargazing in Big Bend National Park, Where to Go Stargazing in Big Bend National Park, Where to Stay Near Big Bend National Park, What to See & Do During the Day in Big Bend, Other FAQ about Stargazing in Big Bend National Park. The river campgrounds offer clear sky views. The entrance stations are closed at night but you are still required to have a valid Big Bend entrance receipt or National Park pass when in the park. Barton Warnock Visitor Center has a 2 rating, while Fort Leaton has a 4. The best campground for sky gazing is Cottonwood. However, you are welcome to enjoy the stars from any of the Big Bend Overlooks. The Bortle Dark-Sky Scale measures how well you can see objects in the sky at night. Are there guided night tours in Big Bend? Overlooks such as Rio Grand Overlook provide clear sky views and a view all the way to Mexico. our fire pits or in our star gazing . Texas’ Big Bend National Park ranks the highest in the state, coming at No. There are four campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. Stargazing in Big Bend: The Darkest Skies in Texas. The road ends at the start of the Santa Elana Canyon. Top Big Bend National Park Tours: See reviews and photos of tours in Big Bend National Park, Texas on Tripadvisor. The park has a range of fossils from sea creators to land animals that haven’t been found elsewhere. While it does occasionally happen, it is not a major concern in the park. on Highway 118 and . The rising and setting of the moon, the Milky Way passing directly overhead, and man-made light can cause fluctuations in sky darkness. Big Bend Ranch State Park, west of Big Bend National Park, has the darkest night skies for stargazing in Texas.With over 311,000 remote acres along the Rio Grande in Brewster and Presidio counties, the park is the largest in Texas. Boasting more than 1,200 different types of flora and over 450 species of birds within its perimeter, Big Bend’s bio-diverse beauty by day only heightens the majesty of the stargazing experiences found within its 800,000 acres by night. Neighboring state park, Big Bend Ranch State Park , has also earned a similar designation. Yes, Big Bend is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Hot Spring is reached by a 0.25-mile trail so bring a flashlight if planning to visit at night. Log In Sign Up. On clear nights in Big Bend, you can go stargazing and see the Milky Way with your bare eyes. Under Lucky Stars put together a list of the top 10 national parks for stargazing. Jennifer is the founder of National Park Obsessed. In fact, it has the least light pollution of any National Park unit in the lower 48 states. It is one of six International Dark Sky Parks in Texas, including the nearby Big Bend Ranch State Park. So, it’s no surprise that the state is home to one of the largest and best destinations for stargazing. Summer is the best time of year to see the Milky Way in the northern hemisphere. off Highway 170. There are numerous pullouts and scenic views that are perfect for stargazing. Nearby Hotels. Take […] With no significant population centers for hundreds of miles, Big Bend provides an exceptional occasion for stargazing. Our brand-new Dark Sky Night Tour is the perfect way to experience one of the world’s most pristine areas of night sky, with uninterrupted views to the Milky Way and complete clarity above the Murray River and famous Big Bend cliffs. One factor that makes this possible is simply the sparse human occupation of this region. Big Bend National Park is located in southern Texas along the Rio Grande and shares a 118-mile border with Mexico. The state park offers similar outdoor recreation opportunities and is well known for its dark skies. This mountain desert park offers a unique look at the geological history of North America while providing numerous hiking and outdoor opportunities and some of the darkest skies in the continental United States. The map below shows the sky glow around the park with colors that match the Bortle scale. Head to the Chisos Mountains. We are looking for volunteers to help us watch the night sky. 2. Spots such as Santa Elana Overlook or Mule Ears View Point provide nice foregrounds for star photos. or. #2 Big Bend National Park. With a little planning, you can even arrange to be there at dinner time with a spectacular … The Ultimate Stargazing Trip From Big Bend National Park To Yellowstone By Nikki Cleveland Locations , New Mexico , RV Trip Ideas , Texas , Utah Take this scenic road trip across the U.S. to visit ten parks with the darkest skies for stargazing. On our first day, I asked our guide what was the best thing to do in … It is also possible to take an Amtrack train of Greyhound Bust to Alpine, TX. Fortunately, the Lone Star State offers no shortage of stellar stargazing spots, ... Big Bend is heralded as one of the best stargazing parks, as it sees almost no light pollution. The International Dark-Sky Association designated Big Bend Ranch State Park a gold tier Dark Sky Park in 2018. Big Bend State Park . Texas’ gift to the nation, Big Bend National Park. Big Bend Ranch State Park sits in the darkest area of the state. 3. We can use your observations and photographs to monitor sky quality. The air is very dry and it seldom rains (6–10 inches per year).