Best time to visit Utah

Stargazing in Utah 2024

A perfect way to spend a lovely evening, especially if you are in the right place

Best time: April–September (all year round)

Stargazing
Stargazing
Stargazing
Stargazing

The night sky has been captivating people’s minds for thousands of years. Some parts of the world offer unique opportunities for stargazing due to their location and open area. Utah also has such spots, and the location of the state, in general, has been ranked as one of the top 10 stargazing places in the world.

One of the best places is Natural Bridges National Monument, certified as a Dark Sky Park in 2007. The park features six times darker sky than in any other location. The most amazing natural bridge was created by the river changing course and cutting through solid rock. It creates a large window into a dark sky filled with thousands of bright stars. The Milky Way looks like a huge rainbow stretching along from horizon to horizon.

The park organizes night sky programs with multimedia shows and stargazing through telescopes. These shows usually last during the spring and summer period, from April till September. In April you can join the program on Sundays, from May till September there are additional showings on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

In Bryce Canyon, you can visit the annual Astronomy Festival, usually held at the end of June. There are other star parties hosted by the Ogden Astronomical Society in the Antelope Island State Park. You can also enjoy the glittering stars from the Stansbury Park Observatory Complex, which features a collection of large and powerful telescopes. Other famous stargazing spots in Utah include Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and scenic Monument Valley.

Though you can enjoy a starry night at any time of year, the most pleasant time is spring and autumn. Winters could be uncomfortably cold but clear, while summer has its benefit as well—it's the period of star parties held in dark-sky parks of Utah.

Practical info

What is the ideal time to stargaze in Utah?

Utah's weather is mild from spring to autumn, making it the ideal time of year to stargaze. Although stargazing is possible in Utah year-round, the winters can be too cold. Show more

What are the top stargazing destinations in Utah?

Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Monument Valley, and Natural Bridges National Monument are all great places to stargaze. Natural Bridges National Monument is the standout choice because of its dark sky certification. Bryce Canyon hosts the annual Astronomy Festival in June. Show more

What night sky programs are available at Natural Bridges National Monument?

During spring and summer, Natural Bridges National Monument welcomes visitors to multimedia stargazing programs. From May to September, the park offers multimedia sky shows and stargazing through telescopes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Free admission and no-reservations policy apply to these events. Show more

What is on offer during the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival?

The Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival is a chance for astronomy enthusiasts to enjoy daytime astronomy-themed activities like solar telescope viewing and geology talks. In the evening, visitors can explore the stars with astronomers, attend visually rich presentations on astronomy, and participate in constellation tours. The festival offers a fantastic opportunity to admire the most beautiful sights of the night sky while learning about astronomy. Show more

Am I allowed to use my own stargazing equipment in Utah's dark-sky parks?

Visitors can bring their telescopes, binoculars, and other stargazing gear to all Utah's dark-sky parks as long as it does not pose a threat to the natural resources of the park. Antelope Island State Park's observation areas are designated, and other parks may have regulations regarding the use of stargazing equipment. Visitors should check the park's website or get more information from park rangers. Show more

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