Top 4 Dark Sky Sites Within 3 Hours of Salem, Oregon

Stub Stewart Sky Glow Skyglow Salem
Sky Glow at Stub Stewart State Park

Here is a list of the Top 4 Dark Sky Sites within a 2 hour drive of Salem, Oregon that are well recognized as good locations to visit and explore. There are other locations that we could have added, but want to make sure that the spots in all directions for some variety. For a complete and full list of unique astronomy sites in the Pacific Northwest, check out our map for a complete list, as these are just some of the available options.

Stub Stewart State Park

Stub Stewart State Park makes the list because it is a wonderful place to go stargazing and is used by many, including the Rose City Astronomers and OMSI for their star parties. The site has trees on the Eastern half of the sky, blocking the viewing of rising astronomical objects, but has a benefit of blocking out the light from neighboring cities such as Hillsboro and Portland. This site is used by OMSI and the Rose City Astronomers for their star parties.

Stub Stewart Sky Glow Skyglow Salem
Sky Glow at Stub Stewart State Park

Cannon Beach

A small coastal city in northwest Oregon, it is known for its long, sandy shore and landmark Haystack Rock. Seasonally used by puffins, Haystack rock is a wonderful landmark to photograph with the Milky Way as Cannon Beach is a great place to photograph the ocean and Milky Way, plus other DSLR landscapes.

Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake is a wonderful state park in the Mount Hood for recreation, camping, and astronomy. The campground is quite popular and is not far from the quaint town of Government Camp. The lake and area a great, family-friendly place to camp, with fishing and boating and hiking being popular daytime recreation activities. at night, the view of Mount Hood to the North provides an amazing backdrop for astronomy photos, such as when the aurora borealis is visible.

Detroit Lake

Detroit Lake is a nine-mile-long lake, that is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and other water sports. There are campgrounds on site and amazing views to go with the numerous water based activities. Located along the lines of a forest, the lake provides wonderful views of the night sky away from city lights and light pollution.

For dark sky sites closer to Portland, check out this article and make sure to come back next week for more great content like this. Connect with us on our social media such as Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on new articles, events, and more.

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