Department of Natural Resources
Michigan is lucky to play host to both dark sky preserves and parks that offer stellar celestial landscapes. These locations are specially designated because they have qualities that complement nighttime viewing, such as the ability to limit the amount of artificial light. There are also plenty of excellent night-sky viewing opportunities across more than 15,000 square miles in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Dark sky preserves located in six state parks
* To take full advantage of your night sky experience, make a camping reservation at MiDNRReservations.com.
Internationally designated dark sky parks
The Northern Lights
The first time you see the Northern Lights your brain will spend at least a few minutes trying to understand what is before you – the slowly moving curtains of wispy greens, whites and pinks. The Northern Lights are created by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere.
Clear, winter nights provide the best viewing, so gazing upward and toward the north might just provide you with that outdoor experience you’ve been waiting. They are best seen late August through early April.
2021 meteor showers
The Perseid meteor shower is one of the biggest astronomical events of the year, taking place each August. The showers are expected to take place Aug. 8-14, 2021 (peak viewing is estimated for Thursday, Aug. 12).
International Dark Sky Week
During International Dark Sky Week (April 11-17, 2021), our six dark sky preserves will stay open late for self-guided viewing. Please call ahead for individual park hours.