top of page

New Mexico Dark Skies – A Stargazers' Dream

We celebrate our dark skies and relish the starlight here in “the Land of Enchantment”. Whether you are expert astronomer an or just like to sit in your outdoor patio and contemplate the unfathomable majesty and magic of the Universe, you will definitely appreciate New Mexico’s night skies!

New Mexico skies are absolutely exquisite. The muti-hued red and orange landscape with splashes of deep green vegetation is offset by a sky prone to colorful antics and dazzling clouds – often looking more like a movie set than real life. Most people talk about the epic sunrises and sunsets, but the night sky is just as special. The high elevations, low population, dry climate, and abundance of clear nights make New Mexico the perfect destination for stargazing adventures.

Stargazing in New Mexico is an ancient and authentic experience for indigenous people who lived on this land long before its colonization and who reside in New Mexico today. The connection to the night skies has always been both spiritual and sacred and is still used for guidance in daily living and religious ceremonies.

Although hundreds of stars and the Milky Way are readily visible from Albuquerque, when you drive a short distance away from the city lights – such as Placitas - the view is nothing short of astounding! Venus and Mercury, along with many constellations popularized in native art and lore (Orion, Gemini, and Taurus), are all visual marvels in Placitas – and even more stars become visible when you arrive here at Diamond Tail.

Diamond Tail is a haven for star gazers. The community’s covenants restrict outdoor lighting in order to protect the dark sky phenomena that makes the night skies so special. The stunning array of stars and constellations, the moon, planets, meteors, and satellites are all visible to the naked eye. For those who have a telescope, you’ll be able to view star clusters, binary stars, nebulae, comets, galaxies, and additional planets. If you need a different vantage point, Shooting Star Park is equipped with low voltage electrical outlets and its location offers great views of the constellations. Cool Fact: multiple Diamond Tail owners enjoy astral photography and their photos are amazing.

New Mexico is home to many dark sky parks including Valles Caldera National Preserve and Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument – both of which are just a short drive from Diamond Tail.

Valles Caldera National Preserve is New Mexico’s newest International Dark Sky Park and is just 72 miles from Diamond Tail. This 89,000 acre National Preserve is in the heart of one of three super volcanoes in the United States and is known for its expansive mountain meadows, abundance of wildlife, and stunning views of the night skies. The Preserve is located in the Jemez Mountains from where it is possible to see the Milky Way, meteor showers, planets, and star constellations, unobstructed by light pollution. Visitors have the opportunity to attend an astronomy event or can observe the night skies on their own.

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument protects four of the best-preserved 17th century Spanish mission churches in the continental United States of America. This dark sky park is just 88 miles from Diamond Tail. The Salinas basin formed ancient salt beds from which the monument derives its name and drew early inhabitants. Modern visitors value the largely unchanged cultural landscape, which also includes structures and infrastructure, vegetation, view sheds, and pristine night skies and natural sounds.

The Monument is located in the Estancia basin, which is a bowl flanked by mountains and mesas. The Manzano Mountains to the west block much of the light pollution and sky glow generated from Albuquerque and development along the I-25 corridor. Although conditions at all three units of the park are impressive, Gran Quivira offers nearly unobstructed views in all directions — including that of mountain ranges up to 100 miles away.

Salinas now hosts dark-sky events at its three archaeological sites—Abó, Gran Quivira, and Quarai.

The Gran Quivira site has the greatest view of the sky—one that’s very similar to the night sky of centuries past. Special red lighting illuminates the ground, allowing your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Stars, planets, and the Milky Way shine brilliantly.

During a recent event, a ranger fed an image from his telescope into the small video monitor for his deep-sky video outreach setup. Stars surrounded by a pinkish, cloudy formation appeared on the screen. They were looking at a nebula in the constellation Orion. Then he moved the telescope and displayed two galaxies 25 million light-years away that “will eventually merge and form one large elliptical galaxy.”

For more information on great locations in New Mexico to view the night sky, click here:

Discover Diamond Tail, an exclusive, low-density, master-planned community in Placitas, New Mexico.

Nestled in the foothills between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Diamond Tail offers unspoiled beauty in a rugged, natural setting. We have 196 large estate home sites on 900 acres, with almost 40% dedicated to open space. These 1 to 5-acre lots have gorgeous views of the Sandia, Sangre de Cristo, Ortiz, and Jemez Mountain ranges, with some offering spectacular evening views of the lights of Santa Fe.

Diamond Tail offers reliable wireless internet, underground utilities, paved roads, private hiking trails, parks and stunning vistas. Star Park provides low-voltage power for telescopes so residents can take in the stunning starry sky.

Diamond Tail – A Luxury Private Gated Community. A DESTINATION FOR LIFE.

For more information and to schedule your private tour, call (505) 492-2015 or email us today!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page