Where the desert meets the sky, a universe of shimmering stars comes alive. Leave the city lights behind and take a journey to Zion National Park, a sanctuary of darkness in Southern Utah, arguably one of the best places for stargazing in the U.S. We’ll explore everything Zion has to offer under its star-studded skies, from the importance of its International Dark Sky Park designation to the constellation-filled adventures awaiting you at Under Canvas Zion. Let’s unlock the secrets of Zion’s celebrated night sky.
Embracing the International Dark Sky Principles
Utah, known for its dedication to preserving nature’s masterpieces, is proudly home to 24 certified Dark Sky Parks, more than anywhere else in the world. It’s no wonder that the night sky over Zion National Park is so indescribably enchanting with its swirling star clusters and views of the Milky Way.
Zion was certified as an International Dark Sky Park in 2021 by the National Park Service and the International Dark Sky Association. This prestigious award means Zion sets a positive example for exceptionally starry nights due to good outdoor lighting practices and educating visitors on the importance of dark skies. Learn how to preserve the night sky at home by practicing these dark sky principles.
Best Places To Stargaze in Zion National Park
Within Zion National Park, some vantage points seem to bring the stars close enough to touch. Kolob Canyon, Zion Canyon, the Upper East Canyon, and the Desert Lowlands are among the most extraordinary. Whether you gaze upward from the comfort of your car at Zion Canyon or go off-road in the Desert Lowlands, the stars above never fail to astound.
Kolob Canyon serves as a tranquil stargazing sanctuary for those who seek solitude beneath the stars. Nestled in the park’s northwestern corner, this less-trafficked area offers visitors a serene retreat from the world. Head to the Kolob Canyon Viewpoint, lay down your blanket, or lean back in your chair and prepare to be amazed.
One of the park’s most popular stargazing spots, Zion Canyon, allows you to enjoy the splendor of the night sky without straying too far from comfort. The parking areas and pullouts offer a space to simply lean back in your car and marvel at the cosmos unfolding above. As the day fades, watch as a myriad of stars creates a spectacle of shimmering lights.
Upper East Canyon
Upper East Canyon offers a rugged, high-altitude stargazing experience. As one of the higher elevations within the park, the secluded surroundings provide an unimpeded view. There are convenient pullouts along Utah State Highway 9 to park your car and settle in for a night of unbelievable stargazing.
Immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of Zion’s Desert Lowlands for an unforgettable stargazing journey. The Lowlands are the driest, hottest, and lowest altitude region of all the sections inside Zion. It’s the least trafficked area of the park and offers tremendous solitude for connection with the constellations above.
Under Canvas Zion
Then, of course, there’s the magic of stargazing from Under Canvas Zion, just 20-miles from the entrance to Zion National Park. Here, nestled under a pitch-black sky, you can observe the grandeur of the cosmos without having to stray far from your luxurious safari-inspired tent and private deck.
Embark on a Stargazing Tour in Zion
Under Canvas Adventures offers guests a unique opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring night sky views and learn from a professional astronomer. As you lay back comfortably on your own zero-gravity pod, complete with binoculars and a blanket to keep warm, you’ll listen to ancient tales of constellations and galaxies, adding a layer of intrigue to the glittering spectacle above. Get an even closer look at the stars and planets using a state-of-the-art telescope and the help of your professional guide. Remember your night under the stars with deep sky photography included in your experience.
Whether you’re an astronomer at heart or merely a dreamer enchanted by the mysteries of the universe, our stargazing tours are designed to leave you with a sense of wonder and a deep connection with nature. Our Adventure Concierge will reach out to book the activities of your choice after booking your stay.
The Stars Await
Under Canvas Zion offers a night sky experience that’s truly out of this world. We invite you to step into this celestial wonderland and witness the magic of the night sky like never before!