These Are the Best Spots Out West for Stargazing

United States Insider Guides
by Cari Morgan Apr 17, 2017

Has the Milky Way gone missing? It has for the two-thirds of the U.S. population that can’t see it anymore. Light pollution has become so prevalent that it’s muddying our skies and depriving many people of the chance to experience one of the greatest wonders of the world—a brilliant star-filled sky.

Fortunately, organizations like the National Park Service and International Dark-Sky Association are working hard to protect the last remaining “natural lightscapes” on the planet. Some of those spots, like Death Valley National Park in California and New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historic Park, have already been designated official Dark Sky Places. But other national parks like Canyonlands and Arches in Southern Utah, Dinosaur National Monument in Northeastern Utah, Yellowstone and Grand Teton in Wyoming, and even Yosemite National Park in California, are far enough from human-caused light pollution to provide ideal conditions for viewing the night sky.

So, if you’re missing the Milky Way, or perhaps you’ve never even seen it, plan a trip to one of these remote regions of the western U.S. to experience some of the best stargazing in the country. The proof is in the pictures…

Colorado River through Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

best places for stargazing in the west
Photo: Whit Richardson

Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado/Utah

Photo: Justin Bailie

Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Photo: Justin Bailie

Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Photo: Justin Bailie

Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho

Photo: Justin Bailie

Green River through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado/Utah

Photo: Erik Wardell

Rogue River in the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon

Photo: David Hessell

Tuolumne River near Yosemite National Park, California

Photo: Justin Bailie

This article originally appeared on O.A.R.S. and is republished here with permission.

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