CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL PARK, Utah (AP) — Capitol Reef National Park has joined a handful of sites designated as having the highest quality night skies.
The Salt Lake Tribute reports that the international Dark Skies Association has named Capitol Reef a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park.
National Park Service Night Sky Team Director Dan Duriscoe said Capitol Reef's remote location, cloudless conditions and clear air contribute to the night sky quality.
Park staffers have also tried to reduce light pollution by creating an outdoor lighting inventory and improving light fixtures in the dark.
The park has been holding astronomy programs for more than a decade.
Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument and Weber County North Fork Park also have dark sky ratings.