10 Great Places to Stargaze

Our 2020 Book of Lists will be published soon, but this entry from a previous edition reminds us that stargazing is a great way to social distance.

All of these locations have been designated as International Dark-Sky Places by the International Dark-Sky Association, which works to protect night skies from light pollution.

1. Cedar Breaks National Monument, Cedar City, Utah. This park offers telescopes and ranger-led, laser-guided tours.

2. Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve, central Idaho. America’s first International Dark Sky Reserve has Gold Star status—the highest ranking for night-sky quality.

3. Mayland Earth to Sky Park, Burnsville, North Carolina. This park in the Blue Ridge Mountains boasts a well-equipped observatory.

4. Aoraki Mackenzie/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand. You can see the Southern Cross constellation here.

5. Pitcairn Islands. One of the most secluded places on earth, this is the only island group to be named an International Dark Sky Sanctuary.

6. Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon, Arizona. The state also has more than half a dozen other designated dark-sky areas, including Flagstaff and Sedona.

7. Big Bend National Park, Alpine, Texas. This park is also notable as a protected area for nearly two thousand species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and plants.

8. Galloway Forest Park, southwest Scotland. This is the largest forested park in the U.K.

9. Warrumbungle National Park, South Wales, Australia. Warrumbungle offers crystal-clear night skies, low humidity, and high altitude.

10. Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur, Colorado. Before the sun sets and you start stargazing, check out the fossil remains of the dinosaurs that once roamed here.