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Best Places to Go Stargazing: Utah & Arizona, Southwestern USA

If there’s one region in the world that comes to mind for the greatest density of incredible dark sky locations, it has to be Southern Utah and Arizona in the American Southwest. In fact, these two states continue to compete for which one has more IDA-certified dark sky locations. (At most recent count, Utah is in the lead, though the race is tight!)

Within this vast area, there are several great places to visit for stargazing. For inspiration, one could plan a trip to visit all five of Utah’s National Parks – Utah’s “Mighty 5” – which are all recognized dark sky parks (or in the case of Zion National Park, in the process of receiving that certification). Or to Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park and neighboring Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, where the gigantic geologic formations rival the stars in their expansiveness.

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