The Best Things to Do at the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival

One of the top events in the country of its kind, the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival is a unique annual celebration. Held in Southern Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park, the festival focuses on all things outer space. Miles away from big city-induced light pollution, the canyon is the optimal place for stargazing. Because of the park’s higher elevation, there is also less atmosphere interference, leaving a dark sky speckled with hundreds of stars.

Plan a trip to Southern Utah during the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival to learn the best techniques for stargazing and listen to talks on a variety of intriguing space topics. As you begin researching the area, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide! It’s filled with useful information including the best attractions, sites, and restaurants.

Everything You Need to Know About the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival

Throughout the year, Bryce Canyon offers astronomy programs, but there’s no experience quite like this three-day festival. You’ll have the unique opportunity to meet and interact with members of astronomy groups, professional astronomers and educators, and knowledgeable park rangers.

During the day, you can attend workshops and activities like solar viewing and rocket building. Then, take a shuttle back to the park at night to learn proper telescope techniques, identify constellations, and put your newfound stargazing skills to use! For more details on specific happenings, check out the national parks’ website.

Daytime Programs

While a dark, cloudless sky is necessary for Bryce Canyon stargazing, this festival still hosts daytime events. Bring the kids to the park in the afternoon for a miniature-scaled tour of the planetary system. Children ages six and older will love participating in the rocket building and launch workshops, where they’ll learn the art of model rocket building. During the day, you can also use specially-equipped telescopes that allow a safe, up-close look at our sun.

Nighttime Programs

Stargazing during the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival takes places from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. each night of the event. You can hop on the Star Shuttle bus in Bryce Canyon City starting at 8 p.m. Get to the park early to join in on evening programs. These classes are perfect for beginner stargazers as you will learn everything from how to properly use a telescope to understanding constellations and star patterns.

Tip for Attending the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival

  • There is no general parking available at the stargazing sites, so you must park in Bryce Canyon City and take the Star Shuttle to the site.
  • Parking is provided at the stargazing site only for people with disabilities.
  • While the temperature can get quite high during the day in the summer, it will drop significantly at night, especially because Bryce Canyon has an elevation of 8,000 feet. Dress warmly as temps can get down to 40 degrees. It’s best to wear several layers, that way you can add or remove layers as you please.
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Arrive at the stargazing site early to make sure you can take advantage of lectures and classes that may enhance your stargazing experience.
  • No flashlights, flash photography, or laser pointers are permitted at the stargazing sites.

Unwind in a Family Time Vacation Rental

While visiting Southern Utah for the Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival, you’ll need a comfortable place to stay nearby. Our Family Time Vacation Rentals in Panguitch are the perfect option for families or groups of all sizes. Located less than 30 minutes from Bryce Canyon National Park, these properties are also conveniently close to Zion National Park.

With the ability to accommodate up to 24 people, this large Grand View Lodge is the ideal vacation rental for multiple families traveling together. Start your mornings with a cup of coffee on the wraparound porch and a stunning view of the Sevier River. Then, gather around the living room fireplace in the evenings. Plus, the whole family will love taking advantage of the lower level game room with a pool table and piano.

Browse a complete list of our available properties and start planning your Southern Utah getaway today!