The greater Sun Valley, Idaho region is blessed with small town vibes, a big heart, endless outdoor activities for every season, and some of the best dark night skies in the entire world. Look up on any given clear night around here and you’ll be memorized by billions of unobscured stars littering the sky. Here, shooting star sightings are the norm, astro-photography opportunities are some of the best in the country, and the Milky Way takes center stage as it brilliantly erupts from the southwest quadrant of thesky each night.
Viewing the stars is becoming a dwindling privilege for humans across the globe as light pollution increasingly shrouds the awe-inspiring night sky tapestry. A 2016 sky atlas survey revealed that, “80% of American’s can’t view the Milky Way anymore.” This number creeps up with each passing year as we continue to build without regard to to the types and direction that our lighting emits. We are truly fortunate to have such an incredible natural spectacle flourishing out our backyard every clear night. The towns of Sun Valley, Ketchum, Hailey, Stanley and beyond have taken special care to ensure that the night sky views stay dark. Their efforts have not gone un-noticed.
Years upon years of efforts to minimize light pollution were recognized in October of 2017 when the city of Ketchum was officially listed as an International Dark Sky Community, one of a select group in the United States. This contribution was a major building block in establishing an ever more renown designation. In December of 2017, Sun Valley, Ketchum and their surrounding areas received the highly prestigious Dark Sky Reserve designation. You may be scratching your head wondering what this all means? Long story short, the Idaho Dark Sky Reserve designation means that our area is some of the best opportunities for viewing the night sky in not only the US, but also the world! For those looking for a more in-depth explanation, we’ll list out a few highlights below.