Canyonlands National Park   |  James Papp

Dark Sky Parks

Of the vast amount of certified International Dark Sky Parks and Communities that are part of a catalog of the finest dark skies in the world, the highest concentration are in Utah. Explore the statewide locations and make plans for experiencing natural wonders after the sun sets. 

Stargazing in Utah About the Certification

Certified Dark Sky Parks


Beginner's Guide to Dark Sky Exploration

Whether you’re looking for easy entry into the world of dark skies (aka astrotourism), want to discover a new or different spot, or you want to go off the beaten path, Utah offers the most options for your stargazing adventure.

Download Beginner's Guide


5 Days

Red Rock & Dark Skies: Stargazing the National Parks

This road trip through southwest Utah takes you to four of Utah’s best places to see the Milky Way — Capitol Reef National Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Adventure, Scenic Drives/Road Trips, Solitude, Stargazing


See Itinerary


6 Days

Stars by the City

Fill your days with adventure and your nights with stargazing by following this six-day itinerary from Salt Lake City through the International Dark Sky Places in Northern Utah.

Arts, Hiking, Kid-Friendly, Scenic Drives/Road Trips, Stargazing, Urban Experiences


See Itinerary


7 Days

Hoodoos and Stars

Hoodoos and Stars takes advantage of the proximity of Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef national parks to slow down and also experience some of the must-see southwestern Utah landscapes and experiences along the way.

Camping & Backpacking, Hiking, Kid-Friendly, Scenic Drives/Road Trips, Stargazing


See Itinerary


Guides and Tours

Let an expert show you the stars — many of Utah's dark sky parks offer ranger-led night sky events. And local guides and observatories also book telescope adventure tours.

See guides and tours

Dark Sky Communities


Located near Nine Mile Canyon and along the way to more popular Southern Utah adventures, this former mining and railroad town continues to grow, giving travelers a glimpse into a community of art, history and stories of the power of togetherness. The town rallied its locals to protect and share its natural dark skies, leading to its certification of being an International Dark Sky Community. Helper's nearby Dark Sky Observers lead regular astronomy programs and special events in the area.


Located on the Colorado Plateau, Moab welcomes millions of visitors each year. Gateway to Arches and Canyonlands national parks as well as Dead Horse Point State Park, the town is a world-class outdoor destination with incredible dark skies. In 2016, area officials began efforts to reduce light pollution. By 2019, an outdoor lighting ordinance was passed and updated in 2023. Moab became an official dark sky community in 2024.


As a gateway to Zion National Park and nestled along the North Fork of the Virgin River, Springdale is an ideal place to get outfitted for adventure not only in Zion, but to numerous other parks, monuments and recreation areas of the western Colorado Plateau and desert southwest. And thanks to its elevation, relative remoteness and dark sky preservation efforts of locals, it's also a great place for stargazing.


Located just eight miles from the west entrance of Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey is an idyllic little tree-lined, high-elevation town on the Capitol Reef Country Scenic Byway (S.R. 24) surrounded by rose-colored cliffs and green meadows. The town came together to protect its night skies by improving outdoor lighting ordinances and retrofitting dark-sky compliant outdoor lighting to minimize light pollution and strengthen the town’s already close relationship with nature, place and the universe.


The University of Utah’s South Physics Observatory in Salt Lake City offers free public star parties on clear Wednesday nights. During the visit, expect to see galaxies, nebulae, stars, moons, planets and clusters. Opening times vary throughout the year, check for more information.

Planetariums and astronomy

Previous Image Next Image