Whitewater raft during the day, bust out the telescope at night. This adventure is meant for stargazers.
The dark nights of backcountry expeditions reveal the wealth of stars typically hidden from near-city skies. Away from civilization, amidst desert towers or swaying pines, millions of stars come to life each night.
Now, instead of simply pointing out the little dipper, you can learn about the night sky with Holiday River Expedition’s Dark Sky Stargazing trip series.
Guided Stargazing Trips
Based in Utah, Holiday River Expeditions partnered with Salt Lake City’s Clark Planetarium in 2016 for constellation-viewing tours. The trips were a hit, and 2017 will add six trips from May to October.
The board chair of Clark Planetarium, Tom Beckett, will accompany all the trips and provide curated stargazing. Attendees will learn about the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy, watch satellites and meteors, and learn constellations. On some trips, the guides will even haul a telescope for extra deep looks into the sky.
The tours extend beyond stargazing, as the multi-day expeditions involve mountain biking, hiking, and whitewater rafting.
Holiday River Expeditions ‘Dark Sky’ Trips
Holiday River Expeditions began in 1966 as a river outfitter, helping guests enjoy the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Today, each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety.
It offers rafting, mountain biking, sea kayaking, and other specialty trips — including the guided “dark sky” trips launched last year.
Currently, expeditions take place in Utah, Idaho, and California. Most sky tours are in southeastern Utah, with one spilling into Colorado.
As a bonus, guides create meals like dutch oven lasagna, salads, fresh salmon, and steak.
Stargazing, A Novel Expedition Opportunity
Rarely is there such a pairing of adventure and educational stargazing. The brand touts, “This bonus experience assures that river nights are as rewarding as river days.”
You can book a trip today. See the complete list of Dark Sky stargazing trips below:
2017 Holiday River Expeditions Dark Sky Trips
- White Rim Trail 3 Day- $770
- Desolation Canyon 5 Day – $1,125
- Cataract Canyon 5 Day – $1,125
- Lodore Canyon 4 Day – $955
- Extended Hiking & Stargazing 8 Day – $1,564