One of our favorite things about the Southwest is the many ways we have to see the beautiful night sky. In fact, one of the most famous National Parks that the Southwest has to offer, has recently been named an International Dark Sky Park. Which one is it you may ask? Well, it is none other than our beloved Grand Canyon, one of the most spectacular International Dark Sky Parks of the Southwest.

What does it mean to call a National Park a Dark Sky Park?

Well, according to Grand Canyon’s website, Dark Sky Parks are locations such as parks and or other locations where people get to go and see some of the last remaining areas that allow for unimpeded views of a pristine night sky. Essentially by going to one of the Dark Sky Parks, you would get to see views of the sky that our ancestors would have seen on a nightly basis. Have you ever had a chance to view awe-inspiring sights such as the Sagittarius Star Cloud, star clusters, meteor showers, and far away galaxies all from the comfort of a lodge, tent, or RV? Believe us when we tell you, it’s an experience that is quite literally out of this world.

Bryce Canyon Dark Skies | DETOURS | JMP
Bryce Canyon Dark Sky

Plan Your Stargazing Trip

Now that you’re informed on all the exciting details on what you can see on a clear night at the Grand Canyon, it is time to figure out a way to get up there! The best way to see a Dark Sky Park is during the night, as anyone would imagine. We are all in luck, as DETOURS just happens to offer overnight tours! By joining us on one of these overnight excursions, you can spend the day however you wish. Want to hike Bright Angel Trail, or perhaps you want to take a helicopter flight around the canyon with Maverick Helicopters? You can do both and end the night with dinner at the El Tovar Lodge. Now that’s what we like to call a dream vacation itinerary. Another great Dark Sky Park that you can visit for an overnight experience is Bryce Canyon National Park. Getting to view the Milky Way over the Hoodoos is one of those rare sights that will leave one of those everlasting memories on your brain for the rest of your life. No matter what you choose to do, do it in style. With DETOURS at your side, there is no other way to do it! If you don’t want to do an overnight tour, don’t worry; You always have the option to do a private custom night time tour!

Dark Sky Parks of the Southwest - 7 Magic Mountains | DETOURS
Dark Sky 7 Magic Mountains (Just outside of Las Vegas)

Dark Skies in Your City’s Backyard

What people tend to not realize is that just outside of both Las Vegas and Phoenix are Dark Sky Zones where you can see spectacular views without the timely travel. One of our favorite locations here in Nevada to see the Milky Way is from Eldorado Canyon. We just so happen to take guests down where they can get amazing shots of the night sky along with some amazing history of Nevada thrown in. Yet another great location for dark sky zones is along with parts of Lake Mead; With the glow of the city in the distance, it’s the perfect location to get those dark sky shots that look straight out of National Geographic. If you’re in the Phoenix area our locals can all agree that the more North you go and the higher the elevation, the better the chance of seeing the best views of the stars. Two of our preferred spots are Sedona and Jerome! Imagine catching the Milky Way over the Chapel of the Holy Cross that is built into the iconic red rocks of Sedona, if we had any breath left, we would call that breathtaking!

Here at DETOURS we believe in shooting for the Moon and going beyond expectations! So no matter which way you choose to see the desert sky, just know DETOURS has your back. From Private Overnight tours to Customized Star Seeing adventures, we can do it all and accomplish it in a way only DETOURS can.

Dark Sky 7 Magic Mountains photography by James Marvin Phelps (a DETOURS guide!)

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