Dark Sky

Utah State Parks Starry Nights Initiative

Photo by: Brent Edge

Natural dark sky areas are decreasing across the United States and around the world. Utah State Parks have some of the darkest night skies in North America.

An ever-increasing number of our visitors appreciate and seek out the pristine night skies and after-dark programming we offer.

Our parks employees want to responsibly manage and enhance this resource. Many Utah state parks have entered into the International Dark Sky Park designation process.

Dead Horse Point State Park and Goblin Valley State Park received this designation during the summer of 2016; followed by Antelope Island State Park in the spring of 2017; Steinaker State Park in January 2018; East Canyon State Park in August 2020; and Jordanelle, Kodachrome Basin, and Rockport State Parks in January 2021.

Most recently, in March 2021, Fremont Indian State Park and Goosenecks State Park both received their IDA designation. This brings the total number of Dark Sky designations to 10 in the Utah Division of State Parks system.

That’s not the end of the road though. We have plenty of additional parks who are looking to become designated as well.

Bear Lake State Park, Gunlock State Park, Snow Canyon State Park, and Wasatch Mountain State Park are all excited to continue following a similar process to seek their designation.

Get out and see the celestial wonders at one of our parks soon. You can also look at this list of fun and interesting night sky programs being offered in our parks.

Steinaker Star Party on September 1 2017 | Photo by: Bettymaya Foott