Are you planning on doing a little stargazing in The Land of Enchantment? Our guide to New Mexico’s awesome state parks at night might just be the resource you need to plan your next camping trip.
Below you will find a list of state parks all over New Mexico and some of the best places to stargaze in the state we use for our trip planning. It is helpful if you are looking for a place to tent or RV camp under dark skies using the Bortle scale, and you also need to know if it has the potential for too many trees to obstruct your views. Use this guide if you want to find a great place to take photos of the stars or just sit back and stargaze. Alison and I hope it helps you more easily plan your next New Mexico stargazing adventure.
Where Can I See the Stars in New Mexico?
When you pull up a light pollution map of the state of New Mexico, you will see that so much of the state is wonderful for stargazing. The only major area for light pollution and the biggest areas to avoid in order to enjoy dark skies center around Albuquerque and Santa Fe. By moving away from these two cities, you’ll find a huge amount of Bortle 2 and even Bortle 1 spots. The only other small areas with light pollution to possibly avoid are near Las Cruces in the southwest part of the state and close to Hobbs in the southeast part of the state. Other than that, New Mexico is full of extraordinary stargazing options.
When looking for a place to see the stars in New Mexico, you really can’t go wrong by staying at one of their state parks. Spread out all over the state, there are plenty of places to pitch your tent or sit outside in front of your RV to enjoy some fantastic stargazing. Lots of parks offer full hookups with electric, water, and sewer plus a large variety of campground amenities. We also recommend trying some of their astronomy programs found all throughout the state park system.
New Mexico is simply a fantastic place to enjoy the stars at a state park!
New Mexico State Parks Dark Sky Guide
Our personal camping spreadsheet we have shared on this page can help you quickly find the best state park campground. If you enjoy the night skies, we hope you find it useful on your trips!
Listed below the Google Sheet, we share what each categories represents.
If you are on a mobile device, slide the graph left or right to see more data.
Name: This is the name of the state park.
Region: This is the general region of the state where the park is located.
Dark Sky: This is the approximate Bortle level. Read this article first if you aren’t sure what we mean. Typically avoid red, orange, and yellow for the best stargazing.
Obstruction: How many trees will block your view of the sky? “Open” gives you the best chance of having a clear view at almost all campsites. “Partial” means there are some sites with clear views and some without. “Obstructed” means most campsites have a blocked view of the sky.
Special Notes: Since we mainly camp in an RV, this column of the spreadsheet helps you see if it is a state park that only offers tent camping or if there is no camping. We have also used a strikethrough to cross out the parks currently where no camping is allowed.
About the Authors
We are avid stargazers Jason and Alison Takacs also known as “Roadtrippin’ with Takacs”. With our two boys Preston and Grayson, we seek out some of the darkest skies in the country while also going on many incredible hiking and other outdoor adventures. As part-time RVers, we try to see as much of this amazing world as possible in our spare time and hope you will join us through this blog and other forms of social media as we explore the night sky and other natural wonders as hardcore astrotourists.