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Dark Sky Preservation & Programs

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 Star Party - Telescope Lot

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.

As host to millions of visitors each year, Grand Canyon National Park has a rare opportunity to become a world leader in advancing the values of dark skies and natural darkness. These values encompass much more than the beauty of the stars: they span the economy, environment, human health, science, spirituality, and much more.

Grand Canyon Conservancy 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. Grand Canyon's night sky interpretative programs are already the highest attended programs by far in the park. Consequently, these programs need to be expanded to serve even more visitors. Doing so requires a much-needed investment in interpretative materials, equipment, and resources.

Ed keable grca headshot min

Ed Keable

Superintendent Grand Canyon National Park

“What better place in the world to experience the night sky than Grand Canyon? Support for dark sky programs means that thousands of visitors develop a deep and lasting bond with the park through an experience that can truly provide a life-changing source of awe and inspiration.”

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.”

Your generous gift will:

  • Enable the creation and installation of multiple interpretative waysides around the park that educate visitors about the importance and value of the night sky.
  • Support visitor safety efforts for night sky programs by acquiring equipment such as laser pointers and appropriate safety lighting.
  • Facilitate the acquisition and maintenance of essential equipment, including telescopes, cameras, and a light pollution monitoring station, to enrich visitor experiences.
  • Allow for increased frequency of night sky programs, including constellation programs and Twilight Tales.

What's planned

  • 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. 
  • Currently (2024), lighting fixtures that are dark sky compliant in the park are up to 92%
  • In June 2019, during the park's 100th anniversary, Grand Canyon National Park was certified as an International Dark Sky Park.

Grand Canyon NPS Dark Sky Annual Reports

Connecting with Dark Skies

Share your magical dark sky experiences with us by tagging us & using the hashtag #GrandCanyonConservancy.

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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.


Contact us to receive more information about this project.