Dark Sky Stargazing Trips & Vacations
When was the last time you looked up and considered your place in the universe? In recent years, an increasing number of the guests on our desolate trips look up at the Milky Way on moonless nights and candidly admit that they’ve never seen anything so beautiful in their lives. This has not been the norm for humanity; only in recent centuries have we cast our eyes elsewhere and forgotten the stars. While much of the Earth is losing its dark night skies to light pollution and most Americans will live their whole lives never seeing the Milky Way, the deep canyons cut a starry ribbon for you to decipher.
We are happy to say the trails we bike and the rivers we run, are all remote and have some of the darkest night skies on the planet. Time on the trail or river is measured differently. Our guides spend each day counting time by the moon’s cycles, becoming keen star-nerds. For this reason, Holiday River Expeditions is excited to partner with Clark Planetarium, in sharing a new experience of the stars with those curious enough to ask the question; and simply look up.
May 19-22, 2020 4-days ~ The Maze Stargazing bike trip leads you through Canyonlands National Park, which was recently certified as a “Dark Sky Park” by the International Dark Sky Association. We will not only leave our cares in the dust on an exhilarating and scenic bike-tour; but at night we will explore the Milky Way, see the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations. With both binoculars and naked eye we can open our imaginations up to the stars. Additionally, on these land-based stargazing vacations, we also haul along a nice telescope to peer even deeper into the abyss.
June 12-16, 2020 5-days ~ This trip will be a true highlight of our starry eyed trip series. For the first time, we are pairing our Stargazing trip series with the wild untrammeled canyons of the Yampa River. Un-damned and unfettered, the Yampa shows its visitors what a true wild river feels like. With a natural flood cycle carrying you downstream through patina striped canyons the biodiversity, native species & rich cultural history of this area will create the perfect context for a departure from the busy modern world. What better place to reconnect with possibly the most human experience of them all, looking up at a truly dark sky & seeing the impossibly detailed glow of nothing but star-light and cosmos? With our astro-wiz along for the ride, your sure to take away much more than photographs, but a once in a lifetime experience.
July 14-17, 2020 4-days ~ Your Lodore Canyon river rafting trip will flow through Dinosaur National Monument, currently recognized by the National Park Service as a “Sanctuary of Natural Darkness.” On this trip, we will connect to ghosts of river-runners and canyon dwellers of the past, escape into deep-red cliffs and find exhilarating whitewater. During the day float through Whirlpool Canyon and at night peer into the Whirlpool Galaxy; after dinner the night comes alive as we turn our sights upwards to explore the Milky Way, see the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations, both with binoculars and naked eyes.
Aug 10-15, 2020 6-days ~ The Green River through Desolation Canyon offers the big night sky view along with exciting rapids by day. Each night we look towards the starry-skies and learn about the great unknown. Spend your days exploring side canyon hikes to rock art and ancient Indian ruins along with consistent whitewater fun. In the evenings let your mind expand alongside the universe around us. Using both binoculars and the naked eye, this trip will explore the Milky Way, see the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations.
Sept 10-14, 2020 5-days ~ Labyrinth Canyon twists and turns its way south, guiding the Green River on its most tranquil course towards Canyonlands National Monument. This calm stretch of class 0 whitewater will give you an opportunity to truly relax and release any anxieties or stresses the modern world has placed on you. With beautiful beaches and hidden side-canyons, Labyrinth offers both intimate adventure as well as a perfect place for star-gazers.
Sept 14-19, 2020 6-days ~ Practice makes perfect, and there is nothing quite as perfect as practicing your best yogi balances on a Stand Up Paddle Board floating through the red-rock canyons of Cataract. This specialty Cataract will take you through the heart of one of our favorite canyons but do it in a totally new way, paired with Stand Up Paddle Boards and Yoga. This trip is additionally combined with our Stargazing trip series as it falls on a new moon. Find balance and flexibility by day and stretch your mind by night, as our stargazing interpreter explores the wonders of the known universe, and all you can see when looking up in a truly dark-sky area.
Oct 9-12, 2020 4-days ~ Newly designated as a National Recreation Area, this long-time local favorite playground is now protected in perpetuity and for good reason; it ROCKS! Biking along you can cover enough terrain to see the breadth of dramatic landscapes while slow enough to take all the richness in. In addition to the biking trip itself what better way to balance a days ride on the trail than with some yoga? Warm up your body in the morning or relax into your evening after the days ride with our fantastic yoga instructors. And to top this specialty trip off properly we also have aligned this unique trip with a new moon, leaving the night sky a blissfully dark and detailed canopy of stars and planets.