The remote Homestake Dry Camp, in California’s Death Valley National Park, lies 3.1 miles (5 km) from Racetrack Playa, a dry lakebed best known for its strange moving rocks. While this entire area would be great for stargazing, the Racetrack dirt road is a “Day Use Only” dirt road, where backcountry camping is not allowed, so you will need to use the campground for your nighttime observations. Check the website to find where camping is and is not allowed in Death Valley National Park. Also, the campsites are remote, so refer to the website for regulations, permits, and suggestions. A stargazer writes: “It is one of the few places I have visited in my life where I could actually hear a pin drop and see the Milky Way just by looking up. Excepting for the valley walls you will have an awesome experience with just your eyes or a telescope. Low light pollution, exotic location, and as quiet as a person can experience.”
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.