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The Magnificent Dark Sky Parks of Utah

Dark Sky Parks of Utah

The magnificent Milky Way is one sight many people do not get to see because of light pollution from cities. So that you can see the night sky in its unconstrained beauty, head to a designated Dark Sky Park.

International Dark Sky Parks are places with exceptionally beautiful night skies. Certified by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), these are remote places with starry skies and no artificial lighting. They are not to be confused with Dark Sky Reserves, which are areas with town or settlements where light emissions are actively minimized.

These parks are also lands protected for various purposes including science, cultural heritage, and public enjoyment. They can be owned publicly or privately, as long as the landowners allow permanent and public access to these areas.

With many beautiful landscapes in remote areas, Utah provides some of the most iconic locations to view the night sky. Of more than 60 Dark Sky Parks in the US, Utah is home to12 – the highest concentration anywhere in the world. These include two national parks and four state parks across Northern Utah and Southern Utah.

Northern Utah

If you live in Ogden Valley, these are the Dark Sky Parks closest to you:

  • Antelope Island State Park
  • This 28,000-acre park is famous for its amazing landscapes, diverse wildlife, and a variety of recreational opportunities. The dark and starry skies right by the Great Salt Lake Basin make for an incredible sight. You can also head to Buffalo Point or Frary Peak for remarkable sunset views.

  • North Folk Park
  • North Folk Park is closer to an urban center than any other Dark Sky Park in the US, making it more easily accessible than most. Dark sky enthusiasts will find that its location does not take away from the experience of seeing its pristine skies. This outdoor gem is also a popular place for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and skiing.

  • Steinaker State Park
  • Steinaker is well-known as a prime fishing spot and watersports destination. Its hilly terrain also makes for great hiking and camping. Being in a secluded but beautiful location, it is one of the best places in Utah to go stargazing.

Southern Utah

If you’re up for a road trip and want to travel some distance for a different dark sky experience, here are two of the top destinations south of the state:

  • Arches National Park
  • Famous for its towering sandstone formations, this 73,234-acre park offers some of the most scenic hiking trails and sunset views in the country. Its stunning landscape makes a dramatic setting for stargazing. For the best experience, join their ranger-led stargazing programs and events during the summer.

  • National Bridges National Monument
  • As Utah’s first National Monument and the world’s first International Dark Sky Park, National Bridges is a must-visit for outdoor and stargazing enthusiasts. Its main attractions include three grand natural bridges and Ancestral Puebloan ruins. The night sky here is also one of the darkest and clearest in record, giving visitors fantastic views of the stars.

Dark Sky Parks are just some of the amazing outdoor destinations you’ll find in Northern Utah. Whether you are looking for real estate in Wolf Creek or Ogden, we at Destination Properties can help you find the right property. Call us at 801.745.2009 or send us an email at iinfo(at)destinationproperties(dotted)com.