Dark sky places in NE

List of darkest places in Nebraska for stargazing, astrophotography, astrotourism, star parties, and astronomy club events. Often these are national and state parks and forests that are either remote or "protected" against light pollution.

National and state parks often let you stay overnight under the stars, hence their motto - "Half the park is after dark".

Bortle scale for sites is given where known. Also ask your local astronomy club for guidance as they will know the darkest places.

Agate Fossil Beds 2
Box Butte Reservoir State Recreation Area
Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area
Chadron State Park 3
Fort Robinson State Park 3
Indian Cave State Park 3
Nebraska National Forest
Niobrara State Park
Pelican Point
Rock Creek Lake State Recreation Area
Samuel McKelvie National Forest 1
Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest
Sherman Reservoir State Recreation Area
Valentine National Wildlife Reserve 1

Light Pollution Map w/ Bortle

On the left is a 2019 satellite image of NE showing light pollution from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center. On the right is a 2015 light pollution map showing sky brightness at the zenith from World Atlas data. Colors correspond approximately to the Bortle scale. Use as a guide to find the darkest sky locations near you.

NE night sky light pollution map