Stargazing in Westcliffe, CO
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In 2015, The International Dark Sky Association named Westcliffe / Silver Cliff the world’s 9th International Dark Sky Community. It’s the first in Colorado–and the highest elevation Dark Sky Community, period.
Astronomy enthusiasts and photographers come to Westcliffe from around the world to admire and capture our magnificent skies. You’ll commonly hear visitors remark, “I’ve never seen so many stars…” But truly, no matter how long you live here, you’ll never grow accustomed to just how majestic the skies are on a clear night. It’s one of the few places where you can see the Milky Way in-town with your naked eye.
Even better, our skies bring the community together. Smokey Jack Observatory is home to one the powerful telescopes in Colorado, hosts frequent events, classes, and even private or public ‘Star Parties.’
Smokey Jack Observatory
Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley, a non-profit organization who helped champion Westcliffe / Silver Cliff as a Dark Sky Community, also built an observatory.
Run by volunteers, Smokey Jack Observatory is located in The Bluff Park near downtown Westcliffe. It features a roll-off roof and a state-of-the-telescope powered by software that does the hard work of tracking and finding objects for you.
Don’t miss the New York Times’s video feature on the observatory.
In the news
New York TImes
Colorado Towns Work to Preserve a Diminishing Resource: Darkness
Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley / Smokey Jack Observatory
Be sure to bookmark their event calendar.
3Peaks Photography & Design
3 Peaks hosts popular night sky workshops, led by Colorado Springs photographer, Michael J. Pach. Check their website for their next available dates.