State Park Bortle 1 Scale Information In The US

Dark Sky State Park

As discussed in a previous article, we looked at statistics of all state parks of all 50 US States, and classified each state park to the appropriate Bortle Scales 1, 2, and 3 to determine the darkest skies. In this article, we will delve into the Bortle 1 sites in more detail, including which parks in each state classify as Bortle scale 1, whether they have camping, and more information.

StatisticHow Many States
Total Bortle 1 Sites43
States With At Least 1 Bortle 1 Site14
States With At Least 5 Bortle 1 Sites2
States With At Least 10 Bortle 1 Sites1
Table 1: Author Created Statistics
StateLevel 1 Bortle ParksName of State ParksParks With Camping Available
Alaska16Lake Aleknagik State Recreation Site, Wood-Tikchik, Security Bay State Marine Park, Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Porcupine Creek State Recreation Site, Fielding Lake State Recreation Site, Denali SP, Liberty Falls State Recreation Site, Squirrel Creek State Recreation Site, Lake Louise State Recreation Area, Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site, Boswell Bay Beaches State Marine Park, Shuyak Island, Buskin River State Recreation Site, Pasagshak River State Recreation SiteWood-Tikchik SP, Security Bay State Marine Park, Porcupine Creek State Recreation Site, Fielding Lake State Recreation Site, Denali SP, Pasagshak River State Recreation Site, Shuyak Island SP, Buskin River State Recreation Site, Boswell Bay Beaches State Marine Park, Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site, Lake Louise State Recreation Area, Squirrel Creek State Recreation Site, Liberty Falls State Recreation Site
California3Bodie State Historic Park, Smithe Redwoods State Natural Reserve, Sinkyone WildernessSmithe Redwoods State Natural Reserve, Sinkyone Wilderness
Colorado1Lone MesaN/A
Hawaii1Manukā State WaysideManukā State Wayside (permit required)
Michigan1Muskallonge LakeMuskallonge Lake
Minnesota1Judge C.R. MagneyJudge C.R. Magney
Montana2Hell Creek, Painted RocksHell Creek, Painted Rocks
Nevada3Wild Horse Reservoir State Recreation Area, Spring Valley, Berlin-IchthyosaurBerlin-Ichthyosaur, Spring Valley, Wild Horse Reservoir State Recreation Area
New Hampshire1Umbagog LakeUmbagog Lake SP
New Mexico2Sumner Lake, Clayton LakeSumner Lake SP, Clayton Lake SP
Oklahoma1Black Mesa State Park & Nature PreserveBlack Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve
Oregon7Bates State Park, Pete French Round Barn State Heritage Site, Frenchglen Hotel State Heritage Site, Fort Rock State Natural Area, Goose Lake State Recreation Area, Chandler State Wayside, Golden and Silver Falls State Natural AreaGoose Lake State Recreation Area, Frenchglen Hotel State Heritage Site, Bates SP
Utah4Goosenecks, Goblin Valley, Anasazi State Park Museum, Otter Creek ReservoirGoosenecks SP, Goblin Valley SP, Otter Creek Reservoir
Table 2: State Park Statistics Author Created

The majority of state parks that are in the Bortle 1 scale are accompanied by the opportunities to camping for astronomers that want to go there for a trip. It is worth noting that of all of the parks that are in Hawaii and Alaska are not in the continental US and are harder to get to for astronomers who want dark skies.

East of the Mississippi River, the only Bortle 1 parks are in New Hampshire and Michigan.

Below we show a map for more in-depth information.

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