Enjoy Dark Skies at Leadville & Twin Lakes

        This summer, enjoy the magic of dark skies near Leadville and Twin Lakes, Colorado. Far away from city lights, you can marvel at bright moonlight or thousands of stars. Bring a telescope to peer into the universe. Or time your visit for meteor showers and watch fireworks in space.

        Where to Go

        Consider these star-struck locations:

        • Twin Lakes, Colorado, is a small village surrounded by miles and miles of national forest. Slip into the trees or along the shoreline just out of sight of Highway 82. There you’ll find a spectacular view of the cosmos.
        • Leadville’s East Side Mining District offers above-treeline views of the wide heavens. No camping or sleeping in cars overnight is allowed in the Mining District, to protect the fragile tundra from camping impacts.
        • Climbing a 14er? Start your hike before dawn to be down before afternoon thunderstorms arrive—and to catch an unforgettable view of the stars.

        Mt Democrat by @Chasing Luminance

        Photo: @Chasing.Luminance

        Stargazing Resources

        Get starry-eyed with these resources:

        Mt Massive by @Chasing Luminance

        Photo: @Chasing.Luminance

        Help Preserve our Dark Skies

        Did you know that 99% of Americans live somewhere with light pollution?

        On your vacation, you’ll have the chance to really see the night sky. Consider minimizing the use of lights on your trip to give your eyes, and your fellow campers’ eyes, a break. Doing so will also avoid confusing wildlife and night birds and let moths follow their usual patterns. Better still for your arms and ankles, using fewer lights will attract fewer bugs—and encourage them to stay flying in the forest for wildlife’s midnight snacks.

        Consider these tips for a dark sky vacation:

        1. Point lights down at the ground. Use a top shield where possible to keep light from escaping upward.
        2. Use warm lights instead of blue tones. Minimize use of devices with blue light—better for your sleep and wildlife’s.
        3. Limit outside light use. Consider keeping lanterns and outside RV lights off and using patio string lights only at home. For safety concerns, consider a motion sensor light.
        4. Tone down flashlights. Use a flashlight or headlamp on low if possible, and use a red lens or setting for night vision.
        5. Use curtains. Close RV curtains and tent flaps and shades when staying in comfy hotel, motel, B&B or rental. Doing so will help keep the night sky natural, deep in the Colorado Rockies.

        La Plata by @Chasing Luminance

        Photo: @Chasing.Luminance

        Night Sky Near Leadville and Twin Lakes

        Enjoy these photos of the night sky near Leadville and Twin Lakes, Colorado. Follow photographer Alex McGregor at @Chasing.Luminance on Instagram or visit his website.

        Sign up for eNews