Few things are more stirring, or humbling, than staring up at the universe on a clear night, but youâ€™ll need to leave the city lights behindâ€”way behindâ€”to see the heavens at their brightest. For some of the best stargazing on the planet, start with these dark-sky reserves and parks.
By Brooke Grebert-Craig
1. United States: Canyonlands National Park
Recently granted Gold Tier status by the International Dark-Sky Association, this stark wonderland of canyons, mesas, and buttes in southern Utah has all the ingredients for exceptional stargazing: altitude (the average elevation is 1,500 meters), unpolluted skies, and an arid desert climate. Strike out on your own from one of the parkâ€™s three visitor centers, or join a Redrock Astronomy (moab-astronomy.com) tour in nearby Moab, which includes use of host Alex Ludwigâ€™s high-powered telescope.