What to do in Sedona during the pandemic? Stargaze under a celestial sea.
Immense. Magical. Profound. The night sky in Sedona is all of these things and so much more. On a recent walk to my neighborhood grocery store, I casually spotted 3 planets, the Pleiades, the big and little dippers, and the edge of Orion in the glorious night sky.
The beautiful sky is one of the many reasons I fell in love with Sedona.
Continuing with my series on things to do in Sedona - especially during the pandemic, stargazing is this week’s highlighted activity. Stargazing in Sedona is a great activity because it’s outdoors, easy to socially distance, and it’s freaking amazing! It’s also quite meditative to gaze into the starry sky and ponder your place in the universe.
If you plan to stargaze in Sedona, you’ll want to have a few things to make it safe and comfortable, including:
- A headlamp – preferably with a green or red light (so you don’t dazzle your eyes).
- Warm clothes if you’re coming in the fall, winter, or spring.Sedona is high desert and it cools off quickly when the sun goes down.A warm jacket, a hat that covers your ears, gloves, and a layer of long johns will help keep you warm so you can enjoy the experience.
- A blanket or yoga mat to lie upon so you can be comfortable while looking up.
- Possible, a thermos of some warm herbal tea, or your drink of choice.
You may want to consider having a picnic dinner as the sun sets and then settling in to your stargazing. Just remember to pack out anything you pack in. While you’re enjoying the peace and awe of the night sky, remember to practice a bit of mindfulness.
If you want to go it yourself, be sure to check out what will be happening in the night sky when you visit Sedona. Astronomy Magazine has an online sky calendar that’s helpful: https://astronomy.com/observing
I enjoy using night sky apps on my smartphone to help identify constellations, planets, and other celestial bodies simply by holding my phone up to the sky: https://weloveweather.tv/top-6-astronomy-apps/
Where to go for Sedona stargazing? Sedona is a designated International Dark Sky Community (https://www.darksky.org/our-work/conservation/idsp/communities/sedona/) and we are blessed with usually cloud-free skies and an abundance of places that provide a wide open view of the night sky. A few of my favorites:
- The first plateau on the Cathedral Rock trail.It’s about a 10 minute hike on a well-established trail, starting from the trailhead parking lot.
- The large parking lot that services Doe Mesa, Bear Mountain, and Fay Canyon trailheads.
- Pullouts along Forest Road 525 just outside of Sedona heading south.
If you’d prefer to have a guide show you around the night sky and view objects through a telescope, there are stargazing tours you can sign up for. Go to www.VisitSedona.com for more information.
Meditating under the night sky is a very special experience in Sedona. If you are curious to give it a try, contact me to arrange a private Sedona meditation experience under the starry sky.