Camp at the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary located in the National Forest System with unobstructed 360 degree views of the night sky.

Cosmic Campground International Dark Sky Sanctuary (CCIDSS) is the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary located on National Forest System lands and also in North America. 

Situated on the western edge of the Gila National Forest & Wilderness the Cosmic Campground offers a 360-degree, unobstructed view of the night sky with very little light pollution.

As one might expect the Cosmic Campground is remote, being some 5 hours away from Phoenix and 4 hours from Albuquerque. The nearest town of any size is the wonderful Silver City an hour and a half to the southeast. To get there simply find your way to Highway 180 and take it north or south. The campground is well marked, just off the eastern side of the highway.

The campground is primitive with minimal site amenities including an information kiosk, a pit toilet, and four concrete telescope/observation pads.

Campground rules:

  • No parking on the observation pads
  • No camp fires on observation pads
  • No white flashlights – recommend using a red filter over the lens
  • Try to arrive before dark, that way your headlights won’t distort your night vision
  • No generators between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. 

Pack List

  • Food
  • Water
  • Additional Fuel
  • Telescope
  • Map
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Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


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