City of Rocks Gets Dark-Sky Certification
ALMO, Idaho (KLIX)-An Idaho park known for its rock formations has just received recognition for the dark skies above. The National Park Service announced The City of Rocks National Reserve has just been given certification as an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). The park is run as a cooperative between the National Park Service and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
Management at City of Rocks National Reserve Work to Keep the Skies Dark
The park was able to get the certification after working with neighboring Castle Rock State Park to upgrade lighting at the visitor center and administrative facility that is dark-sky friendly. The park itself does not have any artificial lighting within its boundaries. “Even though City of Rocks is exceptionally dark with its current practices, they committed to lead by example by finding an avenue to demonstrate quality lighting to its visitors,” stated Ashley Wilson, IDA’s Director of Conservation. “It’s this level of dedication and incredible nighttime experience that warrants the coveted Dark Sky Park certification.” The City of Rocks has a long history of human presence that predates Europeans. Many American tribes and ancestors lived and visited the rock formation for generations.
City of Rocks Has a Long History of Human Presence
Today's visitors can find what early pioneers left behind in markings on many of the rock formations, according to the park's website. The City of Rock and Castle Rock State Park offer multiple opportunities for rock climbers, hikers, and campers. The park is located in a rather sparsely populated area of Southern Idaho, with the community of Almo nearby. According to the Park Service the City of Rocks has an average of 120,000 visitors a year. Last year the park grew in size after land adjacent to the park was acquired by the National Park Service.