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
Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado/Utah
Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho
Green River through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado/Utah
Rogue River in the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon
Tuolumne River near Yosemite National Park, California
This article originally appeared on O.A.R.S. and is republished here with permission.