As we head into autumn with shorter days and longer nights, it’s easier to enjoy stargazing at a reasonable hour. And because Denver sits at a high altitude with a dry climate, stargazers can enjoy increased visibility — making it one of the best metropolitan hubs for looking at the stars. So, be sure to put these five places to stargaze near Denver on your list.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Where: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO
The Lowdown: Red Rocks Amphitheater isn’t not only a great place to watch a live performance or take a morning hike, but it’s also a great place to stargaze. Approximately a 25-minute drive from Denver, there is still a good amount of light pollution from the city lights, but you can still get some good views of the night sky while enjoying the beauty of Red Rocks.
Where: 2930 E Iliff Ave, Denver, CO
The Lowdown: If you want to view some stars up close without leaving Denver, check out the 120-year-old Chamberlain Observatory. Equipped with a 20-inch refracting telescope so powerful it can pick up four of Jupiter’s moons, the Denver Astronomical Society hosts regular events throughout the year where stargazers are invited to bring their own telescopes, plus they offer public nights and open houses. Attendees must register in advance with the Denver Astronomical Society.
Lookout Mountain Park
Where: 987 Lookout Rd, Golden, CO
The Lowdown: Lookout Mountain Park in Golden, approximately 35 minutes from Denver, not only affords you panoramic views of the surrounding landscape but clear access to the night sky. You can park anywhere along Lookout Mountain Road or in the parking lot of Lookout Mountain Park, which faces towering peaks to the north and the city of Golden and downtown Denver to the east. Both overlooks are wheelchair accessible.
Echo Lake Park
Where: CO-103 & Mt Evans Rd, Evergreen, CO
The Lowdown: An hour’s drive from Denver will reward you with stunning views of Echo Lake, a secluded alpine lake near Mount Evans. The Front Range provides shielding from the city lights of Denver, allowing the stars to shine. Enjoy views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains as well as constellations reflected in the clear water. The park also has a picnic shelter where you can enjoy a late-night snack as you stargaze.
Golden Canyon State Park
Where: 92 Crawford Gulch Rd, Golden, CO
The Lowdown: As one of the closest state parks to Denver, Golden Canyon State Park offers many things to do, from hiking to horseback riding. But there are also some great stargazing spots, including the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, which affords views of the Continental Divide spanning 100 miles. There is a $10 entrance fee per vehicle and multiple campgrounds where you can take in the stars all night.