Jacob Holgerson, National Park Service
Stars fill the sky above the Quarry Exhibit Hall in Dinosaur National Monument.

JENSEN, Uintah County — Dinosaur National Monument has been designated an International Dark Sky Park.

The distinction, from the International Dark Sky Association, recognizes the skies above the monument as having an exceptional quality of natural darkness while efforts on the ground actively contribute to enjoyment and protection of dark skies for future generations.

The International Dark Sky Places Program was founded in 2001 to encourage communities, parks and protected areas around the world to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting polices and public education.

The monument, which spans nearly 211,000 acres across high desert peaks and river canyons in northeast Utah and northwest Colorado, now joins more than 100 locations that have followed a rigorous application process that demonstrates robust community support for dark sky protection and documents designation-specific program requirements.

Dinosaur National Monument becomes the fifth internationally recognized Dark Sky Place in Colorado, the 12th in Utah and the second in Uintah County.

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The monument’s 2019 public program schedule includes 35 opportunities to explore Dinosaur’s dark side, starting with a special presentation from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, outside the Quarry Exhibit Hall, where visitors will participate in dark sky measurements as citizen scientists evaluate different outdoor lighting options.

Other nighttime events at the monument include a stargazing program on June 8 and a full moon hike on June 17.

Details for these and other programs can be found on the on the monument’s website nps.gov/dino.