Here is a list of the Top 4 Dark Sky Sites within a 2 hour drive of Tacoma, 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.
Mount Rainier National Park
Established on March 2, 1899, as the 4th national park in the United States, encompassing 236,381 acres, Mount Rainier National Park is a wonderful landscape for enjoying the outdoors. Activities such as camping, hiking, and picnics. There are a plethora of nature to enjoy. There are a plethora of astronomy options available, which some tips can be found here. Some opportunities for stargazing include Frozen Lake via Sourdough Ridge Trail and the Paradise Inn.
Olympic National Park
The Olympic Peninsula Loop is a spectacular way to see the natural beauty and wildlife of Washington State. This scenic drive, which defines the perimeter of the Olympic National Park, is over 300 miles of mountains, rainforests, wildlife, waterfalls, and viewpoints to explore from start to finish. With a wide diversity of landscapes, there are a plethora of Milky Way and astronomy viewing and photography opportunities awaiting your discovery.
Johnston Ridge Observatory/Mt. Saint Helens Area
Close to Tacoma, the Johnson Ridge Observatory and North side of Mount Saint Helens provide amazing outdoor activity opportunities and dark skies for astronomy. With Mount Saint Helens in the background, there are few lights and great areas for observing the skies and taking photographs of the night sky.
Mount Baker National Forest
Artist Point in the Mount Baker National Forest is a very easily accessible and popular spot for astrophotography. The park extends more than 140 miles along the western slopes of the Cascade Range from the Canada–US border to the northern boundary of Mount Rainier National Park. One doesnt need to go far for beautiful views and great astronomy sites.
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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