River Camping Under the Night Sky

Milky Way Over the Yampa River
Milky Way Over the Yampa River, Colorado
Photo by Bettymaya Foott

By Martie Semmer, DarkSky Colorado

Nighttime is special on Colorado’s rivers. After a day of rafting, kayaking, or canoeing, the boats are secured for the night and it’s time to set up camp. You and your boating friends have practiced river safety and etiquette all day on the river. Nighttime safety and etiquette best practices are also important to the well-being of your river buddies, river runners camped upriver and down river, nocturnal wildlife, vegetation, and aquatic life.

Tips to enjoy and protect the night on the river when lighting is needed:

  • Shield and direct lighting for the intended task
  • Use headlamps/flashlights with warmer color options – such as red lighting
  • Avoid decorative and unnecessary lighting
  • Consider stargazing as an alternative to a campfire

River camping under the night sky with the moonlight, the stars, and/or the Milky Way dancing on the water offers a memorable experience beyond words.

Additional Resources:

How to Take Your Stargazing to the Next Level

A Surprising Effect of Light Pollution: It Disrupts Aquatic Insects

For more information:

DarkSky Colorado Home

Become a Member of DarkSky!

Scroll to Top