Programs and Special Events

Programs and Special Events


May 22 — Sawtooth Botanical Garden, Astronomy in the Garden — Shoot the night sky with your camera or cell phone


June 15 – 16 — Stanley Pioneer Park, Dark Sky Celebration and Star Party, Stanley-Sawtooth Chamber of Commerce


July 6 — Stanley Museum, 5 pm: The Scorpion, the Archer and the Swan: Stars of the Summer Milky Way with Tim Frazier, Sawtooth Interpretive & Historical Association (SIHA)


July 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 — Craters of the Moon:  9:30 pm – 11 pm: Astronomy Programs: Join us at the Visitor Center for a short presentation followed by viewing opportunities through the park’s telescope. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on, dress warmly, bring a flashlight to get back to camp but please use red lights only once in the viewing area.


July 19 – 20  —  Arco & Craters of the Moon: American Solar Challenge – Come cheer on university teams as they drive their solar powered vehicles across the nation. These teams will stop in Arco on July 19 and then start from Craters of the Moon on July 20. The event in Arco will take place at Butte High School from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Besides viewing the cars, there will also be opportunities to learn more about scientific research with displays about space science, dark skies, and the Oregon Trail. On July 20, the cars will start from the Devil’s Orchard trailhead at Craters of the Moon beginning at 9:00 a.m.


July 27 — Stanley Museum, 5 pm: Dark Sky Photography with Nils Ribi, Sawtooth Interpretive & Historical Association


July 27 — Craters of the Moon, 9 pm – 11 pm: Full Moon Hike: Explore this unearthly landscape under a full moon. Cooler temperatures make this moderate, 1-mile evening hike pleasant. Wear sturdy shoes, and bring snacks, water, and a light jacket. Reservations are required; please call 208-527-1335 or contact us by email: 


July 28 — Stanley Library: Science of Planetary Exploration and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life, 6:00 PM- Join Dr. Brian Jackson, Professor of Physics/Astronomy, Boise State University for a one hour lecture followed by two hours of general stargazing with a telescope at the Stanley Ranger Station parking lot.


August 3 – 4— Craters of the Moon: Star Party – Join experts from the Idaho Falls Astronomical Society and experience the universe under our naturally dark skies. Telescopes will be set up in the Caves Area parking lot for viewing the stars and planets. Dress warmly and bring flashlights. Red lights preferred for optimal dark sky viewing.


August 4 – 5 — Coyote Yurt (Smoky Mountains near Ketchum) – Overnight Trek into the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve: Sun Valley Trekking and the Idaho Conservation League are teaming up to bring you the Milky Way. Join us to experience the night sky like nowhere else. You don’t want to miss one of the most unique backcountry mountain star gazing adventures on the planet! Call Sun Valley Trekking at 208.788.1966 to reserve your spot.


August 10 — Stanley City Park, Perseid Meteor Shower, stargazing, and discussion of Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve,  join Dr. Matt Benjamin, freelance astronomer, for a free evening of stargazing, 9:30PM – 11:00PM


August 12 — Sawtooth Botanical Garden, Astronomy in the Garden Family night at Croy Canyon


August 31 — Stanley Museum, 5 pm, Songbirds and the Stars with Heidi Ware, Sawtooth Interpretive & Historical Association


November 28 — Konditorei Restaurant (Sun Valley), 6 pm – 7 pm, Sun Valley Coffee Talk: Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve

Celestial Events and programs

The year ahead offers many heavenly delights for sky-watchers, including new moons, meteor showers and great views of several planets. These upcoming celestials events will be great to see from the CIDSR.

Celestial Events for 2018

New Moon (night sky is darkest)

May 15, June 13, July 12, August 11, Sept 9

Other events:

May 9 — Jupiter at Opposition (closest to Earth) will be the brightest object in the sky other than the moon. Will be able to see the 4 Galilean Moons with binoculars.

June 21 — Summer Solstice

June 27 — Mars at Opposition (closest to Earth), very bright, easy to see with the naked eye

August 12–13 — Perseids Meteor shower (60-100 meteors per hour)

August 17 — Venus at greatest Eastern Elongation. Venus will be farthest from the Sun in the sky- this means it will be incredibly bright and visible well into the evening.

September 22  — Fall Equinox

For more information about upcoming celestial events, follow this link:

Upcoming Programs

Sawtooth Interpretive & Historical Association (SIHA), Stanley

Forum and Lecture Series

SIHA will feature two Dark Sky programs as part of their 2018 Forum & Lecture Series at the Stanley Museum. They will also be hosting night sky viewing parties at the Museum around the New Moon phases each month throughout the summer.  Contact SIHA at for more information about programs at Redfish Visitor Center or the Stanley Museum.

July 6 — Stanley Museum, 5 pm: The Scorpion, the Archer and the Swan: Stars of the Summer Milky Way with Tim Frazier

July 27 — Stanley Museum, 5 pm: Dark Sky Photography with Nils Ribi



Sawtooth Botanical Garden, Ketchum

Astronomy in the Garden

Dr. Tim Frazier, local astronomy buff and president of the Magic Valley Astronomical Society, will offer 4 nights of lectures and night sky viewing in 2018. Contact the Sawtooth Botanical Garden for program times and registration.

January 23 (Tuesday ) — Finding your way with telescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes

May 22 (Tuesday ) — Shoot the night sky with your camera or cell phone

August 12 (Sunday) — Family night at Croy Canyon

November 13 (Tuesday ) —  Winter Constellations: The Horse, the Maiden and the Queen

Additional Dark Sky and Astronomical Resources in the Surrounding Area

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve and International Dark Sky Park

Bruneau Sand Dunes State Park Observatory

Herrett Center – College of Southern Idaho Centennial Observatory and Faulkner Planetarium


Local Astronomy Clubs and Societies

Boise Astronomical Society

Idaho Falls Astronomical Society

Magic Valley Astronomical Society