Dark Sky Stargazing Trips & Vacations

Stargazing Vacation Trips

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 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 always been the norm for humanity; only in recent centuries have we cast our eyes elsewhere and forgotten the stars. Much of the Earth is losing its dark skies to light pollution; most Americans will live their whole lives without seeing the Milky Way, but out here on the Colorado Plateau, the night sky is alive and well, and waiting for you to rediscover it.

At Holiday we are fortunate to live, work, and play under one of the few remaining pockets of truly dark sky, and we’re eager to share it with you. We’ve teamed up with the experts from Salt Lake City’s Clark Planetarium to provide stargazing vacation trips like no others. The trails we bike and the rivers we run traverse some of the darkest, most remote corners of Utah and Colorado, including two International Dark Sky Parks, Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument. Float or cycle through red rock wonderlands during the day; at night, settle in on a sandy beach and stare up at the starry ribbon of sky. Learn from our expert guides and special star guests, and discover the powerful sense of awe that the night sky can impart.

 

Stargazing PP Bettymaya
Desolation Canyon Stargazing Camp Milky Way

5 Day Desolation Canyon Stargazing Trip

May 30-June 3, 2022 (5 days): The Green River through Desolation Canyon offers exceptionally dark nights and fun-filled days. During the daylight hours, explore side canyons, hike to rock art and old homesteads, and ride the waves of Desolation’s consistent-but-mellow whitewater. In the evenings, let your mind reach into the universe around us. Explore the Milky Way, gaze at the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations.

Lodore Canyon Hike Water Cliff

4 Day Lodore Canyon Stargazing Trip

June 28-July 1, 2022 (4 days): Lodore Canyon lies deep inside Dinosaur National Monument, an International Dark Sky Park. During the day, splash through rapids such as Triplet Falls and Hells Half Mile; at night we’ll lie on white, sandy beaches and turn our eyes upwards to ponder the Milky Way. Learn about constellations, the movement of our planet, and use binoculars to find the Andromeda Galaxy. The leisurely pacing of this four-day trip makes it easy to stay up after dark and still enjoy the daylight.

Cataract Stargazing Parent Page

6 Day Cataract Canyon Stargazing Trip

July 24-29, 2022 (6 days):The Colorado River through Cataract Canyon offers guests the chance to float through one of Utah's 5 National Parks. Throughout the day, spend time paddling on an inflatable kayak or stand-up paddleboard, enjoy hikes to petrified wood and overlooks, and swim between the Green and Colorado Rivers at the Confluence. Once the sun begins to descend behind the red rocks, watch the stars come out and enjoy a night filled with stars.

Desolation Canyon TP Guides Overlook Camp

6 Day Desolation Canyon Stargazing Trip

Aug 22-27, 2022 (6 days): The Green River through Desolation Canyon offers exceptionally dark nights and fun-filled days. During the daylight hours, explore side canyons, hike to rock art and old homesteads, and ride the waves of Desolation’s consistent-but-mellow whitewater. In the evenings, let your mind reach into the universe around us. Explore the Milky Way, gaze at the Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations. This trip also features historian Andrew Gulliford to make the daylight hours even more interesting!

Labyrinth Stargazing Parent Page

5 Day Labyrinth Canyon Hiking & Stargazing Trip

September 19-23, 2022 (5 days): Labyrinth Canyon twists and turns and guides the Green River on a beautiful and tranquil course towards Canyonlands National Park. This calm stretch of river whispers beneath smooth, towering, red walls, without a single rapid to impede its meditative flow. Labyrinth is the place to truly relax and release the anxiety and stress of the modern world. With oak groves, beaches, and a variety of side hikes, Labyrinth offers the opportunity for internal reflection and pristine dark skies for star-gazers.

Cataract Canyon Guests on Boat Garrison

8 Day Cataract Canyon SUP, Yoga, & Stargazing Trip

September 23-30, 2022 (8 days): Practice makes perfect, and there’s nothing quite as perfect as practicing your best yogi balances on a stand-up paddle board while floating through the red walls of Cataract Canyon. This specialty Cataract trip combines our stargazing series with our Balance and Flow offerings. Stretch your body during the day with yoga instructor Jennifer Gilmore, and stretch your mind at night with Tom Beckett, our stargazing interpreter and Clark Planetarium board member. Calm water, rapids, hiking, and beaches, Cataract in September does not disappoint.

Cataract Canyon Boat on Colorado River

12 Day Labyrinth & Cataract Canyon Hike & Stars Special

September 19-30, 2022 (12 days): Join us for an extra-special extended Canyonlands trip that combines the quiet grandeur of Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River with the wild, crumbling majesty of Cataract Canyon on the Colorado. Twelve days allows for unparalleled exploration and an incomparable feeling of getting away from it all. Float through towering red mesas, hike to prehistoric structures and up intricate side canyons, visit the Doll House, and then run the legendary rapids of Cataract Canyon. We are excited to offer this unique trip with the added perk of a stargazing focus, complete with our very own astronomy expert from the Clark Planetarium.

White Rim Scenery Stargazing Milky Way

4 Day White Rim Bike & Stargazing Trip with Yoga

October 15-18, 2022 (4 days): Travel along the iconic sandstone bench around the “Island in the Sky”. See Musselman Arch, Monument Basin, Turks Head, Candlestick Tower, and White Crack, a perch 1,000 feet above the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers in the center of Canyonlands…what some call the center of the universe. And what better way to balance a day’s trail ride than with some yoga? Warm up your body in the morning or relax into your evening with optional yoga sessions with our fantastic instructor, Jennifer Gilmore. This fall, as a bonus, we’ve planned this unique trip to align with a new moon, leaving the night sky a blissful, dark, and detailed canopy of stars and planets.