Below is an archive of press articles and videos published regarding the efforts of Dark Skies, Inc of the Wet Mountain Valley. If you are looking for information regarding a news item or have press related questions, please send all inquires to

Your Guide to Finding Calm in Colorado This Year: Our 2019 toolbox of strategies, places, workouts, and resources to help you chill out., by Julie Dugdale, 5280 Health, January, 2019

Starry-Eyed: Replenish your soul under the brilliance of an unfettered night sky.

Few experiences are as awe-inspiring as staring up into an endless blanket of glowing stars on a clear night. Maybe it’s the heightened awareness of your own smallness in the grand scheme of the universe or the wonder of considering how all those stars came to be. “Preserving our dark skies is important to feeling at peace as a human,” says Andrew Miller, board member of Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley, a nonprofit that worked to make Custer County a certified Dark Sky Community. “Connecting with the night sky above us is one of the oldest human activities. In fact, some of the oldest art in the world depicts the night sky.”

Smokey Jack Observatory Brings Boom in Tourism to Custer County, Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley, July 23, 2018

Westcliffe & Silver Cliff, CO – July 23, 2018 – Three years after the construction and dedication of the Smokey Jack Observatory (SJO), locals and tourists from all over the world are flocking to visit the Wet Mountain Valley to see our pristine night skies through the lens of a state-of-the-art, 14-inch telescope.

International Dark Sky Association Westcliffe, CO, NHK TV, Japan, March, 2017

NHK is the Japanese national public broadcaster and has developed an episode on human missions to Mars for their weekly astronomy program, "Cosmic Front NEXT" to include a 3-minute segment on Westcliffe's dark skies recorded on December 3–5, 2016. 

The Towns That Embraced Darkness to See StarlightCNN "Great Big Story", September 15, 2016

Light pollution is no joke. As our cities grow bigger and brighter, fewer Americans get to take in the breathtaking grandeur of the Milky Way. Sensing this, the residents of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, two small towns in Colorado, purposefully dimmed their towns' lights. Their night skies are now among the darkest on the planet and have become a Mecca for stargazers.

A Colorado town goes dark to let the Milky Way shine bright, NBC, The Today Show, November 20, 2016

In many cities across the country, artificial light is making it more difficult to see stars in the night sky. Reporting for Sunday TODAY, NBC’s Harry Smith travels to a small town in Colorado where residents are putting covers on lights in order to take back the night.

How a Colorado Valley Became the Center of the Milky WayColorado Independent, September 9, 2016

Just after sunset in the tiny town of Westcliffe, 147 miles south and west of Denver, two dozen people begin gathering in the Bluff, a park on the edge of town.

The hilly Bluff overlooks the Wet Mountain Valley, and just a bit farther, the Sangre de Cristo mountains...

The Colorado towns that turned up the stars,  CityLab, The Atlantic , September 30, 2016

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Colorado Towns Work to Preserve a Diminishing Resource: DarknessNew York Times, August 12, 2016

WESTCLIFFE, Colo. — As people around the world stepped into their backyards or onto rooftops to peer up at the annual spectacle of the Perseid meteor shower early on Friday morning, few of them had a view like Wilson Jarvis and Steve Linderer.