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Looking for an adventure the whole family can enjoy? Stargazing in the remote dark skies of southern Utah is a rewarding and memorable experience for all ages. With its high elevations and low humidity, Utah is home to some of the best stargazing in the country. To check out some of the best spots to stargaze and prepare for a night under the stars, check out Rugged Skies, a guide to stargazing in Ramblers.
There are a few steps you can follow to get started. First, pick a spot. We’ve outlined five excellent places offering stunning views: Eagle Point, Puffer Lake and Big Flat, Three Creeks Reservoir and Strawberry Flat, Big John Flat, and Rock Corral. Don’t run to buy a telescope just yet; start by investing in a red flashlight and using binoculars. Red light acclimates your eyes to the dark better than harsh white light, and binoculars go a surprisingly long way to see the moon and planets.
Check the status of the moon before you go. A bright full moon will knock out nearly all possible viewing distance with its light. Knowing what’s going on in the sky will help as well. Several apps, like Star Walk 2, Sky Guide, and many others, are available for download to assist in your stargazing journey. An astronomical calendar can also help catch an annual meteor shower or other special celestial happenings.
Chances are, after learning a few constellations, you and your family will be hooked. Don’t be surprised if stargazing becomes everyone’s favorite activity. Stargazing has the added benefits of relieving stress, igniting creativity, and providing a reason to get out into nature. If you’re spending the night outdoors this spring and summer, don’t forget to look up!