Grand Canyon Star Party - in Memory of Joe Orr - June 4-11, 2016

Young park visitor looking through a telescope

A young park visitor enjoys the Grand Canyon Star Party

NPS/Kristin Caldon

Quick Facts


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

The twenty-sixth annual Grand Canyon Star Party in Memory of Joe Orr will be held from Saturday, June 4 through Saturday, June 11, 2016 on both the South and North Rims of Grand Canyon National Park. This event is sponsored by the National Park Service, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (South Rim), and the Saguaro Astronomy Club of Phoenix (North Rim), with funding from Grand Canyon Association.

Amateur astronomers from across the country will volunteer their telescopes and their expertise. Free slide programs will be offered, and numerous telescopes will be pointed at planets, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies at night and the sun by day. National parks such as  

On the South Rim, events include a slide show nightly at 8:10 p.m. in the theater of the Grand Canyon Visitor Center, followed by free telescope viewing behind the building. Parking is available in lots 1 through 4, or arrive by the free Village Route shuttle bus, which runs until 11:00 p.m. To guarantee a seat at the slide show, arrive early. Visitors may arrive at the telescopes any time after dark, but the best views are after 9:00 p.m., when the sky is darkest. On a clear night, telescope viewing continues well into the night. Visitors to the South Rim Star Party will need a flashlight for the walk to the viewing area, but are asked to keep flashlights pointed down to protect everyone's night vision.  A red flashlight is best, and can be made by covering any flashlight with red cellophane, nail polish, or magic marker.   

On the North Rim, telescopes will be set up on the porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge every evening. Check the Visitor Center and park bulletin boards for additional daytime and evening events.  

Nighttime temperatures on both rims can be quite cool, even in summer. Those attending the star party are encouraged to bring warm layers of clothing. When traveling in the park on the South Rim, it is best to find a parking space and use the free shuttle bus system to access points of interest in the Grand Canyon Village area. See the Park Guide for tour bus routes and schedules.

For additional information on either of these events, check the park web site at