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.
|Statistic||How Many States|
|Total Bortle 1 Sites||43|
|States With At Least 1 Bortle 1 Site||14|
|States With At Least 5 Bortle 1 Sites||2|
|States With At Least 10 Bortle 1 Sites||1|
|State||Level 1 Bortle Parks||Name of State Parks||Parks With Camping Available|
|Alaska||16||Lake 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 Site||Wood-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|
|California||3||Bodie State Historic Park, Smithe Redwoods State Natural Reserve, Sinkyone Wilderness||Smithe Redwoods State Natural Reserve, Sinkyone Wilderness|
|Hawaii||1||Manukā State Wayside||Manukā State Wayside (permit required)|
|Michigan||1||Muskallonge Lake||Muskallonge Lake|
|Minnesota||1||Judge C.R. Magney||Judge C.R. Magney|
|Montana||2||Hell Creek, Painted Rocks||Hell Creek, Painted Rocks|
|Nevada||3||Wild Horse Reservoir State Recreation Area, Spring Valley, Berlin-Ichthyosaur||Berlin-Ichthyosaur, Spring Valley, Wild Horse Reservoir State Recreation Area|
|New Hampshire||1||Umbagog Lake||Umbagog Lake SP|
|New Mexico||2||Sumner Lake, Clayton Lake||Sumner Lake SP, Clayton Lake SP|
|Oklahoma||1||Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve||Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve|
|Oregon||7||Bates 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 Area||Goose Lake State Recreation Area, Frenchglen Hotel State Heritage Site, Bates SP|
|Utah||4||Goosenecks, Goblin Valley, Anasazi State Park Museum, Otter Creek Reservoir||Goosenecks SP, Goblin Valley SP, Otter Creek Reservoir|
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.