4 Best Places to Gaze at Starry Night Skies in Yellowstone

The greater Yellowstone region is known for big skies, clean air and sunny days. What this means is that nighttime skies in the summer are filled with brilliant stars.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Milky Way over Mammoth Hot Springs. Photo by NPS Neal Herbert

The Milky Way over Mammoth Hot Springs. Photo by NPS Neal Herbert

The greater region of Yellowstone National Park is known for big skies and clean (although sulfured) air. Untainted by light pollution, the park provides the perfect opportunity to view all the brilliant stars and constellations. Bring a star chart and don't forget your telescope. Also, remember it's grizzly country, so take the same precautions you would during the day.

The Milky Way over Castle Geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin. Photo by NPS Neal Herbert

The Milky Way over Castle Geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin. Photo by NPS Neal Herbert

Try These Favorite Gazing Spots

Stargazing Map for Yellowstone

1. Mount Washburn

Yellowstone National Park's best-known mountain is an excellent spot to stargaze. Access the hiking trails up the 10,243-foot peak from Dunraven Pass on Grand Loop Road or Chittenden Road.

2. Upper Geyser Basin (includes Old Faithful and Castle Geyser)

Stargazing near Old Faithfull Visitor Education Center is a safe and convenient location for families. Follow the bike path from Old Faithful to Castle Geyser for solitude under the stars.

3. Mammoth Hot Springs

The boardwalks to the upper terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs gives you a high vantage point for those who don't want to climb a peak.

4. Madison Amphitheater Astronomy Program

Check out the Stars Over Yellowstone summer astronomy programs, where you'll learn from some of the top astronomers from around the country. Find the Milky Way, Saturn, craters on the Moon, the center of the Galaxy, star clusters, and nebula. Telescopes available. Bring a flashlight. Visit www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/calendar.htm for the schedule.

On the Way to Yellowstone... Salt Lake City

You can visit the Universe at Clark Planetarium, with its 3D IMAX Theatre and more.

Related

Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

4 Places to See Wild Horses Near Yellowstone

Wild horses roam the desert south of Yellowstone. Prior Mountain wild horses run near Billings, Montana & descendants of Buffalo Bill's horses are east of Cody.

Grizzly bear walking among flowering grass

10 Best Things to Do in Yellowstone and Beyond

On your Yellowstone vacation, see geysers, wild animals, and a grand canyon with giant waterfalls. Go rafting, horseback riding, and hiking.

Yellowstone's most famous geyser, Old Faithful at Twilight

8 Best Yellowstone Geyser Basins and Map

A map showing Yellowstone's geyser basins including the Upper Geyser Basin with Old Faithful and Morning Glory Pool, and nearby Grand Prismatic.

Summer at Big Sky Resort. Photo by Michel Tallichet courtesy of Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort's Big Five

An hour from Yellowstone's west entrance, head to Big Sky for Montana’s incredible summer activities including a high ride to peak views.

Yellowstone-SKi-Snowboarding-7

Go Skiing & Boarding Near Yellowstone

The greater Yellowstone region boasts several world-class mountain resorts.

Bison in Yellowstone

Your Perfect 3-Day Weekend in Yellowstone

Long weekend in Yellowstone? You’ll have time to explore some of the lesser-visited parts of the park.

Yellowstone Letter Illustration by Joel Kimmel

Anything Can Happen on a Yellowstone Family Vacation

Can a vacation ever truly change your life? When one family takes a trip to Yellowstone, they find much more than geysers and wildlife sightings

Grizzly Bear

Two Perfect Days in Yellowstone. One Watching Wildlife, and One Geysers

Rookie mistake: trying to see everything at Yellowstone in a day. Instead of spending the whole time driving, pick one of these itineraries and make the most of your 24 hours.

Couple holding hands in Yellowstone

Romancing the Yellowstone - Top 5 Romantic Things to Do

Forget roses and chocolate - for real romance, you can’t beat these Yellowstone activities. Plan now for Valentine's Day, a wedding proposal or anniversary.