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 15-19, 2023 (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.

Yampa River Mathers Camp Stargazing Night Sky

5 Day Yampa River

June 12–16, 2023 (5 days): For the first time ever, we are excited to pair our stargazing trip series with the wild Yampa River. Unregulated by dams, the Yampa’s natural flood cycle carries us through the rich biodiversity of Dinosaur National Monument, an International Dark Sky Park. Five days in the Yampa’s sinuous, curving canyon walls allow us to let go of the busy modern world. This is the place to reconnect with what is possibly the most human experience of all, looking up at a truly dark sky and wondering at the impossibly detailed glow of starlight and cosmos. With our astronomy expert along for the ride, you’re sure to take away not only photos, but a newly awakened sense of awe. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Cataract Stargazing Parent Page

6 Day Cataract Canyon Stargazing Trip

July 9-14, 2023 (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.

Lodore Canyon Hike Water Cliff

4 Day Lodore Canyon Stargazing Trip

Aug 10-13, 2023 (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.

Stargazing Trips on the Colorado River

6 Day Cataract Canyon

Sept 10-15, 2023 (6 days); One of the first designated Gold Tier Dark Sky parks, Canyonlands National Park offers big dark expanses of wide open sky. Join the Holiday River Expeditions guides for a fully outfitted trip down the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon. Our "star guide" Tom Beckett will guide you through the night sky by sharing his knowledge of constellations and the stories and myths behind them. We'll talk about the importance of preserving the dark sky for future generations.

White Rim Yoga Overlook
White Rim Scenery Stargazing Milky Way

4 Day San Rafael Swell Bike & Stargazing Trip with Yoga

October 11-14, 2022 (4 days): October may be the best time for biking and stargazing in the desert. Cooler temperatures make for more comfortable biking, and shorter days mean that the stars come out way before bedtime! Explore Utah's best-kept secret: the sprawling 2,000-square-mile San Rafael Swell. Holiday's guides will lead you on a 4-day adventure through a varied landscape of canyons, arches, rock art, and views that go forever! Our 4x4 support van carries all the gear, leaving you free to pedal and enjoy the ride. Star expert Tom Beckett and yoga teacher Jennifer Gilmore will bring their own special expertise to make this trip truly unforgettable.