Only a leisurely two-hour drive from downtown San Diego, the desert community of Borrego Springs is known for having some of the best stargazing conditions in the U.S.  Because of its dry air, minimal light pollution and more than 300 clear nights a year, it has long been a popular destination for stargazers, professional and amateur alike.


With pleasant weather during most of the year, this small rural community offers visitors a magnificent desert landscape unlike any other in the area, and a skyscape you'll not soon forget. On many nights, the Milky Way arches majestically across the starry heavens and displays its intricate dark lane structure and central bulge, and stargazers can easily see even the faintest of stars.



Though it's located in the heart of one of the most densely populated regions of the planet, Borrego Springs is an attractive destination for stargazers. Because of the town's exceptional commitment to dark sky protection and restoration, the International Dark Sky Association designated it in 2009 as the first International Dark Sky Community in California.  It remains the only one in the entire state.  

Borrego Springs is one of the darkest towns in Southern California, partly because it is completely surrounded by nearly a thousand square miles of the dark Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, itself an International Dark Sky Park.  Mountains flank the desert on three sides and effectively block much of the light pollution from distant desert and coastal cities.

In addition to a variety of popular public lectures, workshops and special events throughout the year, the annual Nightfall star party is hosted here by the Riverside Astronomical Society every autumn.

In 2011, KCET designated Borrego Springs as one of The 7 Best SoCal Locations for Desert Night Sky Viewing. In 2012, USA Today named the town as one of Ten Great Places to Stargaze in the U.S., and in 2013, KCET ranked it first in its Seven Best Places to Stargaze in San Diego County. In 2014, The Active Times dubbed Borrego one of the "Top Spots for Stargazing Out West", and Afar magazine listed it among the the world's Epic Stargazing Destinations.

To learn more about the village of Borrego Springs—its lodging, restaurants, activities and more—please visit the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce.



The chart above displays the current and forecasted sky conditions for Borrego Springs.
For instructions on how to interpret it, visit
Clear Dark Sky.


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