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10 Places to Stargaze in Arizona That Will Leave You Breathless

Cheyenne Reed

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Where Are the Best Places for Stargazing in Arizona?

Does the sight of a billion twinkling stars leave you breathless? Are you looking for the best places for stargazing in Arizona? Good news! We’ve compiled a list of the ten best places for stargazing.

1) Stargazing from Kitt Peak National Observatory

Stargazing in Arizona at its finest at the Kitt Peak National Observatory
Kitt Peak National Observatory
(Image Courtesy of Gautham Narayan via Flickr)

Home of the largest array of optical and radio telescopes in the world, Kitt Peak National Observatory is just fifty-six miles west-southwest of Tucson. Feeling like an amateur? No worries, because the visitor center hosts a variety of daytime and evening programs. So, if you’re feeling like a pro, go ahead and reserve a telescope all to yourself!

2) Stargazing from Lowell Observatory

The Lowell Observatory is one of the best places for stargazing in Arizona.
Lowell Observatory (Photo by Stan Lewis via Flickr)

Slip into the mesmerizing world of the cosmos with Lowell Observatory’s immersive space theater, Sliphervision. It was here that the first evidence of the expanding universe was found. You’re sure to learn something yourself during one of the ever-changing multimedia presentations they host!

3) Stargazing in Sedona, Arizona

Stargazing in Arizona is most breathtaking in Sedona.
Sedona, Arizona (Photo by Guy Schmickle via Flickr)

Designated as a dark sky community by the International Dark-Sky Association, stargazing has been voted one of the best things to do in Sedona! With over 300 dry, clear nights per year and virtually no light pollution, what’s not to love?

4) Stargazing in Payson, Arizona

Stargazing in Payson, Arizona
Stargazing in Payson, Arizona. (Photo by Ken Burkhalter via Flickr)

Residents of Payson love to boast that their town occupies one of only three pure air ozone belts in the world. What that means is some major stargazing! With a dark sky ordinance in place, a trip to Payson practically ensures that you’ll see constellations like Andromeda and Scorpius, not to mention planets like Venus, Mars, and Saturn.

5) Arizona Sky Village – Stargazing in the Chiricahua Mountains

The Chiricahua Mountains are the perfect place for stargazing in Arizona.
The Chiricahua Mountains at night by Greg McCown via saguaropictures.com

An entire community founded on an appreciation of the night sky, the Arizona Sky Village lies in the shadow of the Chiricahua Mountains. This prime location means high elevations, low humidity, and low light pollution. Plan a visit to join top astronomers here for a night, and you may decide you’d like to call this place home, too!

6) Stargazing at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is breathtaking for many reasons. It is also one of the best places for stargazing in Arizona.

What better place to bask in our incredible solar system than Arizona’s iconic Grand Canyon? Most nights offer a fabulous opportunity for stargazing at the rim of your choice. However, the National Park Service hosts a Grand Canyon Star Party each year in June, which lasts for eight days. Drawing astronomers from all across the country and guaranteeing over a week of awe-inspiring nights, this event is not one to miss.

7) Stargazing in Monument Valley

Like the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley is a unique landscape and visiting experience. It's one of the best places for stargazing in Arizona.

While it is a popular spot for sunrises and sunsets, Monument Valley is also as breathtaking at night as it is during the day. Cloudy nights are also rare in the Valley. But refer to the Clear Sky Chart if you’re hoping to visit on the darkest night possible.

8) Stargazing Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter

Mt. Lemon is the perfect spot for an observatory. The clear skies make it a great place for stargazing in Arizona.

Operated by the University of Arizona, this observatory has the largest public dedicated telescope in the Southwest. Built on a 9,157 foot summit, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter welcomes visitors for workshops that last several days and nights. They’re also packed with hands-on activities.

9) Stargazing at Havasupai Falls

After swimming in the crystal clear waters, take in the sights of Havasupai Falls at night by stargazing.

Who could possibly argue that this paradise isn’t worth every step of the the ten mile hike? The skies in this spot feature ever changing constellations, though, depending on the season, and up to five planets are visible.

10) Stargazing in Saguaro National Park 

Close to Phoenix, Saguaro National Park is a great place for to get a view of the night sky.

Saguaro National Park is so big that it is split in half. One is Saguaro East and the other is Saguaro West. Talk about a whole lot of stargazing space! It’s known for its cactus forests, but astronomer led stargazing sessions are popular here also.

Happy Stargazing!

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