As years go by, it has become rare and difficult to witness a sky full of bright stars. If you’ve lived in an urban place for too long, it becomes easy to be distracted by the city lights around you that you find no reason to look up the night sky anymore. However, city lights cannot quite compare to a majestic Milky Way or shooting stars. Lucky for you, there are many places across North America with well-preserved dark skies. If you are in desperate need to be mesmerized by this natural wonder, grab an overnight bag, invest in a good quality telescope, and hop on your car to visit one of these five best places to stargaze.
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The Rocky Mountain National Park located in Colorado is extremely popular for its picturesque mountains, lakes, forest, and wildlife. Out of towners can enjoy the drive to this park and be amazed by the mountain range even while still on the road. Moreover, the national park is a special place to see the stars at night. Drive atop Trail Ridge Road in the morning and wait for the sun to come down. The roads are not lit so you can only see the shadows of the trees beside the mountain. The total darkness of the surrounding only magnifies the brightness of the stars and the gradient of colors as they shine through the horizon. If you’re up for an adventure, you can camp on one of the lakes and see how the stars shine through the calm waters.
- Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
The northern lights or aurora borealis have been sought after by many for the longest time. People from all over the world travel a hundred thousand miles to witness this phenomenon even for just a few minutes. The jaw-dropping burst of colors are striking and almost out of this world. A great location to experience this scenery is Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. The sharp colors of winter trees and snow-capped mountains in a landscape spanning over six million acres make Alaska a perfect spot for stargazing.
- Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
The Natural Bridges National Monument is one of the best places to stargaze during the summer. The towering Owachomo bridge is a solid rock formed thousands of years ago when a river change course. Today, the bridge is a magnificent statement and serves as a porthole to the Milky Way that stretches through the night sky. While light and brightness is essential in other parts of the world, Natural Bridges has one of the darkest skies in the country. This preservation is fully supported by the U.S. National Park Service to minimize light pollution and educate the people about the importance of maintaining darkness in the area.
- Mauna Kea, Hawaii
Mauna Kea located on the Big Island is a dormant volcano and considered to be the highest point in Hawaii. It is also where the world’s largest astronomical observatory can be found. Mauna Kea is very accessible to anyone who wishes to experience stargazing from a volcano. Because of its position, there are no trees or mountains to obstruct your view. When you look up, all you will ever see are stars shining on the night sky.
- The Headlands, Michigan
A diamond on the rough, the Headlands International Dark Sky Park located near the shores at the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is a great place for stargazing. The colors of the stars, surrounding trees, and waters bounce off each other forming a unique combination of blue, green, and purple hue in the night sky. The park is situated far enough from the city and is open to the public all year round.