The desert sky at night is an amazing sight to see…the mountains standing like dark sentinels guarding the millions of twinkling stars that blanket the skies for as far as the eyes can see…a view that just makes the heart feel it has found its way home. And luckily for us, two of Arizona’s cities rank high on the top 10 list of best places to view the stars; our desert skies, especially Flagstaff and Sedona, continue to do us proud. So, be warned, if you’re planning a vacation to Arizona, a night of stargazing just might convince you that the great Southwest is the place you want to call your forever home!
Did you know that Flagstaff is not only an international Dark-Sky City, but it is the first International Dark-Sky City? The ordinances that restrict lighting are what keeps the skies above this mountain town such a wondrous area for stargazing, for vacationers, residents and the scientists who do their research at the world famous Lowell Observatory, located high in the mountains surrounding Flagstaff. Sunset Crater Volcano is another great stargazing place located just outside of Flagstaff…over 900 years a volcano erupted creating a crater that is both fascinating to view in the daytime and heavenly to view at night. The purple night sky is alight with millions of stars…and it’s a great place to make a wish on shooting stars as well!
Sedona Star Gazing Tour
Sedona, Arizona’s worst kept secret, is a mystical town of red rock mountains guarding an artist paradise by day and home To Sedona Stargazing by night. Millions of tourists over the years have flocked to this tiny town where the brilliant night skies guarantee to awe and amaze and visitors get the chance to view not just stars, but planets, star clusters and many other celestial objects through the gigantic high tech telescopes provided by the knowledgeable staff of Sedona Star Gazing Tours.
But wait, there’s more!
Flagstaff and Sedona may be high ranking in the star gazing world, but they aren’t the only places with gorgeous views of starry nights. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix offers another two for the price of one experience; explore the beauty of the native flora and fauna by day and gaze upon the brilliant skies at night. Catch a glimpse of the red planet, Mars, and the “gas giant” Jupiter, as well as the stars of Taurus from Arizona’s other famous observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, located in the mountains of Tucson. And since a vacation to the Grand Canyon State wouldn’t be a vacation without visiting The Grand Canyon, we can promise you the most spectacular views of The Globular Clusters (a cluster of stars that gather in the shape of a sphere as it orbits a galactic core) from the peaceful Grand Canyon Village.
The stars are bright in the desert
So whether you are viewing the milky way from Cathedral Rock in Sedona, or are being awed by the Kaibab Plateau’s starry night or even if you are just checking out the Milky Way from Agua Fria National Monument in Black Canyon City, you are sure to find the desert skies a friendly place no matter what city you choose to stargaze from. Summer is hot here in the old Southwest, and the best viewing times are during spring or fall, so plan accordingly…and be prepared to fall in love with the Grand Canyon State.