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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Garner

I Visited Bryce Canyon for an Amazing Stargazing Adventure!

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

If you're looking for a breathtaking outdoor experience, look no further than Bryce Canyon National Park. Even though it might not be as popular as its neighbor Zion National Park, don't let that fool you into thinking there's nothing to do here! Not only does this national park offer spectacular hiking trails surrounded by beautiful hoodoos ( rock formations unique to the area), but did I mention stargazing? This is one of those experiences that just can't compare- with up to 7500 stars twinkling at night above the majestic landscape—it's sure to take your breath away. To make things even better, Bryce Canyon also provides some of the oldest astronomy programs in the nation — making it an ideal destination for stargazing lovers like me and perhaps you too!?


How I Plan My Perfect Bryce Canyon National Park Stargazing Trip

To help make your trip as easy as possible, here are some of my top tips on how to plan an epic stargazing adventure, take a note!


Bryce Canyon National Park

Choose Your Dates Wisely

Choosing the right dates for your trip is essential for ensuring clear skies and maximum visibility of stars, planets, and galaxies. December through February tends to have the clearest skies due to the lack of monsoon rains that occur during the other months. It also helps to avoid full moon nights since they can interfere with observing fainter objects in the sky. Check out this calendar from Sky & Telescope Magazine that shows peak viewing times each month!


Pick Your Viewing Points Carefully

Bryce Canyon has several key points where visitors can catch a stunning view of the night sky— including Sunrise Point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, and Bryce Point. All these points provide unobstructed views of the night sky due to their high elevations and lack of light pollution from nearby cities or towns. That said, if you’re hoping to get a glimpse of the Milky Way Galaxy, then you should aim for viewing points such as Inspiration Point or Bryce Point. This will give you an unobstructed view of the entire galaxy since there are no mountains blocking your view at these points!


Pack Appropriately

Finally, it’s important that you take all necessary precautions when packing for your trip—especially when it comes to preparing for cold temperatures and unpredictable weather conditions at night. Make sure to bring plenty of layers so that you stay warm while waiting for dark skies (a good rule of thumb is always carrying at least one more layer than what you think you need). You should also pack a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries just in case! And don’t forget snacks! Stargazing outings tend to last several hours so having something small like trail mix or granola bars on hand is always helpful!


Last Notes

Planning a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park is an exciting experience—especially if it involves stargazing! By following these tips above and doing your research beforehand (like knowing what dates will provide maximum visibility), then you’ll be well on your way towards planning an unforgettable adventure under the stars! So grab your layers and headlamps, pick out your favorite viewing point in advance, and get ready for a great night filled with stars!


Travel to Bryce Canyon National Park

Located in southwestern Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park is a stunning natural wonder that attracts visitors from all around the world. But getting there can be somewhat tricky, particularly if you're flying in from out of state. So, how exactly do you get to Bryce Canyon?


crater at Bryce Canyon National Park

By Airplane

The closest international airport is the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada (approximately 250 miles away). From there, you can rent a car or take a bus or shuttle service directly to the park. If you opt for a rental car, it will take about 4-5 hours depending on traffic and road conditions. It’s important to note that some roads may require winter tires or chains during certain times of the year; so make sure you check with your rental car agency before leaving.


By Car

If you are driving from within the U.S., you can use Google Maps or other online mapping services to plan your route accordingly. Depending on where you’re coming from, Bryce Canyon National Park is generally accessible via I-15 South and US-89 North—though there are numerous routes available depending on which direction you’re coming from and where your final destination is located within the park itself (Bryce Amphitheater/Visitor Center/Sunset Point).


Once Inside the Park,

Visitors can explore by foot or bicycle along any of the numerous trails throughout the area—including Inspiration Point Trail and Navajo Loop Trail—or take one of the many guided tours offered by local tour companies such as Red Rock Tours & Adventures and Grand View Tours & Adventures. Alternatively, visitors may also choose to explore by horseback riding along one of several trails designated for equestrian use only.


Few More Tips

There's something truly special about visiting Bryce Canyon National Park. From soaring cliffs of spectacular red rock to seemingly endless hiking trails, it offers a breathtaking experience that won't soon be forgotten! Make the trip today and revel in all this national treasure has to offer - whether you travel by airplane, car or horseback is up to you! Don’t miss out on an ever-memorable journey through one of America’s greatest wonders – start planning now for your visit at Bryce Canyon National Park.


Bryce Canyon National Park: How to Stargaze in the Park

Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park has something for everyone! From novice to expert, you can gaze up at the star-filled sky and take part in a Ranger Program or one of my personal favorite Stargazing Events. With so much on offer under that big night sky, why not come explore?


Bryce Canyon National Park at day light



Ranger Program

The Bryce Canyon Ranger Program is offered several times during the summer and fall months. During this program, rangers share their knowledge of the night sky with visitors. They will explain some of the science behind stars and constellations as well as provide tips on how to view them. This program is perfect for those who are just getting started with stargazing because it provides an introduction to astronomy without being overwhelming.


Stargazing Events

Bryce Canyon National Park also hosts occasional stargazing events throughout the year. These events are typically held in high-altitude areas such as Inspiration Point or Fairyland Point. At these events, amateur astronomers bring their own telescopes and invite visitors to take a look at different stars and constellations through their lenses. Some events also feature presentations from knowledgeable experts on various topics related to astronomy and space exploration.


Stargazing On Your Own

If you want to go stargazing without attending a ranger program or special event, there are several areas in Bryce Canyon that offer excellent views of the night sky. Popular spots include Inspiration Point and Rainbow Point which both offer expansive views of the canyon below and dark skies above. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a short hike up one of the hoodoos or slot canyons for an even more spectacular view of the night sky!


Stargazing in Bryce Canyon National Park has something for everyone!

Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or simply want to admire the beauty of the night sky, Bryce Canyon National Park has something for everyone when it comes to stargazing. With its dark skies, expansive views, and numerous options for viewing the stars, this national park is truly an astronomer’s paradise! So grab your telescope (or binoculars) and head out into one of Utah’s most beautiful parks – you won’t be disappointed!


Where to Go Stargazing in Bryce Canyon for a Perfect View

Here are two of my favorite spots to go stargazing in Bryce Canyon:


stargazing at Bryce Canyon National Park

Natural Bridge Overlook

The Natural Bridge Overlook is one of the most popular spots for stargazing in Bryce Canyon. The viewing platform offers stunning views of the canyon, making it an ideal spot to admire both its natural beauty and it's night sky. The overlook is open year-round and can be reached by car or on foot (the latter being more recommended).


Mossy Cave Trail

If you're looking for a secluded, peaceful stargazing spot away from all the hustle and bustle of tourist traps then head to Highway 12. Nestled in the hills is Mossy Cave Trail with its own tranquil waterfall which provides an amazing backdrop while enjoying the night sky - this place was made just for star gazers!


No Matter Where You Choose To Go

Bryce Canyon National Park truly has some of the best night skies in America, making it one of the top destinations for amateur astronomers and professional photographers alike who seek out awe-inspiring celestial scenes beneath a blanket of stars above them each evening during their stay here! No matter where you choose to go within this remarkable national park – whether you prefer Natural Bridge Overlook or Inspiration Point or Sunset Point or Mossy Cave Trail – you will surely find yourself surrounded by majestic beauty beneath a canopy of stars that will take your breath away! So grab your camera gear, bundle up warmly, and come explore all that this magnificent park has to offer under cover of darkness! You won’t regret it!


What to Take With You for Stargazing Trip in Bryce Canyon

If you’re planning a stargazing trip to Bryce Canyon, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. From the right clothing and items for hydration to special tools and equipment, there are some essential items that will make your stargazing experience complete. Here’s a look at what to take with you on your journey.


Tripod & Remote

A tripod is an absolute must-have when it comes to stargazing. You should also bring along a remote or shutter release cable so that you can take long exposure shots of the night sky without touching the camera – this will help keep your pictures sharp and clear.


Red Light

A red light flashlight is also essential for outdoor trips like this one. Red light helps preserve your night vision, allowing you to see more stars in the sky without damaging your eyesight. It’s also important to remember not to use any white light while stargazing as it can interfere with other people’s activities.


Clothing

Depending on the time of year, temperature changes significantly in Bryce Canyon from day to night, so it’s important to dress appropriately for both warm days and cooler nights. Bring layers so that no matter what time of year it is, you can be comfortable during your stargazing session.


Hydrate & Hike

Remember to stay hydrated during hikes around Bryce Canyon and make sure that if you are out late enough, there will be enough daylight left when returning back down from the viewing point down below at sunset so that you don't get lost!


My Recommendation for When is the best time to visit Bryce Canyon

Spending the summer in Bryce Canyon National Park is an amazing experience, but if you’re looking for a bit of solitude and cooler temperatures then fall would be ideal. You can also visit during winter to see what it looks like under all that snow – plus, who doesn't want to gaze up at stars while sitting next to a campfire? I recommend that you consider the fall season for your next stargazing trip next time you are planning it, and who knows you might meet me there!




Bryce Canyon National Park, What to Do During the Day While You're There

Bryce Canyon National Park is an incredible place to explore during the day. From its beautiful landscapes, vibrant colors, and diverse wildlife, it's no wonder why this park attracts millions of tourists every year. But with such a vast expanse of land, it can be hard to know where to start!


Queens Garden

A great place to start your day at Bryce Canyon is the Queens Garden Trail. This easy and accessible 1.8-mile loop trail takes you through some of the park's most stunning scenery and features a variety of points of interest along the way. As you make your way around the loop, keep an eye out for Hoodoos (the unique rock formations scattered throughout the park) as well as different bird species that call this area home.


Sunset Point to Sunrise Point

If you're looking for some more strenuous activity, consider taking on the 4-mile trek from Sunset Point to Sunrise Point. This trail offers stunning views of the canyon below and some incredible photo opportunities along the way. It's not for those afraid of heights—in fact, much of the trail winds along narrow ridges with very steep drop-offs—but if you're up for an adventure then this is definitely one worth taking!


Fairyland Loop

The Fairyland Loop Trail is one of Bryce Canyon's most popular trails and it's easy to see why! This 8-mile loop takes hikers through some of the park's most stunning scenery including spire-filled amphitheaters, lush meadows filled with wildflowers, and sweeping views across the canyon floor below. The hike can take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on how often you stop so make sure you pack plenty of snacks and water!


Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Basin State Park lies just outside Bryce Canyon National Park but offers an equally unique experience that shouldn't be missed! This 7-square mile park boasts dozens of colorful rock spires that reach up into the sky and offer amazing panoramic views across the basin floor below. There are plenty of hiking trails for those who want to explore further but even just driving through this otherworldly landscape is an unforgettable experience!


Kodachrome Basin State Park

Can you see the Milky Way in Bryce Canyon? What time of year?

It's definitely possible to see the Milky Way in Bryce Canyon National Park. Visiting Bryce Canyon at the right time of year can afford you a sky so clear you can actually see the Milky Way overhead! My experience of traveling there in the summer months allowed me to have an incredible adventure, during which I was able to witness this amazing sight with my own eyes (and even better, through binoculars!). There is nothing quite like standing beneath the stars during a night sky tour, surrounded by surreal landscapes - it really was a moment of awe that I will never forget.


Stargazing Binoculars for First Time Visiting in Bryce Canyon

If you’re planning a visit to Bryce Canyon, one of the most spectacular places on earth, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right stargazing binoculars for your trip. The best way to experience the night sky in all its glory is by using a pair of high-quality binoculars—they will help you uncover secrets and reveal amazing sights that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye.


What Type of Binoculars Should I Buy?

When it comes to choosing a pair of stargazing binoculars, there are two main types to consider: astronomical binoculars and terrestrial binoculars. Astronomical binoculars are designed specifically for viewing celestial bodies such as stars, planets, and galaxies. They typically have higher magnification power than terrestrial binoculars and are better suited for observing distant objects in the night sky. Terrestrial binoculars are better suited for viewing more nearby objects such as wildlife or buildings.


When it comes to selecting a size, it is important to keep in mind that bigger isn't always better when it comes to stargazing binoculars. Generally speaking, larger sizes are harder to steady and can be more difficult for inexperienced users to handle. If this is your first time using stargazing binoculars, we recommend starting with a smaller size (e.g., 10x50) so that you can get used to handling them before moving up in size (e.g., 15x70).


Where Can I Buy My Binoculars?

We recommend buying your stargazing binocular online from an authorized dealer like B&H Photo Video or Amazon so that you can read reviews and compare prices quickly and easily. It's also important to make sure that you buy your binoculars from a reputable dealer so that you don't end up with a counterfeit product or one that has been damaged in transit. And if you're unsure about what type or size of stargazing binoculars would be best for your needs, don't hesitate to ask questions! Most retailers have knowledgeable staff who can provide helpful advice and recommendations based on your individual needs and budget.


Conclusion:

Stargazing at Bryce Canyon is an unforgettable experience—but only if you have the right equipment! Make sure that you take the time to do some research before buying your stargazing binoculars so that you get the perfect pair for your needs.


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