“Find Your Park” After Dark: Star Parties at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

All events are subject to change without notice. Please check the event website for the most updated information.

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    Join park rangers and astronomers from the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) Monday, August 22, from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., at the Dune Climb parking lot for the next Star Party of the 2022 series. Highlights will include seeing the planets Saturn and Jupiter, the Summer Milky Way, as well as star clusters, nebulae, and other deep-sky objects later in the evening.


    Future Star Parties in 2022 will include a harvest moon viewing on Saturday, September 10, a dark sky (new moon) viewing on Saturday, September 24, and another full moon viewing on Saturday, October 9. All of the Star Parties during these additional dates will be held from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

    Drop-in telescope and information stations will be available for you to visit at your leisure. Be sure to stop by the ranger greeter table in the parking lot at the Dune Climb for more information about the stations and their locations. At the Dune Climb, please park in the row furthest from the dunes with your headlights facing M-109. Volunteers will be assisting with parking.


    All sky programs offered by the National Lakeshore are free. Participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass displayed in their vehicle to join in the fun. Programs will be cancelled if the sky is not visible due to weather conditions. The decision to cancel is usually made two hours in advance. Please call (231) 326-4700, ext. 5005, for a voicemail message with the decision. 

    For all evening astronomy events, bring a flashlight for the walk back to your car and bug spray, if needed. You are welcome to bring your own binoculars, beach chairs, and blankets for a more comfortable experience, and water is always recommended for National Park Service (NPS) programs. Park rangers and GTAS staff will wear red glow pins or bracelets at the events. For more information about the GTAS, go to 

    This event is the perfect opportunity to “Find Your Park” in the stars. Starry night skies and natural darkness are important components of the special places the NPS protects. National parks hold some of the last remaining harbors of darkness and provide an excellent opportunity to experience this endangered resource.