Rangers Share the Night Sky

people and a telescope illuminated in red with stars overhead

People use a telescope to view the stars at Grand View Point.

NPS/Chris Wonderly

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
Starry, Starry Night
Year Accomplished:

The starry skies over southeastern Utah are a sight to behold, and every year more visitors discover that "half of the park is after dark." Ranger-led telescope programs are exceptionally popular ways to help connect visitors, many of whom live in urban areas, to these astounding nightly displays. Logistical details for these programs are uniquely complex, including increased safety concerns, parking issues, risk of resource damage, and scheduling conflicts. To simplify the process and increase the number of programs offered to Moab-area visitors, rangers from Canyonlands, Arches, and Dead Horse Point State Park have joined forces to form a collaborative Night Sky Programs team.

On Saturdays near the new moon each month of the main tourist season—April through September—one of the three participating parks takes a turn hosting an evening star party. Events consist of a short ranger talk, a constellation tour, and telescope viewing with a half dozen rangers and scopes. Sharing resources in this manner helps reduce the wait time of visitors at each telescope, increases the diversity of objects visitors can view, and deepens the partnership among neighboring parks.

Check the calendar of events pages at Arches or Canyonlands to see if a star party is planned during your next visit.