Southern Utah is famous for many things – most notably for its landscape. However, one feature that is sometimes overlooked in Southern Utah is the quality of the night sky. Due to the high elevation, the lack of light pollution, and a smog free environment, Southern Utah is one of the best stargazing places in the nation.
In celebration of this fact, many stargazing events are scheduled throughout the year in places like Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Parks. In fact, we at the Lodge at Red River Ranch are pleased to announce that the third annual Heritage Starfest will take place in Wayne County. (The Heritage Starfest Group is a dedicated to fostering a love of stargazing on the Colorado Plateau.) The event will take place in the town of Bicknell, Utah on October 12-13, 2012. We invite you to come and bring your friends, your telescopes, and your love of the night skies. Check out their website for additional information. We hope to see you there.
While we’re talking about stargazing in Utah, we have a few thoughts on where to go to see the stars:
The first is Natural Bridges National Monument. This monument was named the first International Dark Sky Place in 2006. With such a distinction, it is definitely worth checking out – plus the drive to Natural Bridges is incredible.
All of the five national parks in Utah – Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion – have regular stargazing programs. These are often held in the campgrounds and are sometimes lead by professional astronomers. The best way to know if a national park is having a stargazing event is to call the visitor center. Check out this site for more information.
Wherever you go, Southern Utah is full of places that combine natural, earthly beauty with the scenery of the sky. Check them out whenever possible.