Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley
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Preserve. Educate. Experience.

Westcliffe & Silver Cliff
Colorado's First International Dark Sky Community

I’ve never seen so many stars!

Dark Skies, Inc. of the wet Mountain Valley led the effort for the towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, Colorado to be certified as an  International Dark Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association. We are the 1st to attain this distinction in Colorado, 9th in the world, and the highest anywhere!



Since 1999, Dark Skies Inc. has helped citizens and businesses replace light polluting fixtures with shielded units that direct the necessary light downwards. We also work directly with the local community to provide information on what actions they can take to preserve our amazing night sky.


Education is one of the foundational goals of our mission statement. As part of our educational efforts, we work directly with students and the local school district to encourage learning about astronomy. We recently donated astronomy books to the Custer County Elementary to support our educational outreach. Furthermore, to encourage local students to pursue degrees in science and technology, we are proud to announce the formation of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) scholarship program open to all students in Custer County.


"I've never seen so many stars!" is commonly exclaimed by first-time visitors to Colorado's first, and ninth in the world, certified International Dark Sky communities of Westcliffe & Silver Cliff, located in Southern Colorado's historic Wet Mountain Valley between the Wet Mountain and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. As two of the highest altitude Dark Skies towns in the world, combined with the preservation efforts of the community, spectacular views of the Milky Way can be seen, even from lighted Main Street!

Public Star Parties

FREE public star parties are scheduled from May to October based on current astronomical events. Join us and experience our powerful, state of the art telescope at the Smokey Jack Observatory! 

Speaker series

Join us for one of our educational speakers series events! Learn how to take professional photos of the night sky, how Native peoples viewed and interpreted the stars, how to choose a telescope, and much more!

Monthly Meetings

Interested in finding out more about Dark Skies Colorado and helping to preserve our amazing Dark Skies in the Wet Mountain Valley? Then join us at one of our monthly board meetings.