Incredible Dark Sky Parks in the U.S. for Stargazing
Infinitely vast and mysterious, the night skies have sparked wonder since the dawn of the human species. As populations and cities increase, however, unpolluted views of the universe are more important than ever. To that end, the International Dark-Sky Association began the International Dark Sky Places (IDSP) Program in 2001 “to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies.”
Today, there are more than 60 International Dark Sky Places in the United States alone — many of them in national and state parks — that offer “astro tourists” an opportunity to marvel at pristine and unpolluted night skies. A few tips: For the darkest skies, plan to visit near the new moon. Bring binoculars and a red flashlight, which has minimal effect as our eyes adapt to darkness. Pack layers for chilly nights along with insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes. Then, enjoy the stargazing at our seven favorite dark sky parks in the U.S.