Utah is home to The Mighty Five national parks –– Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Capital Reef. If you are taking a trip to this expansive land of national parks, you cannot skip out on stargazing. Utah is one of the best places in the United States to go stargazing because of the minimal light pollution.
In this guide, we’re going to share some stargazing tips along with the best locations for stargazing across Utah. Read on to learn more about this wonderland full of secluded spots ideal for looking at the stars.
Tips for Utah Stargazing
Here are some tips for stargazing in Utah you’ll need to know to make the best of your dark sky experience.
- You don’t need a telescope. When stargazing in Utah, the night sky offers clear views of constellations just using your eyes or binoculars if you prefer. You can always invest in a telescope later.
- Get a red flashlight. Flashlights with red filters are great for navigating the land while stargazing in Utah. Red light doesn’t have the same effect on your eyes as white or blue light.
- Download star map apps. There are many different star finders or constellation map apps available for iOS and Android devices. These apps will help you decipher what constellations or planets you might be seeing in the sky.
- Brave the cold. Often, winter nights have the clearest skies for stargazing. So put on your coat and get out there!
Use these tips on your next Utah stargazing trip. Next, we will look at the best places to go stargazing in Utah. Read on to find your ideal destination!
Zion Stargazing Locations
You can’t talk about Utah stargazing without mentioning Zion National Park. Park your RV in these locations and look up at the stars above.
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort
Enjoy views of the Milky Way at this Zion National Park RV resort. The Ponderosa Ranch Resort sits at 6,500 feet in elevation on a forested plateau above the park. This allows visitors to get crystal-clear views of the night sky away from any light pollution.
Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park is an excellent place to catch views of shooting stars. It is lesser-known than the main Zion Canyon and offers better views. Visitors can drive along Kolob Canyon road and park at one of the many pullouts along the way. The rock formations don’t surround the road the way they do in the main canyon, so your night sky view is unblocked.
Upper East Canyon
The Upper East Canyon at Zion is accessible by car or RV and offers magnificent stargazing in Utah. There are convenient pullouts along Utah State Highway 9 nearby. This spot is especially known for its spring stargazing in the early morning hours. If you stick around, it’s a great place to watch the sunrise as well!
RV Parks Nearby: Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort and Lava Point Campground (primitive sites)
Arches National Park Stargazing Locations
Another beautiful locale for stargazing in Utah is Arches National Park. The red rock formations make a stunning backdrop for stargazing under the night sky. Arches was certified as a Dark Sky Park in 2019 by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Balanced Rock Picnic Area
This Arches National Park stargazing spot is accessible and is located off the park’s main road. It is one of the only features visible from the road so you won’t miss it! This is a secluded area perfect for stargazing in Utah. Be sure to bring your binoculars for a closer look at the constellations.
Garden of Eden Viewpoint
The Garden of Eden Viewpoint is on the way to the Windows Section of Arches but is easy to miss. Keep your eyes open for this geological feature and stop for superb stargazing opportunities. You will be far from any light pollution in this area. You will need to let your eyes adjust to the darkness before seeing the full extent of stars.
As the name suggests, you can get panoramic views of the night sky at this Utah stargazing destination. This point offers visitors wide-open views of the arches the park is named after as well as clear views of the sky. Rangers host star parties occasionally at Panorama Point so keep posted if you’ll like to attend one.
RV Parks Nearby: Devil’s Garden Campground and Goose Island Campground
Best Locations for Bryce Canyon Stargazing
Bryce Canyon National Park is a sight to behold at night. The park has some of the best places to go stargazing in Utah!
Natural Bridge Overlook
The Natural Bridge Overlook in Bryce Canyon National Park is a great spot for anyone wanting to view some constellations. You will see the popular hoodoos of the park, the natural bridge formation, and the stars all in one! That makes this one of the best stargazing locations in Utah for astrophotographers.
Mossy Cave Trail
Mossy Cave Trail is not on the main scenic road so it’s often less busy than other stargazing spots in Bryce Canyon. Located on Highway 12, the Mossy Cave Trail parking area has wide-open night sky views. Not to mention, there’s a waterfall nearby to change up the night sky viewing scenery. This location for Utah stargazing stands out among the rest for its uniqueness.
RV Parks Nearby: Sunset Campground and Ruby’s Inn RV Park and Campground
Canyonlands National Park Stargazing Locations
The last place on our list of the best stargazing in Utah is Canyonlands National Park. This Utah park is filled with places to go stargazing any time of the year.
Mesa Arch (Island in the Sky)
Mesa Arch is located on the eastern edge of the Island in the Sky mesa in Canyonlands National Park. Mesa Arch is a pothole arch with an elevation of 6,099 feet. You’ll feel blanketed in the stars at this Canyonlands National Park stargazing spot. This iconic stargazing point is also perfect for watching the sunrise or sunset.
Wooden Shoe Arch Overlook (Needles)
Wooden Shoe Arch Overlook not only looks like a shoe, but it is in a very remote location with no light pollution. People stand in awe of the stars they can see at this dark spot for stargazing in Utah. It’s in the Needles district of Canyonlands and is one of the smaller formations but makes for a nice stargazing backdrop.
RV Parks Nearby: Island in the Sky Campground and The Needles District Campground
Pick up a Cruise America RV with all the comforts of home in Salt Lake City for your Utah stargazing trip!
As you can see, there are plenty of amazing options for where to go stargazing in Utah!
Take a Utah Stargazing Road Trip in a Cruise America RV
Now that you know where the best Utah stargazing locations are, it’s time to start preparing for your trip. Need a mode of transportation? Not to worry –– Cruise America has you covered! Check out our lineup of RV rentals with modern amenities.
With a Cruise America RV rental, your Utah stargazing trip will be a blast. Contact us to get a rental booked today and start your adventure in comfort.