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Star trails at Dugout Wells in Big Bend National Park, Texas
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Use our list to find spots to view all the clusters, meteorites and constellations you can see with your bare eyes.

Winter is always the best time of year for stargazing. Skies are generally dry and clear, and light pollution is toned down. A clear night without moonlight makes for ideal stargazing, so new moons and crescent moons are optimal for viewing the heavens. For a truly out-of-this-world experience, head out into the wilderness and into higher elevations – any place where you can get away from smog and ambient light and into some wide open spaces (the more wide open, the better, such as the desert or in the middle of the ocean). In general, the higher the altitude, the better the view, too. Here are some of the country’s greatest spots for seeing all the shooting stars, meteorites, clusters and sparkling brilliance the night sky has to offer.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

They don’t sing that song (“the stars at night/are big and bright/…deep in the heart of Texas”) for nothing. On a clear night at Big Bend National Park, you can see 2 million light-years away and 2,000 stars will be visible to the naked eye. Located in southwest Texas on the border of Mexico and the Rio Grande, Big Bend is remote and infrequently cloudy.

Skies at Big Bend National Park illuminated at night

Skies at Big Bend National Park illuminated at night
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