Setting your sights on the starry abyss can be challenging with ambient light from expanding cities and inclement weather depending on your home base. Camping and or glamping (glamorous camping) in these dark spots will allow you to reconnect with nature and gaze upon celestial bodies.
Big Bend National Park, an International Dark Sky Park (IDSP), allows for 250 miles of line-of-sight viewing on a clear day. Its remote location and low humidity allow for viewing 2000 stars as well as the Andromeda Galaxy; over two million light years from earth. The park offers amazing trails for daytime activities and three main campgrounds, Chisos Basin, Cottonwood and Rio Grande Village, which includes RV hook-ups.
Three thousand meters above the Pacific Ocean sits the volcano Haleakala; located on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. Haleakala National Park is one of the few places on earth that have the dual combination of epic sunset into stellar nightfall. Camping is available inside the park or just outside the wilderness area at Kīpahulu and Hosmer Grove, both accessible by car. Don’t forget to pick up your complimentary star map from the park’s headquarters.
Badlands National Parkin South Dakota has two campgrounds, Cedar Pass Campground and Sage Creek Campground. Sky gazers can witness more than 7,500 stars; including an epic view of the Milky Way Galaxy and various satellite sightings from the International Space Station. Park rangers put on a nightly sky program from the Cedar Pass Amphitheater.
Death Valley National Park, located in California, is known for its extraordinary meteor and lunar eclipse viewing. Covering 3.4 million acres, 91 percent is designated as wilderness area for all to explore. The dry climate combined with the clear desert air make this IDSP the ideal equation to view the vast skies. During the winter and spring months, park rangers lead night sky programs. The park offers nine different camping options depending on the time of year. REI also organizes a few backpacking trips deep into the park in the early months.
The South Island of New Zealand is hands down one of the best places on earth for star-gazing according to the IDSP. The Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin are known collectively as the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, covering more than 1600 square miles. Located in the Southern Alps, the glacial and mountainous terrain is rugged, requiring campers with a stiff upper lip. White Horse Hill Campgrounds features toilets and running water and “freedom camping” is allowed in designated areas. Also available are numerous huts some of which require climbing skills and proper planning to access.
For the ultimate glamping experience, spend a night in an Aurora Dome surrounded by the magic of Lake Torassieppi in Northern West Finland. The insulated igloo-shaped tent with Lappish decor boasts an open-air fireplace warming inhabitants as they view the dancing northern lights through the transparent north wall.
Whichever camping destination you prefer, don’t forget to look up and enjoy!
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Lyndsay Meyer and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.