PLAN YOUR TRIP
Welcome to Headlands International Dark Sky Park!
The grounds, trails, and viewing areas at the Headlands are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Visitors are welcome to stay out through the night for dark-sky viewing opportunities, but camping is not permitted. The Headlands is not intended as an overnight sleeping destination but instead is designated as a place to stay awake and view the stars. You may bring blankets, chairs, food, beverages, etc. When packing, keep in mind that temperatures are typically 10 degrees lower than expected due to our proximity to the lake shore.
As a courtesy to others, we do not permit white lights (flashlights or cell phones) in the designated viewing area. Red-filtered flashlights are permitted and are sold on-site. Well-mannered pets are permitted on a six-foot leash. View our Dark Sky Etiquette guidelines before you visit.
Find the answer to frequently asked questions here.
Scheduled programs take place rain or shine unless otherwise noted.
Please save some time during your visit to stop by our Visitor Center and “Out of This World” Gift Shop located in the Waterfront Event Center.
The Observatory telescope is limited to park staff and researchers. However, when the Waterfront Event Center is open (seven nights a week through October) images collected in the observatory are projected onto the event center television screens for public viewing. On all clear nights from May-Labor Day, astronomy staff will bring telescopes out onto the viewing platform. An astronomer will be on-site nightly to answer questions and serve as a visitor resource. Visitors are always welcome to bring their telescopes and/or binoculars, but it is not necessary to have any equipment to enjoy the stars.
On busy summer nights (especially in July in August), the parking area will fill. We always suggest visitors “come for the sunset and stay for the stars,” to increase the likelihood of securing a parking space. After 8 pm in the peak summer months of July and August, the parking lot frequently fills and must be closed to entry. It is a one-mile walk from the overflow parking area, which is located at Heritage Village, just outside of the park. Plan ahead with bug spray, a flashlight, and sturdy footwear in the event you need to walk in.
While the grounds, trails, viewing areas, and restrooms at Headlands are always open and accessible, the Waterfront Event Center is only open to the public during scheduled programming and Visitor Center and Gift Shop Hours.
The property boasts a five+ mile trail system for hiking with cross-country skiing in the winter months.
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