The Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve is a special region of the state for one reason only. Light pollution hasn't yet tainted the area, and it needs to stay that way.

I still remember the first time years ago I drove from Twin Falls to a campsite just outside of Stanley, Idaho. I was heading up north after I got off work to meet my wife and her family for a weekend campout. They had already made the drive and secured a site along the river. It was to be my first experience driving over Galena Summit.

State Highway 75 (also known as the Sawtooth Scenic Byway) runs through this region of Idaho. From Twin Falls, you can head north up through Ketchum, over the summit, and to Stanley and beyond. It's one of the most unique drives in the country, and that's because it allows visitors the opportunity to see the sky the way the very first inhabitants of North America did thousands of years ago with no light pollution of any kind.

My first time driving down Galena Summit was after nightfall. I recall seeing what looked like hundreds of tiny white lights blanketing the roadway in front of me. About 20 deer were standing directly in the middle of the road, which caused me to come to a complete stop. I slowly passed by the animals as they stared into my window. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen.

I pray this region of Idaho never becomes too infected by human interference. It's truly a special experience traveling through.

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