Sequoia National Park, high in the mountains and far from the city lights, is one of the darkest places in the United States. Wuksachi Lodge offers astronomy programs that take advantage of the lodge's 7,200-foot elevation and the spectacular, star-spangled Sequoia night sky.
Shooting stars are a local favorite - if your travels take you to Sequoia in mid-August, you may even be lucky enough to witness the Perseid Meteor Showers. Commonly, there are 80 shooting stars per hour, but in a good year, you can see double that number!
Any time of year, however, the sheer quantity and brightness of the planets, constellations, and stars above the park is stunning. Did you know that 99% of Americans and Europeans now live in places where even on a clear night they cannot see the Milky Way? But on a clear night with a new moon, the Milky Way shines bright above Sequoia National Park so you can see the sky the way our ancestors did.
Wonders of the Night Sky Program
Many nights of the year, Sequoia Parks Conservancy interpreters offer their Wonders of the Night Sky program at Wuksachi Lodge. There is no charge for this one-hour program as you hear tales and get a guided tour of California's most brilliant skies. For a schedule, consult the Sequoia Parks Conservancy calendar of events.
Dark Sky Festival
To celebrate the special nature of Sequoia's dark skies, the Sequoia Field Institute sponsors a Dark Sky Festival every year, and the 2019 dates will be announced soon. The event typically runs for a couple of days and features daytime educational events and presentations by astronomers and astronauts. At night, the stars are truly the stars of the show!
There are also a number of special programs that may take place throughout the year, including astronomy programs atop Moro Rock, telescope programs with the Tulare Astronomical Association, and more! See the Special Events page for upcoming events.