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"I know nothing with any certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream."

-Vincent Van Gogh

Dark Sky Places in Oregon

The International Dark-Sky Association has a Dark Sky Places program that recognizes and promote stewardship of the night sky - in communities, parks and even urban places.  As of January 2022 there are only 195 certified Dark Sky Places in the world.  As of March 2022, we have two Dark Sky Places in Oregon - Sunriver and Prineville Reservoir State Park


Several parks and communities in Oregon are working toward Dark Sky Place recognition. These include:  Cottonwood Canyon State Park, Wallowa Lake State Park, Oregon Caves National Monument, Black Butte Ranch and the City of Sisters. 

The Dark Sky Park certification effort among Oregon State Parks has greatly benefited from the initiative and encouragement, photos and videos from Brent and Dawn Davis, who have camped weeks and months at our various State Parks. Enjoy their work from Wallowa Lake State Park, Cottonwood Canyon State Park, The Cove Palisades State Park, and Prineville Reservoir State Park.


If you want to help establish a Dark Sky Place in Oregon, please contact us. These nominations require a grass roots effort with involvement from the local community and local champions.  IDA Oregon can assist!

We've analyzed night time satellite images to figure out which Oregon Parks and Recreation properties have night skies dark enough for certification as dark sky parks, and which also allow camping.

Oregon's Night Skies


Large areas of Oregon still have dark skies at night -- the blues, grays, and especially the black areas in the map are dark, Milky Way skies. The red and yellow areas have light-polluted skies in which few if any stars are visible. The red and yellow areas of light-polluted skies will expand over time, adversely affecting more people and wildlife - but it doesn't have to be! It's just a matter of using outdoor lighting for safety that is also night sky friendly to reduce existing light pollution, and to prevent further light pollution.

Here are two links for finding dark-sky locations:

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