Adventure Guide: The stars of the show |

Adventure Guide: The stars of the show

Dark sky parks offer breathtaking views

Milky Way over Rockport State Park.
Shelby Stock/Utah State Parks

With so many picturesque landscapes surrounding Park City, it’s understandable if you can’t take your eyes off the mountains. After all, they’re probably why you’re here.

But you have to look even higher than the mountaintops if you want to catch one of the most breathtaking sights around: the night sky.

Park City is separated from the lights of the Salt Lake Valley by the Wasatch Range, giving Parkites and visitors a crystal-clear view of the stars above when darkness falls on a clear night. It’s truly something to behold, particularly if you’re a city dweller who doesn’t often have an opportunity to glimpse the starry sky.

While pretty much anywhere in Park City offers views that an urban area can’t compete with, an even more breathtaking experience can be had at three nearby spots that are designated as certified dark sky parks.

Better yet, all three parks offer educational programs for visitors, so you can learn more about what makes the night sky — and viewing it from a dark sky park — so special.

Jordanelle State Park
Jordanelle State Park is mere minutes from downtown Park City, yet its topography, tucked in between hills and mountains, shades it from light in the surrounding areas. You can spend a day on the water or beach, then stick around for a celestial show.

Rockport State Park
To the northeast of Park City lies Rockport State Park, which like nearby Jordanelle State Park earned certified dark sky park status earlier in 2021. It’s a little more remote while still within 20 minutes from Main Street.

East Canyon Park
A 45-minute drive from Park City, East Canyon State Park is a little farther away than the other two parks, but the views are no less breathtaking.

For more information about the parks and their dark-sky program, visit

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