Black Canyon Astronomy Festival

Black Canyon National Park 2021 Astronomy Festival Schedule

Please join us for the 2021 Black Canyon Astronomy Festival coming up September 8-11! We are delighted to present four days and evenings of night sky activities, from the family-friendly Planet Hopper programs on Saturday to guided tours of the starry nights. All events will be held outside; reservations are required. Reservations open Wednesday, September 1 – please stop by our South Rim Visitor Center or call us at 970-249-1914 x423 to make yours.
*Programs are subject to change or cancellation due to weather or staffing.

Wednesday, September 8th

Night Sky Table: 10 am – 3 pm
South Rim Visitor Center
Stop by and convert your flashlight to night-sky friendly red, pick up a star chart and plan your evening star viewing, or explore the galaxy with fun astronomy-based activities.

Bat Science at Black Canyon: 11 am
South Rim Campground Amphitheater
Park Biologists share bat monitoring methods and what they’ve learned about the bats of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti Recreation Area.
45 minutes, with question and answer session following.

One Giant Leap- From Black Canyon to Valles Marineris: 2 pm
Meets at South Rim Visitor Center
Join a park ranger on a ½ mile guided hike to explore the captivating geology of Black Canyon, other planets, asteroids, and more!
1 hour

Ranger Talk- “Black Canyon and Beyond:" 6:30 pm
South Rim Amphitheater

Come on a journey that begins at Black Canyon and extends to the edges of our universe. Discover the things that make Earth, Black Canyon, and us both great and small.
45 minutes


Black Canyon Night Sky Tour: 9 pm
South Rim Amphitheater

Join park rangers and astronomy volunteers to see the Milky Way and more! Learn the constellations and get an “up-close” look at night sky objects with real-time projected telescope images.
1 hour


Thursday, September 9th

Night Sky Table: 10 am – 3 pm
South Rim Visitor Center

Stop by and convert your flashlight to night-sky friendly red, pick up a star chart and plan your evening star viewing, or explore the galaxy with fun astronomy-based activities.



One Giant Leap- From Black Canyon to Valles Marineris: 2 pm
Meets at South Rim Visitor Center

Join a park ranger on a ½ mile guided hike to explore the captivating geology of Black Canyon, other planets, asteroids, and more!
1 hour


Astronomy Zoo in the September Sky: 8 pm
South Rim Amphitheater

Join Astronomer Phil Kelton, former Superintendent at McDonald Observatory in Texas, for a slide show exploring a menagerie of unique stars in our sky, each with a different story. You’ll never see them the same way again.
1 hour


Black Canyon Night Sky Tour: 9 pm
South Rim Amphitheater

Join park rangers and astronomy volunteers to see the Milky Way and more! Learn the constellations and get an “up-close” look at night sky objects with real-time projected telescope images.
1 hour


Friday, September 10th

Night Sky Table: 10 am – 3 pm
South Rim Visitor Center

Stop by and convert your flashlight to night-sky friendly red, pick up a star chart and plan your evening star viewing, or explore the galaxy with fun astronomy-based activities.


One Giant Leap- From Black Canyon to Valles Marineris: 2 pm
Meets at South Rim Visitor Center

Join a park ranger on a ½ mile guided hike to explore the captivating geology of Black Canyon, other planets, asteroids, and more!
1 hour


Ranger Talk- “Birds of the Night Sky:” 6:30 pm
South Rim Amphitheater

The night sky over Black Canyon is full of stories, some too far-fetched to believe. Explore birds and their constellation myths to see if you can separate fact from fiction.
45 minutes


Black Canyon Night Sky Tour: 8:45 pm and 9:30 pm
South Rim Campground Amphitheater

Join park rangers to take a tour of the constellations and see the Milky Way!
30 minutes

S
aturday, September 11th

Night Sky Table: 10 am – 3 pm
South Rim Visitor Center

Stop by and convert your flashlight to night-sky friendly red, pick up a star chart and plan your evening star viewing, or explore the galaxy with fun astronomy-based activities.

Planet Hopper Junior Ranger Program: 11 am and 2 pm
South Rim Campground Amphitheater

Have you ever wondered what life may be like on another planet? Join park rangers for this family friendly program to explore our solar system from the comfort Earth!
30 minutes


Ranger Talk- “Star Stories:” 6:30 pm
South Rim Amphitheater

Discover how to navigate Black Canyon’s night sky and uncover the many myths behind our constellations.
45 minutes

Black Canyon Night Sky Tour: 9 pm
South Rim Amphitheater

Join park rangers and astronomy volunteers to see the Milky Way and more! Learn the constellations and get an “up-close” look at night sky objects with real-time projected telescope images.
1 hour


Black Canyon's astronomy program, including this festival, is made possible through our partnership with the Black Canyon Astronomical Society.
 
people around telescopes with a starry night sky overhead
The annual Black Canyon Astronomy Festival includes lots of stargazing, both with and without telescopes!

Photo Credit: Joyce Tanihara

Dark skies are a thing to be celebrated. Every year, Black Canyon hosts an Astronomy Festival to provide the opportunity for visitors to experience this disappearing resource.

All events will occur on the South Rim of the park. Events may include solar viewing and astronomy activities during the day and ranger talks, guest speaker programs, and telescope viewing each night. Rangers, volunteers, and the Black Canyon Astronomical Society (BCAS) will provide telescopes for viewing.

Last updated: August 27, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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

Gunnison, CO 81230

Phone:

(970) 641-2337 x205

Contact Us