This Is Why You Need to Visit the Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho

Central Idaho is an area unlike any other. Every path you embark on will lead you to areas that seem so untouched by humans that you wonder if you are the first to ever encounter them. With rushing rivers and towering mountaintops, the landscape becomes more impressive everywhere you look. We even have the Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho! You have never seen the stars like you can see them at this reserve. Make sure you get a copy of our complimentary Vacation Guide to learn about all the other amazing things to do and see in Central Idaho!

What Is the Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho?

The Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho was created in December of 2017 as the first ever Gold Tier dark sky preserve in the United States. There are only 11 others in the entire world! This 1,416-square-mile piece of land is one of the only places untouched by light pollution in the country. The International Dark-Sky Association set this piece of land aside to protect it for science, education, culture, and public enjoyment.

Visiting the Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho

The Dark Sky Reserve spans over three communities in Central Idaho: Sun Valley, Ketchum, and Stanley. That means that in these places and the wilderness of the Sawtooth Mountains, light pollution is attempted to be eradicated. When you look up into the night sky at these spots, you will see more stars than you have in your life. The town of Ketchum has been dedicated to reducing its light pollution since 2017, and the other towns are following suit.

When you look up after the sun goes down in these areas, you will be in absolute awe. Whether you have a telescope, binoculars, or are just stargazing with your eyes, you can see more than ever before. View stunning sights like the shining Milky Way, racing meteors, and planets. Come experience the wonder for yourself! Many enjoy coming during the new moon when no light is reflected off the moon. Check out the phases of the moon to start planning your trip!

Light Pollution

Did you know that our artificial lighting blocks 99% of all Americans from experiencing the night completely naturally? Not only can most people not see the true beauty of the stars, this light pollution also wastes energy. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that about 35% of light is wasted and costs about $3.3 billion and 21 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. By only using light when needed or installing lights to point directly downward, you can do your part in decreasing light pollution.


There are many events at the Idaho Dark Sky Reserve throughout the summer. You can attend a viewing party to get up close and personal with the stars and gaze through the park’s telescope. These are great opportunities to learn a little about the night during your stay at Redfish Lake Lodge!

Book Your Getaway Today

cabinAre you ready to see the night sky at the Dark Sky Reserve in Idaho? Stay in Stanley with us! All of our properties are located in Stanley, Idaho, so you will have full access to the reserve. Browse our accommodations at Redfish Lake Lodge, or opt for one of our other inns or cabins.

Guests of Triangle C Cabins, Stanley High Country Inn, and Redfish Riverside Inn are more than welcome to enjoy our on-site activities at Redfish Lake Lodge!