Experience Dark Night Skies

A ranger is silhouetted by in front of a brilliant star-filled dark sky.

NPS/Foott

The night sky has inspired people at Cedar Breaks for as long as anyone can remember. Nighttime views and environments are among the critical park features protected at Cedar Breaks. You can experience dark skies at Cedar Breaks year-round from any of the park's overlooks. Please keep in mind, camping (including sleeping your vehicle) is not permitted outside of the campground. Check out our calendar page by following the link below for information on startgazing events. Whether you're enjoying the night skies on your own or with a ranger, follow the seven simple steps below to enjoy natural darkness.

Seven Simple Ways to Enjoy Natural Darkness

  1. Conquer your fears: Admit it. Most people are a bit uncomfortable in the dark. Try walking outside in a very dark area while keeping your flashlight in your pocket.

  2. Make a night vision friendly flashlight: By covering your flashlight with red cellophane or a red filter, you can prevent it from disrupting your night vision. Small flashlights work better than large ones.

  3. Stargaze: Spend time looking through telescopes and learning about the cosmos with your local science center, astronomy club, or park ranger.

  4. Go for a moonlit hike: The full moon provides ample light to see in most places. Let your eyes fully adjust. Be safe. A full moon hike will be a memorable experience.

  5. Awaken your nocturnal senses: Find a comfortable spot and look around. Allow your eyes 20 minutes to adjust, and you may be surprised how well you can see by starlight. Do objects appear further? Listen. Do sounds seem louder at night?

  6. Watch nocturnal wildlife: Many animals live their “days” at night. Look for nocturnal wildlife such as owls, bats, deer, bobcats, or fireflies.

  7. Be inspired: The night sky has been an inspiration for myth, literature, art, scientific discovery, and religion. Find your own way to connect with humankind’s celestial companion. Revel in its beauty and wonder, and most of all— be inspired! All living things benefit from natural darkness.

The night sky is everyone’s heritage, but light pollution is rapidly eroding the unspoiled view of the stars. Replacing poor quality outdoor lights with modern, efficient fixtures is not only good for the environment, but also saves energy and money while improving safety and security. Shielding lights and directing them downward reduces unwanted glare and returns the beautiful night.

Five Simple Ways You Can Protect the Night

  1. Enjoy the night: Ultimately, we will protect only what we love and cherish.

  2. Shield your lights: Several types of full cut-off light fixtures are now available for home, business, and municipal use. Existing lights can also be adjusted to point downward or retrofitted with simple metal shrouds.

  3. Use light only when you need it: Use motion sensors to turn lights on and off as needed. This costs less money, improves security, and reduces light pollution. Use timers for lights that are needed only in the evening or early morning.

  4. Use less light: An efficient, shielded light fixture can use a smaller wattage bulb and still be effective. Even a 25 or 40 watt incandescent bulb, or a 9 watt compact fluorescent, is enough to light a porch or driveway.

  5. Talk to your neighbors: Share your appreciation of the night and ways to protect it with your family, friends, neighbors, and community leaders. Encourage them to make the night a better place for your community and nearby parks.

 
 

Last updated: February 10, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cedar Breaks National Monument: Administrative Office
2390 West Highway 56 Suite #11

Cedar City, UT 84720

Phone:

(435) 986-7120

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