The Top 5 Spots To Go Stargazing In The U.S.

November 6, 2014

Places To StargazeIf the last time you glanced up at the night sky, you were met by the glow of billboard ads for insurance, it’s time to get away and re-commune with nature! Stargazing is a quintessential road trip activity, and it’s a great reminder that our mortal troubles are pretty petty in the context of the infinite universe. What can we say…there’s something about being out of cell service range that prompts you to stop worrying about what your crush’s Facebook post means and really see the gift of life. Over the years, we’ve combed the country looking for stargazing spots. Check out a few of our favorites:

 

  1. The middle of South Dakota! We know. Most of us probably couldn’t pinpoint this overlooked state on a map if our life depended on it–but that’s the point. A well-kept secret filled with wide open stretches of road, South Dakota is mostly devoid of those distractions and city lights that taint a night sky. We stopped in SD on a recent road trip for a bit of LED light magic. Let’s just say you don’t need Calvin Harris and hundreds of people to start your own rave.

Roadtrips!

  1. Mendocino county, specifically at Anthony Peak. The sunset is hours long, and you can see the shadow of the mountain all the way to the horizon. Stars with flashlight-like powers make the sky bright enough to see even on a moonless night, so you’ll get a lit-up tableau no matter the conditions. When you emerge from slumber in the morning, climb the lookout tower and take in the tree-lined hinterland that’ll make you feel like you’re walking around the Sound of Music.

 

  1. There are several National Parks that offer amazing views of the stars. While each of them has its charms and quirks, we personally recommend Bryce Canyon, The Grand Tetons, Death Valley, and Yosemite. Here’s a photo of the night sky in Bryce Canyon, Utah.

Bryce Canyon

  1. With its tan-colored adobes that appear to be molded from the endless sand that lies beneath, Taos, New Mexico is like stepping back to another time and place. The completely preserved town is fiercely devoted to its Southwest roots and has managed to fend off the soul-killing encroachment of urban sprawl, so you won’t find unsightly strip malls creeping in on these unspoiled lands. Park somewhere–anywhere really– and get 360 degree views of pink rock monoliths layered with the passage of time. When the sun goes down, nothing will interrupt your view.

     

  2. Last but not least: Mount Wilson. Drive only 45 minutes up a mountain road from Los Angeles to where all the cell towers are perched peacefully above the bustling chaos. There are stars, sure, but you’ll also find the incredible, massive sprawl of LA all lit up at night.

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