When I moved to New Mexico 12 years ago, the sheer volume of stars suspended in the night sky amazed me. With our high elevation, clean air, low population densities, and high number of clear nights each year, exploring the local cosmos grew into a passion.
New Mexico has a statewide dark sky ordinance and five sites certified by the International Dark-Sky Association. More are on the way. From gold-certified Capulin Volcano National Monument in the northeast to future gems like City of Rocks State Park in the southwest, stargazing has never been easier. Gold-certified Chaco Culture National Historical Park is my personal favorite. There, far from light pollution, an ancient people's reverence for the night sky comes to life by way of telescopes and helpful interpreters.
This month, the state Tourism Department launches the NM True Dark Skies Trail website—a one-stop shop for events all across the state. Share the amazement by visiting newmexico.org/darkskies.