Starry, Starry Night: The Best Stargazing Sites in Flagstaff

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Our theme this month is “Summer in the City.” June is a fun month for Flagstaff, with a ton of great activities you’re sure to enjoy coming up on the calendar! It’s not only the perfect month to take advantage of the free amenities we offer right outside your front door (we’re looking at you, barbeque grills!) … it’s also a time that Flagstaff comes alive with a ton of events, festivals, and more that you won’t want to miss! Join us as we take a look at how to start your summer off right in Flagstaff.

The Best Stargazing Sites in Flagstaff

In 2014, Flagstaff was recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the seven best spots on earth for stargazing! We’re not one to argue with major news outlets … or what we can see with our own eyes. And trust us when we tell you, there is plenty of night sky for you to see each and every night in and around Flagstaff! Here’s a look at just a few spots around Flagstaff to spend an evening with the brightest stars this side of Hollywood!

Lowell Observatory

Putting aside the debate of whether or not Pluto is a planet (hint: it totally is), Lowell Observatory is just one of many Flagstaff claims to fame thanks to the discovery of our favorite “dwarf planet.” The observatory features awesome displays, informative videos, and a guided tour to the stars. Stop by after sunset for spectacular night views, not only through the observatory’s telescopes but also to the naked eye with captivating view over the city.

Buffalo Park

Buffalo Park is one of the most popular hiking spots on the Flagstaff Urban Trail System. Enjoy amazing views of the San Francisco Peaks, Mount Elden, and the Dry Lake Hills. But even better, stop by the open meadows at night for a view of the night sky you have to see to believe! Load up on blankets to keep warm while you lay out and enjoy one of the most perfect stargazing spots on Earth!

Heritage Square

Once a month during the summer the Coconino Astronomical Society sets up several scopes in the Square for public viewings of the cosmos! CAS also offers a cool “tour” of the moon, featuring the mountains, valleys, and craters of our favorite pie in the sky. Even if you miss one of these events, the Square is a great spot to hang out after hours to catch a glimpse of the Dark Sky evening display; even the lights of downtown Flag aren’t enough to overshadow the show!

Anderson Mesa

Anderson Mesa is just outside Flagstaff, in the Coconino National Forest. It’s home to the Naval Observatory’s Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI) and Lowell’s Anderson Mesa Station. This makes it a wonderful spot to see the stars, but you also have to be more cautious when stargazing here; parking too far up the hill may interfere with the observatory telescopes!

Sunset Crater National Monument

Sunset Crater is located just 12 miles north of Flagstaff. During the summer, the national monument often offers night sky programs with night sky rangers and telescope viewings. Visiting the monument is kind of like stepping onto another planet by itself … so it’s another great place to explore worlds beyond our own with a telescope, or even a red-light flashlight. (Hint: you can make a red-light flashlight by covering a regular flashlight with cellophane—and you’ll be amazed at how many stars you’ll see!)

Don’t miss all the wonders of the Flagstaff night sky … available just outside your door!

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