Methow Dark Sky Viewing Locations

The Methow Vally has some of the darkest skies in Washington State and the country. The locations below are some suggested locations, accessible by car, for stargazing but any location with a view of the night sky will be suitable.  

Gunn Ranch Road

A short drive from Winthrop with dark skies and good views of horizon to the east, south and west.  Can Park at the DNR parking lot (Lewis Butte) but the views are somewhat restricted, especially to the north. A short hike to the south finds improved views and a view overlooking the valley. There are also good views in many places along Gunn Ranch road especially before heading down toward the Gunn Ranch Ski Trailhead.   Hike Lewis Butte for expansive views of the horizon.

WinthropMoonrise.jpg

Pearrygin Lake State Park

Pearrygin Lake State park is close to town and has pretty good visibility in all directions.  The park ranges will be holding Saturday night interpretive star tours starting in late July.  The campgrounds make for fun family trips that can incorporate some dark sky viewing too.

Sun Mountain

Great views in all directions and a nice spot for viewing northern lights.  The image in our gallery was taken from above the horse stall area and shy of the Sun Mountain Lodge.

lidija-northernlights.jpeg

Sweet Grass  Butte

Sweetgrass Butte has very dark skies and an expansive view of the night sky.  It is accessible by vehicle starting on Cub Creek road though passenger cars should consider parking at the base of the last short uphill stretch.

Harts Pass/Slate Peak

Harts pass/Slate peak is a bit of a drive but the dark skies and the expansive view don’t get any better than this.  There are campgrounds near the pass to make a nice overnight star gazing trip.