With International Dark Sky Week upon us, it’s an opportune time to look up and drink in the majesty of the night sky. And there are few better places to do that than in the many National Parks of America. But if getting back to nature at its most basic isn’t quite the experience you’re looking for, worry not. There are now plenty of high-end camping and glamping options that bring home comforts to the wilds so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

With online searches for “glamping destinations” soaring by 290% last month, the travel enthusiasts over at SIXT did a deep dive into nature to find the U.S. National Parks that offer the best combination of glamping and stargazing. The results are, unsurprisingly, spectacular.

Coming out on top in their search is Glacier National Park in Montana. One of only 26 parks recognized internationally as a Dark Sky Park, the ‘Crown of the Continent’ is a magical landscape of melting glaciers, rolling valleys and spectacular lakes. Connecting them are 700 miles of trails that take you deep into the wilderness of Montana where light pollution is almost nonexistent. There, you can pitch your tent (or rather, have someone pitch if for you) at Paws Up where safari-style luxury “tents” cater to families, couples and groups in striking surroundings. There’s even butler service.

Second spot goes to Yellowstone National Park, spread across Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The world’s first national park opened on March 1, 1872 and is arguably also the world’s most famous thanks to its unique hydrothermal and geologic features combined with excellent accessibility and accommodation options. Covering some 2.2 million acres, its wonders include more than half the world’s active geysers, its own Grand Canyon and Yellowstone River – and that’s before you even look up and see the night sky in its twinkling glory.

When it comes to camping, Fireside Resort Cabins deliver rustic luxury with their camping-meets-luxury-hotel sustainably built, LEED-certified cabins in the Teton wilderness at Jackson Hole. Private decks and fire pits mean you always have the perfect spot to stargaze and stay warm late into the night.

Taking the bronze medal is Zion National Park in Utah, rightly famed for its huge skies and sandstone cliffs of cream, pink and red. Zion’s trails were worn in by the footsteps of native people and pioneers, and take in a staggering array of plants and animals, geological oddities and opportunities to gaze starward to your heart’s content with near zero light pollution.

Far from the crowds on the east side of Zion National Park, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort offers full-service lodgings ranging from basic camping to glamping to full-on vacation homes. Set yourself up at whatever luxury level you see fit and you can dive into their range of activities, eat at the restaurant, or just kick back and feast on the endless blanket of stars above.

There are of course many more national parks across the U.S. that combine high-end camping with the opportunity to experience the amazing American wilderness. Parks like Everglades (17th spot on the list), Great Smoky Mountains (16th place) and Sequoia (8th place) in particular are small on crowds and big on nature. Here are the full results of the survey:

Methodology: SIXT analyzed 59 of the most popular U.S. national parks and ranked them based on the number of hashtags on TikTok, from most to least popular. Glamping destinations were ranked via Trip Advisor rating. According to the Air Quality Index, an AQI under 50 means good air quality which is related to stargazing opportunities. Google search demand data is correct as of 5th April 23, analyzed over the preceding twelve-month period.


published 2023-04-20 03:09:57