There’s no question that opportunities abound amid Colorado’s stunning daytime scenery. But much to the delight of astro tourists everywhere, the state offers an amazing celestial landscape, allowing it to operate after normal business hours. Night owls can experience after dark activities from stargazing to moonlit dinners to nighttime zip lining. For more information, visit: https://www.colorado.com/articles/13-places-stargaze-colorado
Ales and Astronomy at Copper Mountain:
REI offers stargazing enthusiasts an evening of celestial celebration and community connection on Copper Mountain. Participants are treated to beer and wine while exploring the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere accompanied by REI Guides. This opportunity is available July 27
, August 4 and September 9
for guests of legal imbibing age.
Amateur Astronomy Night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve:
The National Park Service invites all levels of astronomers to the Great Sand Dunes—in the process of becoming Night Skies certified—to share knowledge and passion, and engage with unique astronomical experiences. Attendees are able to view deep space objects, planets and other unique celestial phenomena from a variety of scopes. The Park Service recommends visitors bring their own telescopes.
Night Sky Tour at Chimney Rock National Monument:
Stargazers can experience Colorado’s celestial landscape in a new light at Chimney Rock National Monument during a scheduled Night Sky Tour. The guided tour takes visitors back in time along the Great Kiva and Pueblo Trails to view 360-degrees of Colorado and New Mexico. Chimney Rock is removed from light pollution and offers a dazzling sight.
Twilight Dinner at the Umbrella Bar in Crested Butte:
On September 14
, stargazing enthusiasts can drive up Prospect Road to Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks and enjoy a twilight dinner underneath the stars. With a telescope set up on the Umbrella Bar deck, diners can take in the night sky with complimentary wine or beer in hand. Guests can purchase tickets for this delicious picnic-style fall dinner at the Adventure Center or online for $40.
Stargazing Tour with The Little Nell in Aspen:
The Little Nell offers couples, groups and families the ultimate stargazing adventure: A Jeep tour from Aspen Mountain to Richmond Ridge. An astronomy concierge provides expertise during meteor showers, shooting stars or quarter moons when constellations are most visible. Guests can enjoy the celestial view with state-of-the-art binoculars and a complimentary drink.
Stories in the Sky with Walking Mountains Science Center at the Four Seasons in Vail:
As part of Walking Mountains Science Center’s partnership with the Four Seasons Resort, the Center takes over the Resort’s Ski Concierge Building this summer for Stories in the Sky: Stargazing every Friday night. Participants can relax and view endless constellations, cascading shooting stars and full moons said to be brighter than the sun. All ages are welcome with a $10 entry fee.
Sunset Stroll with the Ritz-Carlton in Avon:
Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch offers guests a private guided hike to discuss the blanket of stars as they emerge in the night sky. The hikes begin between 7 and 8 p.m.
depending on sunset. Reservations can be made at the front desk of the resort and $160 covers up to four guests.
Night Sky Program at Florissant Fossil Beds:
Colorado Springs Astronomical Society teams up with the National Park Service to offer Night Sky Programs, a truly engaging stargazing experience. Far from light pollution, Night Sky Programs provide gazers with a fantastic look at the star-filled skies. On August 10
, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
, night sky enthusiasts can enjoy a park ranger presentation to tee up a night of gazing and telescope viewing.
After Dark Adventures:
Dinner Under the Stars at Denver Food + Wine Festival:
On September 5
, Denver Food + Wine Festival celebrates Denver’s culinary scene and its hottest chefs. Festivalgoers can enjoy a curated six-course dinner designed by local chefs with a view of the Colorado skyline. Tickets are $250.
Film on the Rocks at Red Rocks in Morrison:
The Denver Film Society and Denver Arts & Venues offer movies and music all summer long at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The venue ensures attendees a perfect view from any seat in the house and guests are treated to live music followed by the scheduled movie under a sheet of stars. Each showing begins at dusk with general admission tickets starting at $15.
Full Moon Stagecoach Rides with Halfmoon Packing & Outfitting in Leadville:
Twice each month, visitors of Leadville can enjoy a stagecoach ride beneath a full moon at Halfmoon Packing & Outfitting. Based on the 19th century tradition of mail delivery by stagecoach, this opportunity allows guests to experience the magic of a mountain forest at night. Moonlight stagecoach rides are offered twice monthly—on the eve of the full moon and the night of the full moon—and start at $60 per person.
Night Sky Photography Workshops with 3 Peaks Photography & Design in Westcliffe:
As one of the highest-altitude certified International Dark Sky Communities in the world, Westcliffe is the perfect location to view pristine, unpolluted night skies. During summer and autumn, 3 Peaks Photography & Design holds workshops for those keen to learn how to photograph the celestial landscape. Students can hone skills by photographing the Milky Way and star trails and post-processing photos in Photoshop and Lightroom. Attendance for a workshop is $299 per person.
Raft Underneath the Moon with the Adventure Company in Browns Canyon:
Adventure-seekers can experience Browns Canyon under full moonlight July 24-25
and August 24
. Rafters can relish in the illuminated white waters with beautiful views of the Collegiate Peaks. Adventure seekers can reserve full moon raft trips individually or as a combo package. Reservations are $139 person.
Sunset Dinner Train on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Antonito:
Experience a Rocky Mountain sunset and the bright light of the moon at one of Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad’s themed dinners. During summer and autumn, each train offers different themes like murder mystery, fiesta, speakeasy and more. All evenings feature incredible views of the sunset, stars, entertainment and a delicious dinner on Cumbres Pass. This event welcomes all ages and ticket prices vary.
Twilight Mountain Biking at the Evolution Bike Park in Crested Butte: On Wednesday
and Friday evenings throughout the summer, Evolution Bike Park and Adventure Park offer Twilight Evenings with extended hours to 7 p.m. On Wednesday
nights, the park showcases free bike races and night concerts for riders keen on spending a couple of hours under the moonlight. The park also offers discounted downhill bike rentals, lift tickets and bike lessons.
Moonlight Zip Lining at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash:
Devil’s Thumb Ranch offers adventure seekers zip line tours by moonlight. Participants strap on a headlamp and experience five zip lines, each increasing by height, distance and speed, ending with a 1,600-foot-long line reaching up to 40 mph. Tours are from 8 to 11 p.m.
and include post-zip beverages at the ranch’s base area. Cost is $99 per person.
Nightwalk at the YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center:
Experience the YMCA’s “nightlife” by playing night games and taking a walk on the grounds to learn about the area’s furry friends and their special adaptations for nighttime. This recurring event takes place nightly from 8 to 10 p.m.
Science After Dark at The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery:
Kids aren’t the only ones who have fun at The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Each month the museum hosts an interactive program where adults can learn about science in a unique setting, with a slice of pizza and beer in hand. Science After Dark grants access to all museum galleries and the 90-plus hands-on exhibits. Admission is free for members and $10 for guests.