This National Park Was Just Named an International Dark Sky Park Ideal for Stargazing

The Utah national park was designated an International Dark Sky Park.


Living in New York City means stargazing is a certified non-thing. In fact, the same can be said for nearly every major city. Any real glimpse of the Milky Way or major celestial event is just unlikely thanks to artificial light, pollution, and view-obstructing buildings.

So, fellow city dwellers, we have to travel to see the stars, and now it looks like Zion National Park might be just the place to do it. The Utah national park was just named an International Dark Sky Park, which if you're not a space nerd like us, basically just means it's one of the best spots for stargazing. 

"Zion National Park is committed to conserving the park’s night skies for all future generations and to educating visitors about the values of this important resource,” park superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh said in a statement.

The International Dark Sky Places Program was established in 2001 and seeks out places across the globe that have exceptional night skies that they protect. As of February 2020, there were over 130 certified IDSPs in the world.

However, it's about more than just calling out these spots for stargazing aficionados: The program also works to preserve these places through responsible lighting programs and public education, the National Park Service reports. Winning this designation means committing to to dark-sky preservation in the future, and adding opportunities for astronomy-based programs.

Zion isn't the first IDSP in the state of Utah. According to the NPS, Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument was the first to earn the certification back in 2007.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.