International Dark Sky Communities in the US

This NASA image is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite from April 18 to Oct. 23, 2012. It shows the United States and parts of Canada from space at night. Bright lights from cities along the eastern seaboard, such as New York City and Boston, and Canadian cities such as Montreal and Toronto are in stark contrast to the blue chunk in northern New York, which is the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. The brightest dots in the Park are from the Tri-Lakes villages of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake and the hamlet of Ray Brook, which has two prisons. (Provided photo — NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC)

Here are the 29 Dark Sky Communities in the U.S., as certified by the International Dark-Sky Association.

A Dark Sky Community is a town, city, municipality or other legally organized community that has shown exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky through the implementation and enforcement of a quality outdoor lighting ordinance, dark sky education and citizen support of dark skies.

– Bee Cave, Texas (2023): The city of Bee Cave is about 14 miles west of downtown Austin.

– Beverly Shores, Indiana (2014): Beverly Shores on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, 22 miles east of Gary.

– Big Park/Village of Oak Creek, Arizona (2016): Big Park/Oak Creek is about 37 miles south of Flagstaff.

– Blanco, Texas (2022): The city of Blanco is about 50 miles north of San Antonio.

– Borrego Springs, California (2009): Borrego Springs is 88 miles northeast of San Diego.

– Camp Verde, Arizona (2018): The town of Camp Verde is about 90 miles north of Phoenix.

– Cottonwood, Arizona (2019): The city of Cottonwood is between Prescott and Sedona.

– Crestone, Colorado (2021): Crestone is about 160 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.

– Dripping Springs, Texas (2014): The city of Dripping Springs is about 23 miles west of downtown Austin.

– Flagstaff, Arizona (2001): With about 77,000 residents, Flagstaff is the world’s first International Dark Sky Place and is home to Lowell Observatory and the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station.

– Fountain Hills, Arizona (2018): The town of Fountain Hills is at the edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

– Fredericksburg, Texas (2020): The city of Fredericksburg is about 70 miles north of San Antonio.

– Groveland, Florida (2023): The city of Groveland is about 30 miles west of Orlando.

– Hawthorn Woods, Illinois (2020): The village of Hawthorn Woods is about 40 northwest of Chicago.

– Helper, Utah (2020): The city of Helper is about 120 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

– Homer Glen, Illinois (2011): The city of Homer Glen is 30 miles southwest of Chicago.

– Horseshoe Bay, Texas (2015): The city of Horseshoe Bay is about 50 miles west of Austin.

– Julian, California (2021): The town of Julian is about 60 miles northeast of San Diego.

– Ketchum, Idaho (2017): The city of Ketchum is about 150 miles east of Boise.

– Lakewood Village, Texas (2019): Lakewood Village is about 35 miles north of Dallas.

– Norwood, Colorado (2019): Norwood is a statutory town located in southwestern Colorado about 50 miles east of the Utah border.

– Nucla and Naturita, Colorado (2021): Nucla and Naturita are two nearby, small towns in southwestern Colorado about 35 miles east of the Utah border.

– Ridgway, Colorado (2020): The town of Ridgeway is about 80 miles north of Durango.

– Sedona, Arizona (2014): The town of Sedona is about 29 miles south of Flagstaff.

– Springdale, Utah (2023): The town of Springdale is in southwestern Utah within Zion Canyon at the gateway to Zion National Park.

– Thunder Mountain Pootsee Nightsky (2015): The Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation is on the Arizona-Utah border about 50 miles north of the Grand Canyon.

– Torrey, Utah (2018): The town of Torrey is about 210 miles south of Salt Lake City.

– Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Colorado (2015): Westcliffe and Silver Cliff are about 76 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.

– Wimberley Valley, Texas (2018): The cities of Wimberley and Woodcreek (collectively known as Wimberley Valley) are about 38 miles southwest of Austin.

Learn more at darksky.org.

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