Chaco Canyon designated a dark skies Park

Created: 04/24/2014 6:26 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A trip back in time... And only a 2 hour drive from Farmington.

Steve Speth Said, “Since the 1980s it has been noted as a world heritage site, so we are very proud of the  fact that this is one of the best kept secrets in America.”

Chaco Canyon National Historical Park has been designated a dark skies park, which you might not be able to tell during the day, but at night it’s something pretty amazing.

Dana Smith is a tourist from San Diego. “Our experience last night here, no moon, it was, the stars were absolutely brilliant, you could pick out the planets.”

As a dark skies park, Chaco Canyon is recognized as a place free of artificial light pollution, resulting in exceptional night-time beauty.

It shares the designation with just 11 other sites in the country and five more around the world.

The honor was bestowed last year, but due to the government shutdown, they were unable to celebrate the honor.

“The dark skies here is the one resource in this park that has changed  the least over the last thousand years, so when we look into the sky we share the same awe and wonder, the same sky, with those people that they  saw a thousand years ago,” said Speth.

And tourists appreciate it.

“So to have places that the environment  is very natural and your heart beats a little faster when you look up and see a meteor shower... Absolutely phenomenal,” said Smith.

With the dark skies designation, there is hope that the site --and dark skies-- will be around for many more years.

“For the next generation they can come here and see the same skies that we enjoy today,” Said Speth. 

For information about the Chaco Night Sky Program, visit

KOB welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the rules of conduct set forth in our Terms of Use. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Use.

Join Our Email List

Form not appearing? Click Here.