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Dark-Sky Sites:

Arizona

 

 

  Sites:


Town: San Pedro River crossing (between Sierra Vista and Tombstone)

Address: Roadside paved parking lot at the San Pedro River crossing of the Charleston Hwy

Any restrictions: none

Directions: Head 7.5 miles northeast from Sierra Vista on Charleston Hwy towards Tombstone.  The parking lot is on the right (south side of the road). Click here to create a Google Map.

Current weather:   Click for Sierra Vista, Arizona Forecast

 

How are the sky conditions?  Excellent - area is below direct line of sight from Sierra Vista lights and is behind hills from Tombstone. Area is surrounded by moderate trees that block the wind. Air is typically clear and dry.

 
Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: 6.5
     East: 6.5
     West: 6.5
     North: 6.5
     South: 6.5

Best horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off): From this location you can view down to 5 degrees in any direction above the horizon.

Worst horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off):  none

Comments from contributor: Area is patrolled by surface patrol cars occasionally.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.

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Town: Willcox

Observing site:  Chiricahua National Monument

Address:  13063 E. Bonita Canyon Rd. Wilcox, AZ 85643

Phone:  (520) 824-3560

URL: http://www.nps.gov/chir

Any restrictions: None. Park entry office closes at 6, but gates are open all night.

Directions:   Chiricahua National Monument is located 120 miles southeast of Tucson. Take I-10 east from Tucson to the first exit for Willcox. Travel 3 miles into town to the stoplight and turn right. You will follow Arizona State Highway 186 for 32 miles to the junction of Arizona State Highway 181. Turn left and 4 miles later you will be at the Chiricahua entrance station.  Follow the road through the park up to the top parking lot (there are two; the western lot is usually the best), where you can set up. If you arrive at 6 pm, no fees have to be paid. The parking lot is about 7000 feet above sea level and there are toilets on site.  Click here to create a Google Map.

Current weather:   Click for Willcox, Arizona Forecast

Closest Clear Sky Chart (16 miles):

  

How are the sky conditions?  Excellent - one of the better spots in southern Arizona.

 
Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: 7
     East: 7
     West: 6.5
     North: 6.5
     South: 7

Best horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off): South and east - there are no communities in those directions. Mountains do block the view for the lower 10 degrees, depending on where you might set up. You may have to show the sky to a few late visitors in the park, as the site is often used to view the sunset.

Worst horizon (direction and approximate altitude cut-off):  To the west and north, low-altitude glow from a few desert towns (Willcox) are noticeable. The biggest problem is the Zodiacal light in spring.

Comments from contributor:  This is a high altitude site (well, moderate) and gets cool, so dress warmly. Wind is often a problem, but there are many places to tuck behind trees and hills in the two parking areas. Other observers are occasionally present.

The road to the top is steep, narrow, and twisting, and requires care. Deer are often seen near the park gate, so be careful on the way home. Outside the park, jackrabbits with a death wish will play tag with your car, so slow down or be prepared to sacrifice them to the coyotes and foxes. There is a campground in the park, though it is usually full.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.

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