Nature Nights, Grand Canyon
Two years ago my son and I were at Capital Reef in south central Utah. I had to go to the car and get an item and I happened to look up on a clear night. I yelled at my son to get out side and check out the night sky. We were both really impressed compared to the night sky in Iowa!
Three weeks ago I was staying at the South Rim of The Grand Canyon and went to my rental Jeep around 10:00 at night to bring my clothes in. I was at the Yavapai lodge, so it's away from any lights...period.
I started to strike up a conversation with a guy named John from San Antonio, TX. I looked up and was amazed at the number of stars and planets. God they looked so cool. John was checking it out too. I noticed he had a weird looking pair of binoculars. He said they were Russian made. They were long and heavy. He had me look at Jupiter. He asked if I could see the four moons. The binoculars were so long and heavy it made them shake. John showed me how to hold them correctly and then I could see three white dots around Jupiter.
When you are at the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce or Capital Reef make sure and take the time to look at the night sky on a clear night.
The Milky Way belt looked like a long thin cloud. I wish we had those kind of views in Iowa!
Nightlife here is out of control :) If you're camping there's the occasional elk sniffing at your head and the coyote howling you to sleep. September has perfect weather for an evening campfire. I had never seen so many stars hanging out all at once in the sky. No smog or clouds.
Find an open field and look at the stars. With the exception of the lodge lights there is not another bulb for miles. It makes for a spectacular view.
Dress Code: The Grand Canyon in September can vary from shorts and T-shirts during the day to parkas at night. You really can't travel too light when it comes to clothing.
A night, the hot spot is around the camp fire. The Havasuapi didn't allow open fires due to the fire danger but you can bring you're own "fire pit", which as made from melted wax and cardboard, in an aluminum tray.
Dress Code: Whatever you want... It's casual.
While staying near the canyon the rangerprogramms give a very special evening and nighttime activities variating from campfire-entertainment to nocturnal hikes. Read the infomagazine of the National Park for more information.