All cabins and rooms have a: … She has currently been to 53 of the parks. Part of the park’s Mexican boundary is shared with the protected areas of Parque Nacional Cañon de Santa Elena and Maderas del Carmen. Crime in the park, like most other national parks, is minimal and standard precautious apply: make sure your vehicle is locked, and keep our valuables out of sight. Credit: Costa1973/Flickr. With no significant population centers for hundreds of miles, Big Bend provides an exceptional occasion for stargazing. 2. Stargazing in Big Bend Big Bend National Park. Our brand-new Dark Sky Night Tour is the perfect way to experience one of the world’s most pristine areas of night sky, with uninterrupted views to the Milky Way and complete clarity above the Murray River and famous Big Bend cliffs. 3. Automotive Fuel. 2. Park Route 12 provides access to Big Bend’s Hot Spring. The state park offers similar outdoor recreation opportunities and is well known for its dark skies. The Big Bend is named for the vast curve of the Rio Grande in remote southwest Texas. Park Route 12 runs from Panther Junction to the Rio Grande Village. Stargazing spots. Answer 1 of 3: We are staying a night in Alpine. Which is why Texas is one of the best places for stargazing. Big Bend Ranch State Park sits in the darkest area of the state. The Main Park Road runs from Panther Junction to the Persimmon Gap entrance. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Big Bend Ranch State Park. 2, just after the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Featured photo credit: David Morris via Unsplash. Log In Sign Up. Make sure you get your fill, as you’ll need all that energy when you set out to discover Big Bend. Even more impressive, the organization ranked Big Bend #4 on its list of the top seven stargazing destinations on earth. Log In. From Big Bend National Park: take Highway 118 north through Alpine and Fort Davis to the Observatory. They took 39 readings at 13 sites in the park using a hand-held photometric device called a Sky Quality Meter (SQM). The Big Bend holds national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. Thank you! The javelin are often seen near the roadways at night and hitting one isn’t good for the car or javelin. Big Bend is known as one of the outstanding places in North America for stargazing! The best spot on this road to stop and view the stars is the Fossil Discovery Exhibit. This makes the park very dark and perfect for stargazing. If you are flying to Big Bend National Park, your best options are Midland (MAF) or El Paso (ELP). Posted by 6 days ago. Big Bend is a natural place for star gazing. Class One State Parks 1. Answer 1 of 3: We are staying a night in Alpine. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. It is a wildly beautiful natural region, with a complex and fascinating history. Close. Big Bend National Park sits along the Rio Grande River on the border between Mexico and Texas. Hoping for a clear sky. Admission is $20 per vehicle or $10 per individual on motorcycle or bike and is valid for seven days. See which parks topped the list. Let me know what campsites/features you would like to see added next! recliners & hammocks. One of the campgrounds is located near the Chisos Mountain Lodge. Be sure to check if the park you want to visit is open before planning a trip. Big Bend Ranch State Park sits in the darkest area of the state. Panther Junction Road runs from Panther Junction to the Terlingua entrance. There are four campgrounds in Big Bend National Park. https://www.tripstodiscover.com/best-stargazing-spots-in-texas While it does occasionally happen, it is not a major concern in the park. Great Basin, Big Bend and other amazing national parks for stargazing 2. 2. For the best night skies in Texas, head west. Are there guided night tours in Big Bend? The road ends at the start of the Santa Elana Canyon. Persimmon Gap Visitor Center. The SQM measures the amount of artificial light in the sky at a given time. Press J to jump to the feed. Under Lucky Stars put together a list of the top 10 national parks for stargazing. Glacier National Park (International Dark Sky Park) Glacier National Park in Montana is one of the … 2. This is a common question given that Big Bend National Park is located along the United States-Mexican border. Light pollution and sky glow can interfere with your ability to see “celestial objects.”, The scale ranges from Class 1, the darkest skies available on Earth, through Class 9, inner-city skies. In Space on Earth, Stargazing Guide by Jennifer MelroyFebruary 17, 20203 Comments. We will not be hiking in Big Bend due to heat and have age ranges from 76-5 years old. There are day hikes for all skill levels and some are flat and easy while others are strenuous all-day hikes. A variety of guided outdoor activities are available. Big Bend Ranch State Park is about 30 mins from Big Bend National Park – so it’s not technically in Big Bend National Park. ... Hikers, a new hiking trail is coming to Big Bend … This 21-mile stretch of road provides access to Terlingua, TX along with the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, Chisos Basin, and the Grapevine Hills Road. On clear nights in Big Bend, you can go stargazing and see the Milky Way with your bare eyes. There are currently three electric car charging options in the wide area "near" McDonald Observatory. Grapevine Hills Road leads to Big Bend’s Balanced Rock trail and is a great spot for night photography. Please don’t purchase these items, the Mexican artisans have illegally crossed the border to set-up their display and this illegal trade contributes to environmental damage such as erosion of river banks. Big Bend has a range of private backcountry campsite that can be reached via gravel and dirt roads. Star gaze at night around . A Clear Sky Chart is an astronomer’s forecast about sky conditions, including, darkness, cloudiness, transparency and the seeing quality. The higher the output number, the darker the sky. Our one goal is to see STARS! Death Valley National Park, California and Nevada. Big Bend is a diverse region with endless possibilities for adventure and discovery. El Paso is about 4.5 hours from the Persimmon Gap or Terlingua entrance. Big Bend National Park is one of the largest and most remote National Parks in the lower 48 – it’s also one of the best national parks for stargazing! Jennifer is the founder of National Park Obsessed. is truly a one of a kind property and experience we hope you will love! The Chisos Mountain Lodge is the only lodge in the park. This 21-mile stretch of road provides access to the Rio Grande and Boquillas Canyon. On a moonless night in April 2017, rangers set out to measure the darkness. We want to stay as close to our star gazing spot as possible since we’ll probably stay up late that night. Alpine is about an hour from the park and had rental cars available. our fire pits or in our star gazing . The International Dark-Sky Association designated Big Bend Ranch State Park a gold tier Dark Sky Park in 2018. Big Bend National Park (International Dark Sky Park) Known for its breathtaking vistas and hiking trails, Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas is a beautiful place to take in the night sky. In fact, it has the least light pollution of any National Park unit in the lower 48 states. Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive is the most scenic drive in the park. We’ve got a whole guide to stargazing in Big Bend if you’re planning a trip. These items are contraband and illegal to purchase on the trails. Enter the east … Your localized Astronomy weather forecast, from AccuWeather, provides you with the tailored weather forecast that you need to plan your day's activities It several small B&B’s such as Eve’s Garden Bed & Breakfast. Nearby International Day Sky Park Big Bend Ranch State Park hosted a Dark Sky week in 2018 but there is no information on a 2021 Dark Sky week. (Visit Bortle Scale Ratings page to see ratings for all state parks.). Big Bend Ranch State Park, west of Big Bend National Park, has the darkest night skies for stargazing in Texas.With over 311,000 remote acres along the Rio Grande in Brewster and Presidio counties, the park is the largest in Texas. To best see the stars, drive down the road you’d take to exit the park, pulling off into a paved shoulder area in the road (there are many), and letting your eyes adjust to the dark. There are no formal stargazing tours in the Big Bend National Park, and professional guiding is regulated by the National Park Service. off Highway 170. Big Bend Ranch State Park Near Big Bend National Park. The Chisos Basin Visitor Center is a great resource for park information or a Big Bend National Park map. Stargazing spots. When driving at night in Big Bend and surrounding areas, keep to the speed limit and keep a careful eye out for wildlife on the roads. After all, we are on the other side of nowhere. Top Big Bend National Park Tours: See reviews and photos of tours in Big Bend National Park, Texas on Tripadvisor. She is a dedicated National Park lover who is working on visiting all 61 US National Parks. Texas’ most popular national park offers up incredible stargazing opportunities. or. Yes, Big Bend is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Log In. Big Bend National Park. It is fairly high in altitude, 4000 to 5000 feet depending on where you are. The Headlands. What’s more, some of the park’s most … To the east of the park is Terlingua and Lajitas. Coming up second is the Big Bend National Park which is located in southwest Texas and borders Mexico. We are considering the exact same thing in November and trying to decide where to stay. Big Bend is home to a few remarkable communities: Marathon, Study Butte, Terlingua Ghost Town, Lajitas, and Big Bend National Park. The best time of year to stargaze in Big Bend National Park is October to April. The best places places for stargazing are along River Road, at the West Contrabando Trailhead, Big Hill and the Hoodoos. Neighboring state park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, has also earned a similar designation. The nearest standard fueling stations are in Fort Davis, 15 miles away. On our first day, I asked our guide what was the best thing to do in … Content of this site copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department unless otherwise noted. Hoping for a clear sky. Stargazing in Big Bend: The Darkest Skies in Texas. Time Lapse Photography of the Milky Way from Big Bend National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains during a October new moon. When? The Rio Grande campground and RV park are located near the village of Boquillas del Carmen. See more of Camping, Hiking and Stargazing Society on Facebook. The rising and setting of the moon, the Milky Way passing directly overhead, and man-made light can cause fluctuations in sky darkness. For the park’s efforts to keep skies dark, Big Bend National Park was designated as a certified Dark Sky Park in 2012! The park has one lodge and four campgrounds so visitors can stay overnight and not have to commute to the nearby towns when stargazing in the park. How to Go Stargazing in Big Bend National Park, Where to Go Stargazing in Big Bend National Park, Where to Stay Near Big Bend National Park, What to See & Do During the Day in Big Bend, Other FAQ about Stargazing in Big Bend National Park. The air is very dry and it seldom rains (6–10 inches per year). Boasting more than 1,200 different types of flora and over 450 species of birds within its perimeter, Big Bend’s bio-diverse beauty by day only heightens the majesty of the stargazing experiences found within its 800,000 acres by night. ?Tips? Big Bend is a diverse region with endless possibilities for adventure and discovery. Overlooks such as Rio Grand Overlook provide clear sky views and a view all the way to Mexico. In 2012, Big Bend National Park was awarded full status as an International Dark Sky Park. If, that is, no moon is around. Big Bend National Park Is The Best Place For Stargazing In Texas What most individuals don t perceive about Big Bend is that it s not solely one of the remoted locations in Texas, however your complete world Communities offer services, amenities, and entertainment. Create New Account.