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Dark-Sky Sites:

New Mexico

 

 

 

 

Sites:


Town: El Rito

Observing site: El Rito Observatory

Contact person: Roger Salles

URL: http://elvalleastronomers.com

Restrictions:  Monthly public "dark night" star parties.

Directions:  From Española, travel north on the road to Abiquiú (84/285) for approximately 20 miles. Turn right a few miles before Abiquiú at the sign for El Rito and Northern New Mexico Community College. This is State Road 554, and you go approximately 12 miles on this road until you reach El Rito. The college is on the left side of the road (look for the water tower). You should see the dome-shaped Observatory in a field on the left just before the campus. Take the first college driveway on the left. Drive to a T, turn left and go past some buildings and into the field where the Observatory is located.  Click here for a Google map.

Current weather:   Click for El Rito, New Mexico Forecast

 

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

Best horizon:  All

Worst horizon: None

Comments from contributor:  This is a truly dark site.  It is on the campus of the Northern New Mexico Community College and is available during public star parties (once a month, see schedule on the El Valle Astronomers web site).

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.


Town: Faywood

Observing site: City of Rocks State Park

Address:  P.O. Box 50, Faywood, NM 88034

Phone: (505) 536-2800

URL: http://www.newmexico.org/place/loc/parks/page/DB-place/place/537.html

Restrictions:   Park fee charged.

Directions:  From Deming, take US 180 northwest 24 miles, and then go northeast on NM 61 for four miles to the park access road. Click here for a Google map.

Current weather:   Click for Faywood, New Mexico Forecast

 

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

Best horizon:  All

Worst horizon: None

Comments from contributor: This is a site of a national public observatory and part of the Stars-n-Parks program.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.


Town: Red River

Observing site:  Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area

Address:  PO Box 219, Red River, NM 87558

Phone: (575) 754-2374, (800) 996-9381

URL: http://www.enchantedforestxc.com

Contact person:  Geoff Goins

Restrictions:  Be kind to the neighbors, don't make loud noise and pick up trash. No open fires.

Directions:  Enchanted Forest is located 3 miles east of downtown Red River, NM on NM Hwy 38.  Click here for a Google map.

Current weather:     Click for Red River, New Mexico Forecast

  

Typical naked-eye magnitude limit on a clear, moonless night:
     At the zenith: 6.5
     East: 6.5
     West: 6.0
     North: 6.0
     South: 6.5

Best horizon:   South ~20 degrees

Worst horizon:  North ~15 degrees, this is where most of the homes are.

Comments from contributor:  Great site at around 10,000ft. Not the darkest, but can be accessed on paved road. And, there is an outhouse (bring your own paper!)

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.

 


Town: Silver City

Observing site:  Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Address:  HC 68 Box 100 Silver City, NM 88061

Phone: (575) 536-9461

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

Restrictions:  Park permit required

Directions:  Take State Highway 15 north from Silver City. Although the distance from Silver City is only 44 miles, the travel time is approximately two hours due to twisting and winding mountain terrain. An alternative route from Silver City is along State Highway 35 and goes through the Mimbres Valley. Even though it is 25 miles longer than Highway 15, it is less winding, wider, more level, and easier to travel; therefore it takes about the same amount of time to drive. NOTE: If your vehicle, travel trailer, or RV is over 20 feet in length, you should take Highway 35.  Click here for a Google map.

Current weather:   Click for Silver City, New Mexico Forecast

   

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

Best horizon:   All good.

Worst horizon:  None.  Sky conditions are excellent, with an average zenith sky brightness as measured by SQMs, is 21.7

Comments from contributor:  This is one of the best dark sky sites in the south west by actual measurement.

Errors in this listing?  Click here to submit corrections.