International Dark Sky Park Designation Application

Current Status of Application:
Received feedback from our IDA program manager on Version 2.1 of the application.
Working on updates to the application based upon the feedback (Version 3.0).

With the remoteness of the Keweenaw, and specifically the top of the Keweenaw, along with the wilderness feel of the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge (KML) setup, it makes KML an ideal spot to enjoy the night sky and stargaze.

With that in mind, we continue to work on our lighting situation and minimize our light footprint while still providing guests with a safe and warm experience. This goes hand-in-hand with the Stargazing (outdoor activities) we are building at the Lodge. The events / activities we have and will have in the future provide patrons to the resort the ability to view and learn more about the stars, and take in the clear starry skies, meteor storms, and even the Northern Lights (see our All-Sky Webcam and Northern Lights Webcam project).

As part of our dark sky activities, we are applying to be a designated International Dark Sky Park. This designation is administered by the International Dark Sky Association, which works “to protect the night skies for present and future generations”. There are around 100 certified dark sky parks around the world. We feel that the tip of the Keweenaw can be the next one, with the hub being at the resort.

Name: Keweenaw Dark Sky Wilderness

Mission: To provide a “headquarters” at the top of the Keweenaw which fosters the ability of individuals to see the stars and educate the public about the benefits of dark skies in the Northwoods of Michigan.

Current Version

Application progress / schedule:

Taken on the KML golf course, Hole 9, April 4, 2021, at 1am, by KML staff member, Nick Niffin

Letters of Support

The following organizations and individuals have shown their support for our Dark Sky Park application. We appreciate their support during the application process, and we look forward to fostering the appreciation of seeing the stars in the wilderness going forward together. [ Listed in the order received, by date ]

If you would like to show your support for the Keweenaw Dark Sky Park application, or get involved in future activities associated with stargazing, you can email John Mueller.

Sky Quality Measurements

As part of our IDA application, we regularly take sky quality measurements. We use a Unihedron SQM light meter to take these measurements.

As of November 4, 2021, we have taken 368 readings in 2021 (February – November 2021), with an average reading of 21.50.

Below is a link to the spreadsheet where we store the data for our sky quality measurements. 

Lighting Guidelines

The International Dark-Sky Association has specific guidelines for lighting in order to foster dark skies. We follow those guidelines at the Lodge and as part of our goal of establishing the Keweenaw Dark Sky Wilderness as an International Dark Sky Park.

Learn more about the light changes we have been working on: Watch a recording of the Dark Sky Light Management Workshop with Mike Miller on Nov 3rd, 2021.

Media Coverage

Below are articles that media outlets in Michigan have published related to this application for the dark sky park designation:


  • We have registered the domain,, to be used for the Keweenaw Dark Sky Wilderness activities. As we develop this further, we plan to build out the dark sky park activities on that website / domain. At this time, the domain redirects to our Outdoor Activities -> Stargazing page.

Past Versions of the Application

[ last updated November 29, 2021 ]