Here is a list of the Top 4 Dark Sky Sites within a 2.5 hour drive of Spokane, Washington 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.
Sun Lakes State Park
Located in a Blue Zone or a bit darker depending where in the park one is observing from, Sun Lakes State Park is a wonderful place to observe from. As the WA State Parks website says, “Dry Falls is a geological wonder of North America. Carved by Ice Age floods more than 13,000 years ago, the former waterfall was once four times the size of Niagara Falls. Today, the 400-foot-high, 3.5-mile-wide cliff overlooks a big sky and a landscape of deep gorges and dark, reflective lakes. The park is a notable site along the National Ice Age Floods Geologic Trail.” During the day there are a plethora of activities from boating, hiking, and other nature observations, but during the night, the sky is absolutely amazing as the location allows for the sky to be dark and allow for viewing of the stars.
Lyons Ferry State Park
Located at the intersection of the Snake and Palouse Rivers, these state parks provide a plethora of outdoor activities such as fishing, biking, boating, and hiking. To be able to use these sites for astronomy or astrophotography provides great viewing landscapes and great photography.
Palouse Falls State Park
Located close to Lyons Ferry State Park, Palouse Falls State Park is a park with stunning beauty and little light pollution. Home to the official state waterfall of Washington, the park hosts a plethora of outdoor activities during the day and amazing scenery for Milky Way photography and sights at night.
Fields Spring State Park
This park has a plethora of outdoor activities including camping, trails for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing, athletic fields, and picnicking facilities. The site is located near the tripping of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, with scenic views of the Wallowa Mountains and the Grande Ronde River and Snake River basins.
For dark sky sites closer to Seattle, 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.