News Release

Black Canyon Astronomy Festival September 22 through 24, 2022

looking past a silhouetted pinyon pine at the Milky Galaxy filling the night sky.
The park's annual astronomy festival, known as AstroFest, will take place Thursday, September 22 through Saturday, September 24.

NPS/Ty Karlovetz

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News Release Date: September 7, 2022

Contact: Lori Rome, 970-922-9216

Montrose, Colo. – Come celebrate the starry night skies of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (Black Canyon). The park’s annual astronomy festival, known as AstroFest, will take place Thursday, September 22 through Saturday, September 24.

With the help of partner organization Black Canyon Astronomical Society, there will be stargazing opportunities all three nights of the festival, as well as daytime activities at the South Rim Visitor Center with park rangers and visiting astronomers.

Thursday, September 22, 2022
  • 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Evening Program in Montrose, CO at the Centennial Room. Dr. Anderson, physical scientist with the National Parks Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, will present a talk on dark skies. Learn how the National Park Service protects night skies in parks. Seating capacity for the presentation is limited to 50. Half the seats will be reservable in advance. Requests for reservations can be sent to: e-mail us
  • 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Evening Stargazing at the Montrose Botanic Garden. Contemplate constellations or peak at a planet through a telescope.
Friday, September 23, 2022
  • 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Evening Program at the South Rim Campground Amphitheater. Dr. Anderson, physical scientist with the National Parks Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division will discuss dark skies at Black Canyon and in the National Park Service.
  • 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm. Evening Stargazing at the open area adjacent to the South Rim Campground. Contemplate constellations or peak at a planet through a telescope. Telescopes will be set up at an open area located next to the campground. Location signs will be posted. 
Saturday, September 24, 2022
  • 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Evening Program at the South Rim Campground Amphitheater. Join a park ranger for an astronomy talk entitled “We Are Explorers”.
  • 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm. An electronically assisted astronomy (EAA) viewing will be offered at the amphitheater. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn constellations and view galaxies, nebulae, and other deep sky objects projected onto the big screen.
Daytime Astronomy Activities Daytime programs occur at the Black Canyon South Rim Visitor Center during all three days of the event. The visitor center is closed from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm daily for staff lunch break.
  • 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Daytime programming will be occurring at the South Rim at Black Canyon. An Astronomy Activity table will be set up daily at the porch of the South Rim Visitor Center.
  • 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm. Daytime Astronomy talk with a Volunteer Astronomer. Learn what life on Mars would look like.
  • 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm. Daytime Astronomy with a Volunteer Astronomer. Learn if there are other Earths in the Universe.
Dress warm for outdoor evening events and please use a red flashlight or headlamp, not white, to preserve night vision. Stop by the South Rim Visitor Center and convert a white flashlight to red. The path to the amphitheater is steep and the seating is backless, prepare accordingly. Park only in designated areas, never on vegetation.

Black Canyon and co-managed Curecanti National Recreation Area are certified as International Dark Sky Parks. They are dedicated to preserving and protecting our beautiful night sky resources. Learn more by visiting www.darksky.org. Please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/blca for information and details for the 2022 AstroFest.

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About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve natural resources, local history, and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.



Last updated: September 7, 2022

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102 Elk Creek
(GPS/physical address = 9800 Highway 347, Montrose, CO)

Gunnison , CO 81230

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970-641-2337

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