Hipcamp host Joanne E.
Hosted by
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The ridge top star observatory by a beloved astro-photographer is now a glamping area with mini planetariums, where quietude with sweeping views and family fun await.  

The original telescopes have been replaced with kid-friendly starter scopes, solar system models and sky learning tools, several planetarium projectors, learning CDs by famous astronomers, a library of


The ridge top star observatory by a beloved astro-photographer is now a glamping area with mini planetariums, where quietude with sweeping views and family fun await.  

The original telescopes have been replaced with kid-friendly starter scopes, solar system models and sky learning tools, several planetarium projectors, learning CDs by famous astronomers, a library of astronomy books, original galaxy photos, as well as guided tapes about night skies. This visually immersive environment sits on top of a hill with clear sunset views all year round, without neighbor intrususions and is surrounded by Lincoln county National forest. Three enclosed areas can accommodate a total of seven people, or nine if you bring two more sleeping bags. There is plenty of space for additional tents as well.  It is only feet away from several Mogollon Native American living sites (established here around 1000 B.C.) and visited on a regular basis by many peaceful critters such as elk, deer, horny toad lizards, ring tail cats and birds of many types.

There are three areas with a number of different existing accommodations. All have fans, water, glasses and cups. The side-board outside of the dome has several large tubs that also have dishes for a party of eight and cooking utensils.


This is the upstairs of the original, 10x10 foot diameter dome and is equipped with a full-size bed, astronomy books, a CD player with audio books and a groovy laser star show. There are several battery and solar operated lights as well as drinking water.


It's located on the first flow of the original sky dome and has two camping cots, a number of different universe and joke books, a cabinet with towels, cutlery and some other essentials such as water, a power outlet and a mini-fridge (it can be powered up before you come. Please advise us of your plans). It also features a starter model telescope.


Our original roll-top observatory currently has two air mattresses and two original sleeping bags. This room has the most amount of books, deep space planetarium projectors and universe modeling tools.  There is one starter model telescope in here as well.

We're in a high wildfire region and so only very small camp fires can only be created in a contained area by the main house, between March to mid-April. If you wish to use the fire-warming pit you're advised to bring a tank of propane.

There are some pretty hot days over the summer so plan on bringing lots of extra drinking water and fans. It can also get very windy on some days and be prepared to stake down your extra tents really well, just in case.  

Also, please note the following: we are located approximately 35 minutes away from Ruidoso. Dogs are welcome, but we've had some issues with people thinking their dogs aren't aggressive but they are or thinking they aren't barkers but they are or not cleaning up after them...

1) Must play well with other dogs and humans 2) Must not be yappers 3) Must clean up their waste 4) If you let them off leash, you are responsible for keeping them safe from snakes 5) We maintain the right to ask you to leash any pups that disturb the land or our other guests

What to bring

Quick list: sleeping bags or cots if you number more than eight people, pads and pillows (for BYO tents), sun protection, WATER (we provide non-potable and some a gallon of drinking water per sleeping area), food and food items, flashlight or lantern.

Standard camping supplies. We suggest the following:

Container and drinking water. Drink more water than normal! // Sleeping bag (s)-including for the tents with bedding // Sun protection. Aloe. // Layers for cold nights and mornings. // Closed-toed shoes. // First aid kit. // Cooler/ice. // Utensils/plates for food if you are bringing more than eight people but it’s good to be self-sufficient in case we run out. Keep food in your car, not your tent or the bus (unless you like flies). // Baby wipes always useful. // Extra trash bags if you produce more than a standard garbage pail. // Extra lantern (in case the ones we provide are misplaced) or flashlight.


White Sands National Monument, Alamagordo  1 hour, 15 minutes // Ruidoso: 27 minutes // Nearest grocery store: 19 minutes  // Groceries in Ruidoso (Albertsons): 27 minutes // Albuquerque Airport: 2 hours, 42 minutes // Ski Apache -- Sierra Blanca Peak: 47 minutes // Lincoln, Smokey Bear and Billy The Kid Museums: 18 minutes // Las Cruces:  2 hours 19 minutes // Three Rivers Petroglyphs:  56 minutes // Inn Of The Mountain Gods Resort & Casino, Mescalero Apache Reservation:  35 minutes


This is not necessarily the place for you if you're coming from the city looking for a place to party. This is for nature lovers, quiet gatherings, star gazers and wildlife watchers. You're welcome to consume legal substances and enjoy yourself, but loud and disruptive guests are not welcome. Noises carry far...it's so quiet you can hear everything.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we have a fire? 

The fire ban is law.  We have a propane barbeque for cooking or you can bring your own propane-based items. The communal fire pit is not being used right now, as it can get very warm at night (80+ degrees). 

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, as long as they are 100% non-aggressive and not barkers. Pick up after your furry friends with waste bags! Be aware there are snakes in the area. If other campers are out, they must get along with other pups.

Where are the nearest hiking trails?

There is hiking right outside of the property! Also: Nogal Canyon Trail: 16 minutes.  Nogal Summit: 27 minutes. Trail Head is about a 30 minute drive from the property. Upper Bonito Recreation area: 30 minutes

When are quiet hours?

10p-8a. People live here for the peace. Please be mindful of your volume or unfortunately we will have to ask you to leave. You do not need to lock your vehicles here but if you do, please do not use lock/unlock functions that BEEP during quiet hours.  

Is check-out time flexible?

Yes, depending on the arrival time of the next guests. 

Is check-in time flexible?

Yes, but keep in mind it’s very hot in the Summer until mid-afternoon. We highly recommend you check-in before dark. Many people who try to come late do not find us. The latest check-in time is TEN PM, because a) quiet hours start then and it is not fair to wake up home dwellers. 


Nope. Reconnect with nature, disconnect from the grid.

Cell service?

Some/limited. Verizon and ATT are strong. TMobile spotty. Sprint is terrible. Just in general, but especially here. 


A propane cooking stove is available for communal use in the rolltop observatory and a barbeque is available on the porch of the main house. There are pots and pans and dishes in the blue tubs in front of the dome. You may also bring your own propane-based cooking apparatus.

What kind of critters are around?

Ringtail cats, bob cats and mountain lions (all rarely spotted), horny toads and other lizards, rattlesnakes, flies, road runners and lots of birds, crickets, butterflies, scorpions, wild mice. We have had very few sightings of the dangerous ones, but they do live in the area. 


This is a mountain micro-climate, which means it is unpredictable at times but in general during the summer months it is hot from 10a-4p and you will want to adventure elsewhere, such as Ruidoso, before returning to your camp when it begins to cool off. Nights have been pleasantly warm (think Hawaii without the humidity). Unseasonably foggy days are possible and wind storms are possible, though rare. Though on the colder side, Fall and Winter are actually the most beautiful time of year here because of the EPIC sky colors and textures.

Do you host events?

Yes, we offer event and wedding services. Contact for a custom quote.

You will not want to come and go multiple times. Please plan your daily food/activities and plan to arrive when you're done adventuring for the day. 

Lodging provided
1 site
Up to 12 guests per site
Park at listing
ADA access
Toilet available
Pets allowed
No campfires
Potable water available
Kitchen available
Picnic table available
Bins available
No showers
No wifi
Have a question? Send Joanne a message!
  • Check in: After 2PM
  • Check out: Before 12PM
  • Cancellation policy: Moderate
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 3 months out
  • Weeknight discount: 10% off


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


Alto, Mescalero and Grindstone lakes are great starting points for boating or fishing.


At 7,000 foot elevation, there are many mountain tops in the area seasoned climbers can choose from.

Wildlife watching


Natural features you'll find at Astro Imaginariums in New Mexico.

Prairie, meadow, ...

The vibe at Astro Imaginariums

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If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Anna

Serene sleeping

Anna J.
recommends this listing.
June 24th, 2020

The site is truly beautiful and very thoughtfully appointed. We had a lovely night there!

Hipcamper Margaret
Margaret B.
recommends this listing.
June 30th, 2020

Our stay at Keeper of the Stars NM was definitely a unique experience! We slept in the dome and watched the stars. It was something we will never forget! The scenery was beautiful and it was a great way to connect with nature.

Keeper of the Stars NM
New Mexico
United States
1 Site

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