Get outta town: The UFO Watchtower in Crestone

by Patty Templeton

“I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here,” said venerable sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. Well, it’s been decades since Clarke thought that and we think, hell, maybe there’s been time enough for aliens to tour through our sector of the universe.

If you wanna eyeball the skies for extraterrestrial life, head three and a half hours away to the UFO Watchtower, 2502 County Road 61 in Crestone. Crestone is a town of less than 200 people. One of them is Judy Messoline, true believer, campground owner, artist, and alien enthusiast. What you get is a kitschy, bare-bones campground with random, wonderfully cheeseball signage and art created by Messoline. Entry will cost you 2 bucks or a fiver for a carload of folks. Camping is only $10. The watchtower is a fenced-in platform about a story off the ground directly next to the dome-shaped gift shop. Be sure to stop by the “Healing Garden” and to ask Messoline about her own alien sightings.

The campground doesn’t have all that many activities, so you may want to bring a good book, perhaps one to prep you for an outer space experience? May we suggest, “Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience: The True Story of the World’s First Documented Alien Abduction,” by nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman and Kathleen Marden (Betty Hill’s neice!).

Bonus: There’s little to no light pollution to impede stargazing or seeing a flying saucer.

Also: Don’t forget to report your UFO sighting, if you have one, to the National UFO Reporting Center. Reporting can be done online through

For details about the UFO Watchtower, visit

Patty Templeton


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