If you're a night sky enthusiast, nothing beats the experience of camping under a star-filled sky. Whether it's observing a meteor shower, capturing the Milky Way's beauty, or simply appreciating the infinite cosmos, these cosmic campsites offer the best opportunities to enjoy the spectacle of the night sky.
Best stargazing campsites
- Cherry Springs State Park, Pennsylvania
Designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association, this park offers one of the best night sky views on the eastern seaboard. A dedicated observation field provides uninterrupted views of the night sky.
- Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah
Famed for its natural rock bridges, this national monument also boasts some of the darkest skies in the country. The view of the stars through the rock formations is a sight to behold.
- Death Valley National Park, California
Known for its extreme temperatures, Death Valley also offers some of the best stargazing opportunities. The park's remote location and dry climate make for excellent night sky viewing conditions.
- Joshua Tree National Park, California
With its clear, dark skies and unique desert landscape, Joshua Tree is a favorite among astrophotographers and star gazers alike.
- Big Bend National Park, Texas
Located far from urban light pollution, Big Bend offers exceptional stargazing, with visibility of the Milky Way on most nights.
- Acadia National Park, Maine
One of the few places on the east coast where you can still see the Milky Way, Acadia National Park is a haven for stargazers.
Tips for stargazing at campsites
Check the weather: Clear skies provide the best stargazing conditions. Clouds, fog, or haze can obscure your view of the stars.
Bring the right gear: A telescope or binoculars can enhance your stargazing experience, as can a star map or astronomy app to help you identify constellations and other celestial objects.
Avoid light pollution: The darker the sky, the better the stargazing. Choose campsites away from city lights and use red light flashlights to preserve your night vision.
Respect the environment: Follow the 'leave no trace' principle. Keep the campsite clean, avoid disturbing wildlife, and minimize noise.
Be patient: Your eyes need time to adjust to the darkness. Wait about 20-30 minutes after sunset for the best views.
Whether you're an astronomy buff, a photography enthusiast, or simply a lover of the night sky, these campsites offer an unforgettable stargazing experience.