International Dark Sky Park
19020 SE Parkland Drive
Prineville, OR 97754 USA
Prineville Reservoir State Park is a 118-hectare site in central Oregon, U.S., administered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is situated on the shores of the eponymous Prineville Reservoir, created in 1961 for irrigation and flood control by damming of the Crooked River by the predecessor of the US Bureau of Reclamation. The Reservoir was in turn created by damming the Crooked River upstream from the nearby town of Prineville, flooding what was then a juniper- and sagebrush-filled canyon. The Reservoir runs 29 kilometers along the length of the Crooked River and functions primarily as an irrigation storage water body containing some 190 million cubic meters of water, with secondary objectives of Crooked River flood control and public recreation. The Park is surrounded by a 3,560-hectare property managed by the Bureau of Reclamation, which bounds the state park on all but one side. The water attracts a remarkable diversity of wildlife, and anglers enjoy excellent fishing opportunities on the Reservoir.
The Park is at the edge of a vast expanse of natural nighttime darkness extending into the greater part of southeast Oregon earmarked for a future International Dark Sky Reserve. It is a gateway to this region for residents in nearby towns like Prineville and Bend, as well as those further afield in the great cities west of the Oregon Cascades. It offers a genuine night-sky experience for those coming from light polluted cities, and the Park offers regular programming to visitors to help them understand the value of darkness in the Park and to enjoy the night sky.