Cedar Breaks National Monument Designated as an International Dark Sky Park

Milky Way arches over Cedar Breaks National Monument at night
A park visitor enjoys a view to the stars at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Photo credit: Mike Saemisch

Cedar Breaks National Monument and the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) are excited to announce the designation of Cedar Breaks as an International Dark Sky Park. This distinction recognizes Cedar Breaks as a sanctuary of natural darkness and for the opportunity it provides visitors to enjoy the night sky.

Cedar Breaks, about 30 minutes east of Cedar City, UT, is far enough from city lights to offer a clear view of the heavens, yet close enough to cities along the I-15 corridor (such as Las Vegas, St. George & Salt Lake City) to give millions of people the opportunity to experience a dark night sky close to home. This combination has made Cedar Breaks a rapidly growing destination for travelers and local residents looking to enjoy a dark night sky. In the summer months, Cedar Breaks hosts popular ranger-led stargazing programs, the highest such programs in the national park system at 10,350 feet.

Cedar Breaks is the 16th of the 417 National Park Service (NPS) units to be designated as an International Dark Sky Park, and the first in southwestern Utah. “We are proud to welcome Cedar Breaks into the IDA Dark Sky Places family today,” said IDA Executive Director J. Scott Feierabend. “We celebrate the National Monument for the great things it continues to do in promoting the preservation of dark skies not only at the park, but also across southern Utah.”

With this designation, Utah is now home to seven IDA Dark Sky Parks, more than any other state or province in the world. "We are extremely happy Cedar Breaks has been designated as an International Dark Sky Park." said Maria Twitchell, director of the Cedar City-Brian Head Tourism Bureau. "Astro-Tourism is a rapidly growing tourism trend and we have created an initiative to promote our dark sky resources as a viable destination attraction. Stargazers buy merchandise, stay in lodging and eat in our local restaurants and so we anticipate this designation will create a significant economic boost for our county.”

Read more on the Cedar Breaks National Monument website.

Last updated: January 9, 2018