Take a look at our calendar to plan your trip around the best stargazing dates. don't miss the Milky Way, view the moon in the telescope, catch meteor showers and eclipses, and see the best planets, Jupiter and Saturn in our telescope!

Ideal Stargazing conditions:

  • One of the best times to go stargazing! We’ll have ideal stargazing conditions as there will be little to no reflecting light from the moon, an excellent time for viewing the Milky Way and deep space objects.

Bright Moon conditions:

  • Full moons and the days leading up to them bring very bright moon light to our stargazing programs. You’ll trade a visible Milky Way and thousands of stars for jaw dropping close-up views of the moon in our telescope. The major constellations will still be visible and are easier to pick out in the night sky, and our digital telescope can still show off some incredible deep space objects on a night when conventional telescopes won’t see much.

Ok stargazing conditions:

  • The moon becoming full brings conditions that will impact stargazing, but it’s noticeably darker than a full moon. The Milky Way will just be visible, and you’ll have scores of stars. Our non-digital telescopes will still be able to show off the brightest objects, and the digital telescope can display some of the deeper cosmic objects.

Stargazing available May 1 – October 12 –
Early spring is frequently cloudy, very cold, and very windy. Mid October on experiences uncomfortably cold nights.

Best location in the park for personal viewing: Our secret spot of course! But since it’s not on most maps, we recommend you check out the Goosenecks Overlook. The park designates Panorama Point, 1/4 mile before the Goosenecks as it’s official stargazing spot. This means there will usually be several cars there, with a few unaware that having their headlights on will affect the darkness.

Best time for Milky Way viewing in the evening: End of June – late September. If you are willing to stay up until very late/early morning you can see it earlier in the spring and later in the fall.

Visible planets in 2024: The best two planets for our telescope are Jupiter and Saturn. You’ll see color, the stripes of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and moons orbiting both planets. Unfortunately for 2024, Saturn will not be visible in the evening sky until August and Jupiter will not be visible in the evening sky until October. Neptune and Uranus are very small pinpricks even in the telescope, while Mars and Venus when visible are too close for color and detail.

Meteor showers: Even outside of their peak nights, we typically see a noticeable higher amount of shooting stars in the weeks leading up to and after a Meteor Shower. After midnight is the best time to maximize shooting stars.

    • Early to mid May – Eta Aquariids –   Activity is good for a week centered around the night of maximum activity on May 7th. There are predictions that this shower will be quite strong in 2024.
    • Mid July to early
      August – Alpha Capricornids – Less frequent meteors but known for producing bright fireballs. Coincides with the best shower of the year for bonus meteors!
    • Mid July to end of August – Perseids – The best shower of the year! Peak is August 12-13, we frequently see 50-75 shooting stars per hour on very dark nights (this does depend on having good vision at night.)
    • End of September to mid October – Orionids – A decent shower, expect higher than average shooting stars each night. Peaks around a near full moon mid October.

May 1  May 12 Ideal stargazing conditions.

May 13 May 15 Ok moon conditions.

May 16 – May 25 – Bright moon conditions.

May 26 – June 12 – Ideal stargazing conditions.

June 16 – June 23 – Bright moon conditions.

June 24 – July 11 – Ideal stargazing conditions

July 11 July 14 Ok stargazing conditions.

July 15 – July 24 – Bright moon conditions.

July 25 – Ok stargazing conditions.

July 26 – August 10 – Ideal stargazing conditions.

August 11 13 Ok stargazing conditions. Interested in a special, after-midnight peak Perseid program? Contact us, we’ll create a public tour with enough interest!

August 14 24 Bright moon conditions.

August 25 September 8 Ideal stargazing conditions.

September 9 – 11 Ok stargazing conditions.

September 12 September 22 Bright moon conditions

September 23 October 6 Ideal stargazing conditions

October 7 – 9 Ok stargazing conditions.

October 10 21 Bright moon conditions

October 22 November 1 Ideal stargazing conditions.

We do not offer stargazing in our winter offseason