Protecting the Night Sky
The night sky over Grand Canyon reveals a cascade of luminous stars and planets. These ancient constellations have shaped the arts, sciences, and ideas across the millennia. The night sky is inspiring. It is primordial. It is also imperiled.
Grand Canyon National Park is one of the last places in the United States where one can experience a star-filled night sky. One-third of the world's population - including 80% of Americans - can no longer see the Milky Way due to artificial light pollution.
We are determined to protect the night sky for future generations, keeping Grand Canyon in the dark. Grand Canyon National Park was named an International Dark Sky Park in 2019, and we continue to make sure our light fixtures are updated and remain dark-sky compliant.
Grand Canyon Conservancy also supports educational programming related to dark skies, including evening programs and night sky viewing areas where visitors can learn about light pollution, its effect on the skies, and how to mitigate it.
Photo by Rich Rudow
- Currently, we are focusing on the North Rim, Desert View, Phantom Ranch, and Tuweep to achieve 90% compliance for dark-sky lights.
- Expanded Evening Programs and new night sky viewing areas for visitor enjoyment and education about light pollution are being developed.
What's been completed
- More than 5,000 exterior light fixtures have been inventoried and cataloged throughout the park. 3,500 of these did not meet dark sky guidelines.
- Light fixtures and very-low-lumen LED bulbs have been tested and installed for a wide variety of locations.
- Fixtures that are part of the Historic Village District received new bulbs to keep with the historic integrity.
- 34% of the light fixtures have been updated, bringing the total dark-sky-compliant lights up to 69%.
- During the 100th anniversary of the park in June 2019, Grand Canyon National park was certified as an International Dark Sky Park.
Jerry & Nancy Fogelman
“I remember getting a knock on our cabin door one night from the grandchildren. They had just participated in the night program and were so excited to share the news. They could see the Milky Way for the first time in their lives.”
Generous support provided by
Sally and Craig Clayton, Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation, Joe Orr, The Orr Family Foundation, and many other generous Grand Canyon Conservancy Supporters.