Stargazing in Utah is easy with all the state’s Dark Sky Parks! In fact, Utah has the highest concentration of International Dark-Sky Association-certified sites in the world! 

Here are the 22 Dark Sky Parks to visit the next time you are in the Beehive State:

Antelope Island State Park

Jutting into the Great Salt Lake, just outside of Salt Lake City, is this park full of bighorn sheep, bison, mule deer, and more. Explore the backcountry trails on horseback, mountain bike, or skis, and stay overnight in the primitive campgrounds for the best night sky views.

Arches National Park

This appropriately named park, five miles north of Moab, features brilliant geological formations- pinnacles, towers, balanced rocks, and over 2000 rock arches. See them while you drive, hike, bike, or on horseback. Get up close on a rock climbing route! Camp at Devil’s Garden for a breathtaking night.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Head to southern Utah to see the largest concentration of irregular rock spires (called hoodoos) on earth. Get easy access to Bryce Amphitheatre viewpoints from the road or a leisurely hike on the Rim Trail. Take one of the more adventurous trails into the bowl for an up-close view! Bryce Canyon also has 175 documented species of birds that either migrate through or live there seasonally and year-round. RV and tent camping will get you the best celestial show. 

Canyonlands National Park

Southwest of Moab sits a 338,000-acre park made up of four separate districts with different landscapes. Visit the Island in the Sky for hiking mesas, The Needles for hiking through rock spires, The Maze for more challenging and remote trails, and The Rivers for whitewater adventures. Camp at Island in the Sky and The Needles for the ultimate stargazing night.

Capitol Reef National Park

Near the small town of Torrey is this expansive park that is home to a 100-mile-long wrinkle in the earth. The Waterpocket Fold hosts sandstone domes and rocky cliffs along its lifted monocline. Visit Fruita, the historic settlement now considered a ghost town, and camp out for an otherworldly overnight experience.

Cedar Breaks National Monument

A few miles south of Brian Head and 10,000 feet up is a colorful rock amphitheater set against a dense subalpine forest and wildflower meadows. It’s full of small mammals, soaring birds, and, of course, geological wonders. Tent and RV camping is available at the Point Supreme Campground for a night under the darkest skies.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Near Canyonlands and Moab, the Colorado River snakes through the canyons and mesas. This park has two campgrounds with sheltered picnic tables, full hookups, and modern bathrooms. Step up your overnight experience by glamping in a cozy yurt with heating, air conditioning, and an outdoor grill.

Dinosaur National Monument

Stretched between Utah and Colorado lies this historical site full of dinosaur fossils, Fremont culture petroglyphs, and Class III and Class IV rapids for adventurous rafting on the Yampa and Green Rivers. It also has world-class stargazing at any of the six campgrounds, with ranger-led programs at Split Mountain Campground.

East Canyon State Park

A short drive from Salt Lake City takes you to a wonderful reservoir for boating, fishing, and camping galore. Campgrounds here have full RV hookups, tent sites, hammock camping hanging structures, cabins, yurts, and covered wagons. Learn about the rich pioneer history and the Donner-Mormon trail while also exploring the night sky!

Fremont Indian State Park

Visit the largest known Fremont Indian village near Sevier and see the collection of pottery, baskets, arrowheads, and rock structures preserved at the site. Sleep under the stars at a tent or RV site with available hookups or in a teepee, cabin, or modernized pithouse.

Goblin Valley State Park

Just north of the little town of Hanksville is a valley of short, strange, creature-like rock formations in a landscape comparable to Mars. Hike and bike the trails and unwind on the disc golf course. Campgrounds have RV and tent sites and yurts for taking in the best views of the Milky Way at night.

Goosenecks State Park

In the southeast corner of Utah, the San Juan River shows off six miles of twists and turns through a mile-and-a-half section of gooseneck canyons. The overlook shows 300 million years of erosion and geologic activity that carved 1000 feet into the desert. The primitive campground is the perfect way to scope out the stars when the sun goes down.

Hovenweep National Monument

Stretched across the southern border of Colorado and Utah lies the remains of six ancestral Puebloan villages under an open desert sky. This centuries-old historic site hosts structures and rock art that seem to mark the stars’ calendar of the solstices, giving the impression that people have been stargazing at Hovenweep for over 800 years. The tent campground is fairly primitive, providing the perfect mood for stargazing here.

Jordanelle State Park

Enjoy a fun day of boating, fishing, and swimming at this recreation-centered reservoir just outside of Heber City. Or connect with the peaceful side of nature on the other side of the park by hiking the beautiful wetland trails and observing over 200 species of bird and mammal life. For wide-open dark sky views, camp at one of the Hailstone campgrounds: RV, tent, hike-in, cabins, or glamping bell tents.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

This inspiring park may be named for the brilliant color of the rocks, but the grandeur of the 67 monolithic sedimentary pipes is the big draw of Kodachrome Basin. See them on a blanket of stars from one of the three RV and tent campgrounds or the rentable bunkhouses.

Natural Bridges National Monument

View three incredible natural bridges and some of the 207 species of birds by short hike viewpoints, moderate hikes, or strenuous loops. Camp under peaceful Juniper trees at sites with no hookups for a night of exploring the stellar sky.

North Fork Park

This park by Ogden in northern Utah features 13 hiking trails, with some great for biking, horseback riding, and skiing. Ogden Nordic hosts winter trails for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and fat biking. Campsites have running water but no electricity. Yurts are also available.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument

The awe-inspiring Rainbow Bridge National Monument is a 290-foot-high natural arch by the Arizona border regarded as a sacred place by the area’s indigenous people. According to the National Park Service, Rainbow Bridge is only accessible by boat on Lake Powell or by land over a 14+ mile trail from the Navajo Nation. Both the hike and any camping on Navajo Nation tribal park lands require an advanced permit.

Rockport State Park

This is another great recreational park in northern Utah. The lake is great for boating, fishing, and water sports and can get busy in the summer. Archery enthusiasts will love the 3D archery range. In the winter, come out for ice fishing and snowmobile trails. Camping options include over a hundred RV and tent campsites in both standard and primitive campgrounds.

Steinaker State Park

Steinaker Reservoir in northeastern Utah is home to many fossilized relics of the ancient seas, as well as a popular place for boating, fishing, many water sports, hiking, and picnicking. Campsites have different hookup options.

Timpanogos Cave National Monument 

An underground adventure awaits just outside of Salt Lake City! The mile-and-a-half hike to the cave is considered strenuous (bring your water!), but the caves are worth it! Ranger-led summer tours are the only way to see this unique cave system full of helictites, colorations, and formations. There are no campgrounds at the monument, but there are many close by in the surrounding American Fork Canyon.

Zion National Park

This park in the southwest corner of Utah has amazing wilderness trails for backpacking and canyoneering, river floating, rock climbing, and wildlife viewing. A shuttle service can take you to most destinations in the park. The Human History Museum patio is the official stargazing point, but the South and Watchmen Campgrounds also have the best views of the vivid sunsets and cosmos. 

Happy Stargazing!

To help protect these sites and the dark skies above, remember to leave no trace, respect the natural ecosystems, and pack a red flashlight and a printed star map.

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