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Imagine a destination with pristine lakes and streams sitting amid a majestic mountain range with a small town feel and enough local restaurants to dine somewhere new for every meal during your stay... Now add a jaw-dropping starry night sky that rivals the most gorgeous sun-filled days and you must be in Heber Valley.
With three expansive state parks all taking initiatives to be certified as International Dark Sky Park destinations, and the local towns making adjustments to street lighting and building codes to restrict light pollution in the county, Heber Valley is focused on being a true dark skies community.
Jordanelle State Park Dary Sky Certified:
Situated on the east side of the 12,000 foot high Wasatch Mountain range, Jordanelle State Park is approximately 6,704 acres of land and water. Visitors come to boat, fish, camp, picnic, watch wildlife, hike, and stargaze. The Nature Area harbors the darkest skies at Jordanelle State Park and has allowed the park to host dark sky events for over a decade. Surrounded by hills and mountains, the landscape mitigates the impact of artificial light generated by the nearby communities of Heber City, Midway, and Park City.
Wasatch Mountain State Park Dark Sky Certification Process:
Natural dark sky areas are decreasing across the United States and around the world. Utah State Parks have some of the darkest night skies in North America. With 10 dark sky designations in the State of Utah parks system thus far, Wasatch Mountain State Park is continuing the process to become officially dark sky certified as well.
Deer Creek State Park:
This local state park has a goal of becoming dark sky certified in the near future as well. Located close to both towns, Heber City and Midway City, but distant enough from retail development, this state park reservoir offers easy access and a stunning night sky view.
If you drive a short 20 minutes or less on Highway 40 toward Strawberry Reservoir, you will be rewarded with ample dark sky and little to no light pollution. The land expands out over the large reservoir and extends over rolling mountains and hilltops with almost no development in this area. It is prime for stargazing enthusiasts.