US National Parks: Offering More Than Just Daytime Beauty

National Park Stargazing International Dark Sky Places IDA Dark Sky Crater Lake Rim Drive Bend Eugene National Parks Astronomy

The US National Parks system contains many of Americas most beautiful lands! The NPS employs approximately 20,000 people in 424 individual units covering over 85 million acres in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories. These parks range from the most famous US monuments such as the Lincoln Memorial to landscapes such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. While the general public is aware of the daytime beauty, many of these parks have equally as impressive and beautiful night skies!

With the renewed interest in the night sky, many NPS locations have great astronomy programs and opportunities. This has taken the form of Ranger activities and other resources available to help the public connect with the night sky at these parks! However, it must be stated that the public should treat these opportunities with respect and not be rude to staff, break the rules, and trash the locations they are using to observe.

The NPS has a great list of where to stargaze, NPS observatories, Andy other resources to help the public. Some of these locations are even IDA recognized!

And what’s important is that not all locations that are good for astronomy have Ranger led programs. Examples of this are Crater Lake National Park and John Day Fossil Beds. Both locations have dark skies but don’t have Ranger led programs such as star parties. However, when stargazing at National Parks, always make sure you’re doing so legally and are not trespassing!

What are your favorite National Park locations to stargaze in? Let us know in the comments below or via Twitter or Instagram. For other articles like this, make sure to check out our website, as we post new articlesweekly!

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