Chamberlin Observatory (credit: CBS)
Spending time under Denver’s warm summer night sky can turn most anyone into an amateur astronomer. They key is to escape the light pollution of the city to find all the wonders that light up the heavens. Although some backyards may have a limited view of the stars, these five sites offer amazing opportunities to stargaze. The Perseid meteor shower takes place August 10-13 and Denverites of all ages can feel the joy of exploring the wonder of our universe. Pack up the hot chocolate, a comfortable chair and download a stargazing app to the phone and get out and explore.
Chamberlin Observatory (credit: CBS)
2930 E. Warren Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
What better place to view the splendor of the night sky than at an observatory? For the past 60 years, the Chamberlin Observatory has hosted Public Nights at Chamberlin Observatory where the entire family is invited to become amateur astronomers for a day. Members of the Denver Astronomical Society are there to share their knowledge of the universe every Tuesday and Thursday night. An observatory is also ideal for those interested in seeing the universe without having to brave the outside weather. Ideal for the entire family, a visit to the Observatory is just the thing to get everyone out of the house on a beautiful summer night.
Buffalo Bill Museum
987 1/2 Lookout Mountain Road
Golden, CO 80401
Soak up some of Colorado’s history by stargazing high above Denver atop of Lookout Mountain. With a convenient hour drive from Denver up a scenic hill, visitors to the top of this spot will be far from the light pollution of the city. Come early to visit this historic site of Buffalo Bill’s museum and grave and stay late with a picnic dinner, warm blankets and eager open eyes. There are also hiking trails and the nearby historic Boettcher Mansion to visit before the stargazing begins. Sitting at the top of a mountain will give the night-sky enthusiasts the feel of being on top of the world when taking in the glimmering stars.
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
18300 W. Alameda Parkway
Morrison, CO 80465
Colorado’s favorite concert venue also happens to be a perfect spot for stargazing. This gorgeous red rock masterpiece is open and free to the public when there is not a concert going on. It is close enough to enjoy Denver’s pretty city lights and far enough away to escape the light pollution. Not only is Red Rocks a great stargazing spot, it happens to have some easy hiking trails to enjoy before the sun goes down. Bring some blankets to lay across the benches and some snacks for the evening and soak up the free performance on any clear Denver night.
Deer Creek Canyon Park
13896 Grizzly Drive
Littleton, CO 80127
The moon, planets, and the Big Dipper await and any clear night is a chance to explore the Colorado’s open skies at Deer Creek Canyon Park. Less than an hour drive from Denver, this little getaway spot is just off C-470 and does not come with a price tag. Spend a night away from the television and search for shooting stars, constellations, satellites and planets. Come early with a picnic dinner and enjoy a hike before the stargazing begins. This spot has a nice parking lot, restrooms and the opportunity to see some early evening wildlife.
Reynolds Park Open Space
13581 S. Foxton Road
Apsen Park, CO 80433
Pack up the blankets, comfy chairs and maybe some bug spray and head up 285 for a night out. Just six miles south of Conifer and an hour drive from Denver, Reynolds Park Open Space has an elevation of a little over 7,000 feet and is far enough away from the city to explore the stars. For those hiking enthusiasts, this park has some beautiful hiking trails to enjoy before the sun goes down. There are also some fun little restaurants just up the road in Aspen Park to grab dinner before searching for the Milky Way. Along with beautiful Aspen and Pine trees, this little park has a nice big parking lot, picnic tables and a restroom.
Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.