Last updated: August 14, 2023
Star gazing is a great way to end a long day of hiking and exploring the park. The Sunrise area is a perfect spot for star gazing. There are several options for viewing the stars:
- Park in the Sunrise Parking Lot. This is a great option with lots of space. Just wear high visibility gear (yellow or orange in color) so cars and other people can easily see you. Pets are permitted in the parking lot but are not allowed on any trails. Restrooms are located next to the parking lot.
- Drive to Sunrise Point. This spot is away from the visitor center and may have less light pollution and still have that easy access aspect that one may look for. There is plenty of parking, but note that the nearest restroom facility is next to the main Sunrise parking lot, a five-minute drive away. Pets are permitted in the parking lot but are not allowed on any trails.
- Hike the Sourdough Ridge or Silver Forest Trails. These are two easy hikes that have amazing views of the mountain and the stars at night. The Sourdough Ridge Trail starts from the north side of the parking area and climbs up through the meadows to the ridgeline. The Silver Forest Trail starts from the south side of the parking lot and stops by the two Emmons Vista Overlooks before continuing on through the subalpine meadows. Be sure to hike in groups and remember that many large animals like bears are active at night. Bring a head lamp, hiking gear such as the 10 essentials, and plenty of water. Pets are not allowed on trails. Please stay on trail to avoid trampling the delicate subalpine meadow plants and wildflowers.
There is no lodging available in the Sunrise area and overnight camping is not permitted in the parking lots. Please plan ahead for where you will be staying after you finish star gazing. The nearest campground is the White River Campground.
NOTE: Please stay on trails, sidewalks, or in parking areas! Setting up blankets, chairs, or laying in the meadows to star gaze is not permitted at any time. The subalpine meadows are delicate and easily damaged. Help protect the natural resources that make Sunrise such a special place.