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This is the capital for Dark Sky Spots in the world: Know All About it

By Anita Jain Shah | March 13, 2024

In urban city environments, typically fewer than 500 stars are visible due to light pollution. Contrasting starkly, the darkened desert landscapes of Utah reveal a spectacular celestial canvas, boasting up to 15,000 stars. These isolated and sparsely populated areas captivate travellers worldwide with their luminous glow and breathtaking skyscape, found nowhere else but in this region. Travellers visiting Utah are taken aback by the sheer magnificence of the night skies that grace this extraordinary area.

Utah Travel Specialist

Utah boasts the highest concentration of certified International Dark Sky Parks and Communities, making it a premier destination for experiencing some of the finest dark skies in the world. Delve into the statewide array of locations and prepare to witness breathtaking natural wonders once the sun sets.

Here’s your comprehensive guide to the top stargazing sites in Utah, complete with park programs and events:

1. Arches, Canyonlands, and Dead Horse Point:

– During the spring and fall, rangers from Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park’s Island in the Sky district, and Dead Horse Point State Park collaborate for ranger-led night sky events.
– Programs rotate among the three parks and typically coincide with the new moon phase.

2. Bryce Canyon National Park:

– Bryce Canyon offers ranger-led programs year-round and hosts an annual Astronomy Festival in June.
– Some popular programs, such as winter snowshoe hikes and full moon hikes, may require advance sign-up or are subject to a lottery.

3. 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.

4. National Monuments:

– Rangers occasionally offer stargazing programs at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and Timpanogos Cave National Monument.
– Visitors should check with the park’s visitor center for upcoming programs.

5. 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 staying after dark can enjoy star parties, astronomy programs, and ranger-led stargazing hikes.

In addition to Dark Sky Parks, Utah offers resources for travellers eager to delve into astronomy and partake in enriching events centred around the night sky.

The Canyon Country Discovery Center stands out with its unique resources dedicated to astronomy education. Their flagship program, the Dark Sky Discovery Series, is a public evening event held 1-2 times per month. Led by Discovery Center staff, each session features a distinct theme explored through engaging discussions and hands-on demonstrations. Visitors are treated to a one-of-a-kind experience, delving into the night sky through telescope observations of stars, planets, and galaxies, as well as utilizing iPads to locate constellations.

Regardless of how one chooses to explore the starry skies of Utah, each of these venues promises an unforgettable celestial experience unlike any other.

Utah Travel Specialist