News Release

Timpanogos Cave National Monument Certified by International Dark-Sky Association as Urban Night Sky Place

Milky way visible among thousands of stars above a mountain outline

Pat King

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News Release Date: September 18, 2020

Contact: Cami McKinney, 801-692-5048

The National Park Service and the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) are pleased to announce the certification of Timpanogos Cave National Monument as an IDA Urban Night Sky Place. Timpanogos Cave is the first National Park Service unit to receive this certification,  which recognizes sites near or surrounded by large urban areas which actively promote an authentic nighttime experience in the midst of a significant artificial light at night. 

The International Dark Sky Places Program was founded in 2001 to encourage communities, parks, and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting polices and public education. The park now joins more than 100 locations that have followed a rigorous application process that demonstrates robust community support for dark sky certification. 

“Utah has some of the most amazing remaining night sky viewing in nation” said Jim Ireland, park superintendent, “and more certified International Dark Sky Parks than any other state. We’re proud to add Timpanogos Cave to the list, and to use our location along the Wasatch Front to help with public education and awareness about the importance of naturally dark skies.”

The certification does not carry any legal or regulatory authority but demonstrates the park’s commitment to public education and protection of night skies through the use of more energy efficient, sustainable lighting.

In partnership with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and local astronomy groups, the park regularly offers popular night sky programs in American Fork Canyon throughout the summer months. With this certification, the park looks forward to continuing night sky programs sharing the night sky with visitors in the years ahead.

About the International Dark-Sky Association: IDA’s mission is to preserve and protect the nighttime environment and our heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting. Learn more at

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: September 21, 2020

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