Astrotourism in Mesa | Visit Mesa

May 14, 2024

Astrotourism in Mesa

While catching an Arizona sunset is a great thing to add to your must-do list, seeing the stars at night is unmatched! Recognized by the Associated Press, Mesa's night sky programming is one of the most popular outings for visitors as the Tonto National Forest was designated an International Dark Sky Park.

Mesa's Night Sky & More

When looking upward in Mesa, Arizona you are bound to see a night sky unlike any other. Arizona is home to two renowned observatories, is the site where former planet Pluto was discovered, and Arizona's desert skies continue to be recognized as one of the finest locations in the world for astronomical observations. The setting sun offers visitors a whole new spectacular view to take in when visiting the Mesa area, which is known for low-light pollution in the East Valley and cloudless skies. Travelers can enjoy many star-studded events throughout the city including monthly, free public star parties and full-moon hikes, as well as the opportunity to view interstellar activities at the Mesa Planetarium throughout the year.

A Tour of Mesa's Night Sky at Usery Mountain Regional Park

Grab your flashlight and head out to Usery Mountain Regional Park, located at the western end of the Goldfield Mountains, to experience the sights of the desert at night while learning about our solar system. Away from the urban light pollution, visitors can get a better look at meteors, constellations and the night sky in general. Experts tell stories and teach park visitors about the moon, stars, planets and galaxies while viewing the sky through a telescope. Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs and snacks for their own comfort throughout the (seasonal) 2-hour programs. Dates vary each season, find more information here.

Full-Moon Hikes in the Legendary Superstition Mountains

Just a short drive from Mesa, visitors can experience the natural beauty of Lost Dutchman State Park. The park offers ranger-guided, full moon hikes and astronomy events where visitors can experience the desert under the light of the moon. Lost Dutchman State Park, located along the Apache Trail at the base of the Superstition Mountains, embraces 292 acres and elevations of over 2,000 feet giving stargazers amazing views.

Smooth Sailing & Twinkling Lakeside Lights at Night

Set sail on the Dolly Steamboat at Canyon Lake and watch Arizona's night stars twinkle on the water. Take in either a Twilight Dinner Cruise or the popular Twilight Astronomy Cruises hosted once monthly by astronomy expert Dr. Sky. Aboard the Astronomy Cruise, passengers will have the use of on-board telescopes to view the breathtaking beauty of the solar system. Bask in the beauty of Canyon Lake at twilight as the Arizona sun sets the canyon walls aglow. These romantic cruises offer an exciting alternative to dining in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. Each cruise runs for 2 ½ hours and offers an alternating buffet style menu. Guests can also bring their own libations on board.

High Speed Adventure After Dark

Stellar Adventures Stargazing Hummer Tour

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