How to Open a National Park for the Summer Season

At night, less than 1 percent of Bryce Canyon is lit by artificial light, resulting in one of the darkest skies connected to a paved road in North America. In 2019, Bryce was designated a “dark sky park,” meant to preserve the quality of the night sky.

Astronomy has always featured prominently at Bryce, where, rangers say, the darkness is celebrated almost as much as the geology. Nocturnal views attract far more visitors during peak season, so the park hires staff to meet the demand.

Kevin Poe, a ranger and astronomer at Bryce, teaches employees how to operate the telescopes and identify constellations, planets and stars as part of a long-running astronomy program.

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