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Dark Skies in Texas: Where to See the Biggest and Brightest Stars

by Aoife O'Riordan

Mar 21, 2023

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area © Kedar Halbe

Destinations / North America

Clear nights in Texas allow for some of the best stargazing opportunities in the country. In spring, various locations across the state provide dark skies to not only see distant stars but also the Milky Way as it rises in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, on April 8, 2024, Texas will offer prime viewing for the total solar eclipse, which will take place over Mexico, the United States and Canada. This eclipse will cover some areas of Texas in total darkness for more than four minutes, nearly twice the duration of totality during the 2017 eclipse.


While we wait for this exciting phenomenon, here are some great Texas spots to see the night sky like never before:


Enchanted Rock

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area © Jason Risner

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

This International Dark Sky Park earns its name for the giant pink dome emerging from the ground. In addition to beautiful geological formations, this natural area lies in a rural location, perfect for stargazing. Bring a telescope and marvel at planets, stars, constellations and galaxies.


Big Bend National Park

Along the Rio Grande River lies Big Bend National Park, an International Dark Sky Park known both for its hiking and backpacking trails and its clear skies. Head to this park to catch glimpses of meteor showers, constellations and even the Milky Way. The park lies far away from great urban centers, making the sky over Big Bend the darkest of any national park in the continental United States. Those who want to take their stargazing to the next level should venture two hours north to Fort Davis, where McDonald Observatory awaits. This observatory features four high-powered telescopes, daily tours and weekly star parties and viewing nights.



© Courtesy of Travel Texas

Dripping Springs

The first International Dark Sky Community in Texas, Dripping Springs lies north of San Antonio and west of Austin. The nearby city keeps light pollution low to protect the region’s bird migration patterns, resulting in a sky full of stars. Dripping Springs regularly hosts night sky programs, including events at Pedernales Falls State Park, Milton Reimers Ranch and Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center.


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