Eighty percent of Americans live in an area where they cannot see the Milky Way due to the light pollution of the cities. That is not an issue when stargazing in Utah. There's a certified International Dark Sky Park nearby to reconnect you with our ancestral knowledge and finely tuned instincts. Except this presents a welcome challenge: do we go to bed early to ensure ample energy for tomorrow's adventures, or stay up late for a chance to peer into light tens of thousands of years old, yet part of the same Universal sea of energy?
Utah has the highest concentration of International Dark-Sky Association-certified locations, including communities, parks and protected areas.
Bryce Canyon National Park Bryce Canyon offers year-round, ranger-led programs and an annual Astronomy Festival in June. Some popular programs (winter snowshoe hikes and full moon hikes) require advance sign-up or are subject to a lottery.
Capitol Reef National Park From late June to October, Capitol Reef offers night sky tours, full moon walks and its Annual Heritage Starfest event, featuring telescope viewing and guest speakers.
Utah State Parks Many Utah state parks have earned the International Dark Sky Park designation, including Dead Horse Point, Antelope Island, Kodachrome Basin and more. Visitors sticking around after dark can enjoy star parties, astronomy programs and ranger-led stargazing hikes.
Guides and Tours
Compass Rose Lodge Featuring Huntsville Astronomic and Lunar Observatory Huntsville, UT (385) 279-4460
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.
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.