It’s here. The annual Perseids meteor shower is the perfect excuse to get you and your family out of the scalding summer heat and into the outdoors in the wee hours of the morning.
Considered by many the most popular meteor shower of the year, Perseids is expected to be even better than usual this August – and you don’t have to be an astronomy expert with a telescope to appreciate it. The small, crescent moon will set early during the late evenings until dawn from August 11th – 13th where dark skies will allow gazers all over the Northern Hemisphere to enjoy the steady shower of meteors radiating from the sky. Grab a blanket, some snacks, your best adventuring buddies and head out between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m. for the best visability. Here are some of the best spots in Arizona to watch the beloved light show:
Tres Rios Wetlands--Just 25 minutes west of Phoenix, Tres Rios Wetlands is a popular destination for wildlife watching and stargazing. The clear, dark sky is perfect for viewing Perseids – not to mention a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Where: S 91st Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85353
Phone: (602) 495-7477
Lake Pleasant--Located about a 40-minute drive north of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant offers many outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, wildlife watching, and, of course, stargazing. Admission to Lake Pleasant, including a perfect view of the night sky and optional camping is $6.
Where: 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd. Morristown, AZ 85342
Phone: (928) 501-1710
Sun Valley Parkway--If the outdoor elements aren’t for you, you can still enjoy Perseids from the comfort of your car. Sun Valley Parkway is a low-trafficked area with many options to pull over and gaze at the dark sky.
Where: West on Interstate 10 to exit 109
Parashant National Monument--If you are interested in a bit of an outdoor adventure, look no further than Parashant National Monument. Located on the northern edge of the Grand Canyon, this area is remote, meaning no cell-service, dirt roads, and all the beauty that comes with it. And the beauty is especially apparent when it comes to night sky viewing. The plateaus, air quality, and small population provide the ultimate setting for watching the Perseids.
Where: Littlefield, AZ – Physical address is 345 E Riverdale Drive, St George, UT 84790
*The monument is located on the Northwest corner of Arizona, bordering Nevada and Utah. The monument is a million-plus acres and there are entry roads from each state. Before your visit, check the site for hazards or entry road closures.
Phone: (435) 688-3200 Website: https://www.nps.gov/para/index.htm
Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort in Tucson--If you are looking to enjoy a night or two away from home and close to many other attractions, Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort may be the answer. This resort is the oldest in Tucson, and well known for stargazing with its Celestron 2000 telescope.
Where: 245 East Ina Road, Tucson, AZ 85704
Phone: (888) 595-9874 Website: https://www.westwardlook.com/
Enchantment Resort in Sedona--Sedona is one of the International Dark Sky Communities, making it a popular destination for stargazing. Tucked away in a canyon and away from any city lights, is the Enchantment Resort. The resort holds stargazing events with its telescope and local astronomer.
Where: 525 Boynton Canyon Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336
Phone: (844) 244-9489 Website: https://www.enchantmentresort.com/
Anywhere in Flagstaff--It’s nearly impossible to talk about stargazing in Arizona and not mention Flagstaff. This city became the first International Dark Sky City in 2001 and tourists from all over the country come to see the bright night sky. There are a variety of parks, hotels, and forest land to fit the needs of any Perseids viewer.
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