Under the expansive skies of Wyoming, a celestial spectacle awaits. Renowned for its sprawling landscapes, towering mountain ranges, and starkly beautiful wilderness, Wyoming is also a stargazer’s paradise. As the sun sets and twilight slips into darkness, the heavens above the “Cowboy State” come alive with thousands of twinkling stars, enchanting observers with a clear, unobstructed view of the cosmos.
In a state where nature’s grandeur is celebrated by day and night, Wyoming offers several prime locations for stargazing. From the mystical Devil’s Tower to the awe-inspiring Grand Teton National Park, the state presents a multitude of vantage points where the night sky unfurls in all its star-studded glory. Whether you’re an experienced astronomer or a casual observer, Wyoming’s celestial landscape promises an unforgettable journey through the stars.
So come, join me as we embark on a stellar exploration of Wyoming’s night skies, where the Milky Way becomes our trail and the stars, our companions. Let’s traverse the cosmic highway together, right here in the spectacular landscapes of Wyoming.
In this post, I promote traveling to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Newe Sogobia (Eastern Shoshone), Apsáalooke (Crow), Tséstho’e (Cheyenne), and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ peoples, among others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
This post was originally published in May 2023, and was updated most recently in January 2024.
Map of Where to Go Stargazing in Wyoming
By popular request, I’ve added a map to this post to help make it easier to understand where each of the best spots for stargazing in Wyoming can be found. I hope this helps you plan the ultimate stargazing trip!
Devil’s Tower National Monument
Located in the state’s northeastern portion, Devil’s Tower National Monument offers a breathtaking setting for stargazing in Wyoming.
Rising 867 feet above the ground, this iconic geological feature has been a popular spot for hundreds of years. It used to be the center of many Indian religious ceremonies, a prime location to look for UFOs, and a unique setting to wander at the universe.
The isolated nature of the monument provides minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for observing the night sky. You can marvel at the impressive rock formation while enjoying a clear view of the stars above.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is an amazing area on the Utah/Wyoming border. White it doesn’t get the same hype as the other National Parks in the region, the property has just as much to offer: great vistas, plenty of camping options, wilderness, wildlife, water, and geologic features.
Away from the city lights, you can also find dark skies perfect for observing celestial wonders. The vast expanse of the recreation area offers tons of spots to set up telescopes or simply lay back and take in the dazzling show the stars put up at night.
If you’re into astrophotography, I doubt you’ll find a more picturesque spot for stargazing in Wyoming than Fremont Lake. This alpine lake is nestled in the Wind River Range near Pinedale. It is famous for its crystal-clear waters and majestic mountain backdrop.
The remote lake provides a gorgeous setting for stargazing; the sunset is just as worthy of photos if you arrive before the sun goes down. Looking across the lake, up into the Wind River Mountains is just phenomenal.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is probably the most well-known of Wyoming stargazing spotsWyoming stargazing spots, so it virtually needs no introduction.
This park, for its towering peaks and pristine wilderness, offers an extraordinary stargazing experience. The absence of major urban centers nearby ensures minimal light pollution, allowing for great visibility of the night sky. There are tons of great spots throughout the park to admire the awe-inspiring spectacle above.
Oh, and no matter where you go, you’ll always have the majestic Tetons serving as a stunning backdrop.
Gros Ventre Wilderness
Not many know about Gros Ventre Wilderness. And it’s a shame because this place is fantastic for spotting constellations and shooting stars.
This area sits under some of the best skies in Wyoming. First, because it is in the middle of nowhere. Second, the rugged landscape presents fantastic stargazing opportunities. Third, it lies to the east and south of Jackson Hole, which is a federally protected land. Feel free to explore the sprawling meadows and find a spot that suits your stargazing needs.
Half Moon Lake
Tucked away in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Half Moon Lake is a hidden gem for stargazing enthusiasts. Its tranquil waters, nestled amid dense forests and rolling hills, provide an idyllic setting for night sky observation. You can choose to stay at one of the cozy lakeside cabins or campgrounds and venture out during the night to witness the stars.
Wyoming’s Red Desert is a unique destination for stargazers, both for the quality of the sky and the ecosystem it presents. This is one of the last high-desert ecosystems in North America.
Stretching over 9,300 square miles, the expansive desert landscape features striking red sandstone formations, deep canyons, and vast stretches of open space, providing an unobstructed view of the night sky. There’s no sign of light pollution and no city lights nearby. Bring a pair of binoculars and enjoy.
Rockefeller Preserve Center
Nestled in the heart of the Jackson Hole Valley, the Rockefeller Preserve Center is known for its diverse ecosystems, including meadows, wetlands, and forests. Most people come here to get out into nature and take a free hike on the fringes of the Grand Teton National Park.
It’s a great place for stargazing as well. This protected area practically has no light pollution on the property or nearby. If you’re feeling adventurous, visit during the day, do yourself a favor, and hike to Phelps Lake.
Skyline Scenic Drive
This scenic route takes travelers through the heart of Wyoming’s Wind River Range. As the road winds through the mountains, you’ll find tons of spots with breathtaking views of the night sky.
You can pull over wherever you want. But, if you ask me, the drive all the way to the top is worth it. It’s a short drive (20-25 minutes) one way, any way, so it won’t take you long.
Vedauwoo Recreation Area
Located in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Vedauwoo is renowned for its unique rock formations and diverse wildlife. The area’s high elevation and remote location create an ideal environment for stargazing.
You’ll find a ton of hiking trails that are easy to moderate and a campground to spend the night. Turtle rock trail is a three-mile loop dotted with beautiful rock formations if you’re up for a bit of geology appreciation in your adventure.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is a top place for stargazing in Wyoming and in the United States. As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone is renowned for its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife, but its dark skies provide an unparalleled opportunity for stargazing enthusiasts.
The park’s expansive meadows, towering mountains, and pristine lakes also serve as a perfect backdrop for stargazing adventures. You can also join some of the stargazing events Yellowstone organizes throughout the year.
Bonus: Wyoming Stargazing (Jackson Hole)
Wyoming Stargazing is a non-profit organization based in Jackson Hole, a federally protected land nestled in the heart of the Teton Mountains. This organization is dedicated to educating and inspiring the public about astronomy. They offer a range of stargazing programs and events designed to cater to both beginners and seasoned astronomers. The events are led by knowledgeable astronomers and volunteers who guide participants through the night sky.
Check out their website as they have a huge variety of tours, from the casual stargazing session to the in-depth astronomy workshop.
Have any questions about these great spots for stargazing in Wyoming, or do you know of others I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!