Sleeping under the stars is a romantic notion, but in today’s artificial-light-filled world, getting a clear view of the celestial wonders can be quite challenging. However, for the first time, there’s a lodging option that offers an official “dark sky” experience.
The luxury tent resort, Under Canvas Lake Powell – Grand Staircase, located in Utah, has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first lodging facility to receive certification from DarkSky International, a non-profit organization dedicated to combating light pollution. DarkSky International has been designating Dark Sky Places worldwide since 2001, and this collaboration with Under Canvas marks a pivotal moment in the astrotourism industry.
Under Canvas worked closely with DarkSky to establish criteria for certifying lodging providers. These criteria will be made available to other interested lodging providers next week, allowing them to commence the application process.
Ruskin Hartley, DarkSky International’s CEO and executive director, expressed optimism about the future of astrotourism and dark sky travel, stating, “While this is the first DarkSky Approved Lodge, we are optimistic that the growing interest in astrotourism and dark sky travel will mean it will not be the last.”
So, what can visitors expect from DarkSky Approved Lodging? These accommodations promise “distinguished quality starry nights and a nighttime environment preserved through on-site DarkSky Approved lighting,” according to the organization’s website.
Ruskin explained that Under Canvas has been diligently working for several years to assess sky quality, inventory lights, and make necessary changes to meet the program’s requirements. This commitment to preserving the pristine night sky experience has set a high standard for astrotourism accommodations.
The glamping resort is nestled on a sweeping canyon rim plateau in southern Utah, near the Arizona border, making it conveniently located for guests interested in exploring attractions such as Lake Powell, Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and even its own slot canyon on-site.
The resort offers a range of safari-inspired luxury canvas tents in various configurations, including the two-person stargazer tent. This particular tent boasts a viewing window positioned over the head of its king-size bed, allowing guests to gaze at the stars from the comfort of their own bed. Additionally, the stargazer tent includes a private bathroom, a private deck, and a wood-burning stove for a cozy and memorable experience. Complimentary programming, including stargazing, adds to the allure of this unique destination.
For travelers eager to experience the wonders of Under Canvas Lake Powell – Grand Staircase, rates for this year range from $329 to $449 per night through the season’s end on October 30.
The timing of this certification aligns perfectly with the upcoming Perseid meteor shower, which is set to reach its peak this weekend. Visitors to this certified “dark sky” retreat can look forward to a celestial spectacle like no other.
Under Canvas Lake Powell – Grand Staircase’s achievement of “Dark Sky” certification represents a significant step forward in the world of astrotourism. By providing guests with the opportunity to experience the beauty of the night sky in all its glory, this luxury tent resort sets a new standard for preserving our connection to the cosmos.