Dark Sky Reserve at Night


 Look Up. Be Amazed.

Boasting some of the darkest skies in the lower 48, the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve provides an opportunity to see objects in the night sky that are not visible throughout most of the U.S. Here, all you have to do is  look up to see our Milky Way Galaxy, Andromeda Galaxy, Messier objects, constellations, our moon, planets, satellites (including the Space Station), and many other wonders of the night sky. Add a pair of binoculars or small telescope and the depths of the cosmos are revealed, from nearby nebulae to distant galaxies.


If you are new to stargazing, a good way to start is to learn some of the key constellations – Orion, Ursa Major (The Big Dipper), Cassiopeia, and the Summer Triangle. Knowing them provides a base to build your knowledge and to navigate the cosmos. Star charts are useful tools that provide a map of the night sky in your area.  Find them online, in astronomy magazines, or at your local planetarium.


The planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn change their positions in the sky throughout the year but can be seen with the naked eye. Other than the moon, Venus and Jupiter are the brightest objects in the night sky. With a small telescope you can see the Galilean moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn.


August is a great month to observe meteor showers when the Perseids appear in large numbers. The Geminids put on another spectacular show in December. Other smaller meteor showers appear throughout the year.


Navigation Tools


There are many apps available to help you navigate the night sky. Check your app store for the ones that work best for you. These websites also provide general information about the night sky and locations for current constellations.




Stanley, Idaho

Stanley, Idaho is one of the last strongholds of the Idaho frontier. Unaffected, pristine, and planted at the foot of the Sawtooth Mountains on the banks of the Salmon River. It’s nestled in an amphitheater of rarely found natural beauty, a place that will leave an indelible impression on you from the moment you enter.

Ketchum, Idaho

Once a modest mining and ranching town, Ketchum is now a bustling resort town that became a popular ski destination. Bald Mountain towers above the city and draws world-class skiers every year. The surrounding wilderness provides a beautiful escape for hiking, trail riding, hunting and sports. Ernest Hemingway was known to have fallen in love with the valley and made his final home in Ketchum.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Whether you come for skiing or summer fun, beautiful Sun Valley offers recreational activities galore. The authentic small town experience is as pristine as the mountains and rivers that surround the area.

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