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 http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/nightsky.htm.