Best time to travel to Zion National Park, UT

Stargazing in Zion National Park, UT

Zion National Park is certified as an International Dark Sky Park, meaning it's one of the top places for stargazing in the USA. Take the time to see it for yourself!


Famous for being one of the top places for stargazing in the USA, Zion National Park is a nature preserve in Utah. It has installed night-friendly units at the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion Lodge, Zion Human History Museum, and campgrounds that direct their lights downward instead of pointing into the sky, preserving the night sky from light pollution.

In 2021, the International Dark-Sky Association granted Zion National Park a certification and called it an International Dark Sky Park. This certificate means that the park does everything to provide the exceptional quality of the park’s night skies.

The best time to visit Zion National Park for stargazing is during autumn and spring. In fact, you can easily watch the Milky Way and plenty of other constellations. The park is open 24/7, making it easy for everyone to drive into its certain parts at any point during the night.

If you want to learn more about the constellations and their history, you can head to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. It sits at 6,500 ft (1,981 m) in elevation on a forested plateau over Zion National Park, which makes it a completely light-free zone. During the summer months, it’s open from 9:30 pm to 10:30 pm. The admission fee is $15, including hot chocolate and a 10-minute walk to the isolated stargazing location with knowledgeable guides.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Zion National Park for stargazing?

Clearer skies during autumn and spring make it the best time to stargaze in Zion National Park. The park is open 24/7, and visitors can easily observe a variety of constellations and the Milky Way at night. Show more

Where can I find the best places to stargaze inside the park?

Apart from Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, which provides a light-free location, visitors can observe the night sky from several locations, such as the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion Lodge, Zion Human History Museum, and campgrounds. Visitors need to be cautious if they choose to stargaze from other hiking trails in the park. Show more

What activities are available for visitors during nighttime at Zion National Park?

Nighttime activities at Zion National Park include ranger-led programs, hiking trails, and stargazing at designated locations. Visitors can take a night hike on various trails and attend ranger programs to educate themselves about the night sky. Also, they can reserve a stargazing tour and enjoy guided tours from Zion Guru or Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Show more

Are there any guided stargazing tours available inside the park?

Visitors can take a guided stargazing tour through Zion Guru or the Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort. Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort's guides offer a walking tour of an isolated stargazing location. They will share stories and provide opportunities to explore various constellations. Hot chocolate is included with the tour. Show more

What accommodations are available at Zion National Park for visitors who want to stargaze at night?

Accommodations such as hotels, campsites, and rentals are accessible in the town of Springdale. At Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort, located on a forested plateau over Zion National Park, visitors can stargaze in a light-free zone at an elevation of 6,500 ft (1,981 m). Stargazing tours with experienced guides are also available. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin