Dark Sky Parks in NE

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

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

The IDA column indicates if a site is IDA-certified. Bortle scale for sites is given where known. Also use your local astronomy club for guidance as they will know the darkest places.

Agate Fossil Beds 2
Box Butte Reservoir SRA
Calamus Reservoir SRA
Chadron SP 3
Fort Robinson SP 3
Indian Cave SP 3
Niobrara SP
Pelican Point
Rock Creek Lake SRA
Samuel McKelvie NF 1
Sherman Reservoir SRA
Valentine NWR 1

NP = national park | SP = state park | NF = national forest | SF = state forest | NWR = national wildlife reserve | SRA = state recreational area

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