Thinking about going to an astronomy festival? Or perhaps you're just interested in stargazing from your backyard. No matter what, we’ve got you covered. No matter if you're just a beginner or an amateur astronomer this post will help you find the best places to go stargazing in the United States.
1. Arches National Park, Utah
It's surrounded by the Colorado Plateau, which means it has a lot of dark space and very little light pollution. It also has some of the darkest skies in the lower 48 states—it's the closest thing you can get to being on another planet when you look up at night. The park has more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including Delicate Arch (the most famous), Double Arch, and Landscape Arch (the longest). It's also home to many other unique features like Balanced Rock and Tower of Babel.
The park also offers tours with rangers who can help you find constellations and planets in the sky above Arches National Park. There are also several programs in which you can join a ranger on a hike or bike ride while they point out constellations or tell stories about astronomy.
2. Death Valley National Park, California
Death Valley National Park, located in California, is one of the best places to stargaze in the world. It's also the largest national park in the United States.
The park is known for its extreme weather and dry climate, which make it an ideal place for stargazing. The area has been barren land since it was first settled by humans thousands of years ago. This means that there aren't any artificial lights to interfere with your night vision while you're looking up at the stars.
Death Valley National Park has many different types of terrain that make it possible to see different types of constellations depending on where you are standing in the park at night. If you want to see Orion's Belt or other constellations associated with winter months, then you'll want to be near Telescope Peak at nightfall when those constellations are visible overhead from this elevation point within Death Valley National Park's boundaries.
3. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
The park has been recognized by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) as an International Dark Sky Park, and it was selected for its incredible night sky viewing opportunities. The park's very low light pollution makes it an ideal location for stargazers to enjoy the wonders of the night sky.
It has a number of great locations where you can view the night sky. Some of these include Sunset Point and Fairyland Loop Drive. Sunset Point offers an incredible view of Monument Valley and the Colorado Plateau while Fairyland Loop Drive provides opportunities for hiking or biking through Bryce Canyon National Park in darkness.
Sunset Point is one of the most popular viewpoints in Bryce Canyon National Park, but it also offers some amazing views of the night sky during its twilight hours. Because there are so many stars visible at this time, you will have plenty of time to enjoy them before heading back down into Bryce Canyon for another day's activities!
4. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The national park spans over 1 million acres, with elevations ranging between 2,000 and 6,000 feet. It also has three different types of terrain: the Colorado Plateau, the Inner Gorge, and the Rim. There are several different trails that you can hike on in order to get to some of the best spots for stargazing at the Grand Canyon.
You can start by taking a hike along the Bright Angel Trail or Rim Trail. These trails lead you to some very nice viewpoints where you'll be able to see stars clearly. If you have more time and energy, then consider hiking down into Phantom Ranch and staying there overnight! The views from Phantom Ranch are truly spectacular!
Grand Canyon National Park is full of amazing sights. However, it's hard not to be mesmerized by the beauty of nature when you're surrounded by so much natural beauty!
5. Great Basin National Park, Nevada
The park is home to some of the darkest skies in the United States. In fact, it's one of just three International Dark Sky Parks in the entire country (and the only one in Nevada).
The park was named an International Dark Sky Park because its night skies are so dark that they're among the best places on earth to see stars and other celestial bodies. As part of its designation, Great Basin has taken steps to reduce light pollution by installing new lighting fixtures that don't disturb the darkness.
The park is known for its high elevation and low humidity, which make it ideal for stargazing year-round. During summer months (June-September), visitors can experience an annual Perseid Meteor Shower during the late evening hours.
6. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a perfect place for stargazing. There are five designated campgrounds in the park that are open year-round, and they are all first-come, first-served. Two of these campgrounds offer electric hookups, but you should bring your own water (at least one gallon per person) and supplies since there are no stores or restaurants near the park.
The park is located in the badlands of North Dakota, which means it's a good place to see the Milky Way at night. The dark sky makes it easier to spot constellations like Orion's Belt or Cassiopeia, as well as planets like Jupiter or Mars if they're visible in our sky at the time of your visit. The park also has a few telescopes on loan from NASA that you can use during open hours if you want to get a closer look at some objects in space.
7. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
The park has a dark sky policy that protects the night skies from light pollution. The policy states that park staff will not turn on any lights unless there is an emergency or visitors request them to be turned on. It also encourages visitors to use red flashlights when needed so they do not interfere with other visitors' stargazing experiences.
There are also some events hosted by Carlsbad Caverns National Park that encourage guests to get out under the stars and enjoy their time at the park as well as learn more about astronomy and related topics. These events include Astronomy Days, which take place every year during fall equinox. Star Parties, which take place throughout spring and summer and Night Sky Programing, which is offered throughout winter months when nights are longer than days.
8. Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree National Park is one of the best places in the United States to stargaze. The park is located in Southern California and is home to some of the darkest skies in the country.
Each year, Joshua Tree National Park hosts several astronomy events during which visitors can take guided tours of the night sky led by local astronomers. There are also classes available for those who want to learn more about astronomy or how to photograph the stars.
9. Yosemite National Park, California
The park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and it is home to some of the darkest skies in the United States. Visitors can experience these dark skies at night by visiting any of the park's campgrounds, especially those located along Tioga Road.
In addition to being able to see stars from the comfort of a tent or cabin, Yosemite also offers several opportunities for daytime stargazing. The most popular place for daytime stargazing is Glacier Point. Visitors can drive up this road and then hike about 1 mile up to Glacier Point, where they will find telescopes set up so that they can view the landscape below them through them.
The telescopes are operated by volunteers who are there to help with instructions on how they work and offer suggestions on what objects you might want to look at with them. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs or snacks while you take in all of the scenery around you!
10. Little River Canyon National Preserve, Alabama
The preserve is also home to some of the oldest trees in the world, including ginkgo and bald cypress, which can be found only in this area and China.
It offers many activities during the day, including hiking and biking trails, horseback riding tours and picnic shelters with grills. At night, visitors can take advantage of guided night hikes with park rangers who will help them identify constellations, planets and stars through telescopes or binoculars.
The park also offers camping facilities with showers, restrooms and drinking water for visitors who want to stay overnight at the preserve for an extra fee.
From clear skies and dark night skies that are perfect for stargazing, to remote locations with virtually no light pollution, here you will find an abundance of options when it comes to where you can go to see the constellations as they were meant to be seen.
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