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What we do International Dark Sky Places

Town of Castle Valley, Utah

Stars rotating in the night sky behind a rock tower.
Starry skies over Castle Valley


The Town of Castle Valley occupies 9.25 square miles of a 35 square mile valley bordered by two redrock mesas that rise several thousand feet above the valley floor. The valley is located approximately 250 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, about 26 miles west of Grand Junction, and
8.8 miles northeast of Moab. The Colorado River has carved its channel below the red Permian hills that cross the lower border of the valley. The La Sal Mountains’ north end looms above the valley’s upper end. It is part of the winter range for the region’s mule deer.

Castle Valley is a residential community interspersed with light agriculture. Minimum lot sites of five acres allow only one residence per lot, which creates dispersed lighting and means that conditions for dark sky access exist throughout the area. One only has to walk outdoors to enjoy
the darkness of our night skies. No commercial lighting is permitted in the Town, and fully shielded outdoor light fixtures have been required by ordinance in Castle Valley since 1991.

Dark skies have been and continue to be a priority for Castle Valley’s 350 full-time residents, as revealed by the last six General Plan surveys. Survey respondents repeatedly confirmed their support for the scenic, rural, natural, open space and dark skies of Castle Valley. Dark skies are
considered one of our most valuable resources.

Since the summer of 2021, the Castle Valley Dark Sky Team has led the effort to amend the Town’s original Lighting Ordinance of 1991 to meet the more rigorous standards of DarkSky International. The team has organized public programs and distributed informational handouts about the positive effects of dark skies on the health of humans and wildlife.
Castle Valley advocates will continue working with nearby parks and communities to support additional Dark Sky Place certifications. They will work with local organizations such as the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative to encourage dark sky awareness in the region.


24 Sq. Km




International Dark Sky Community


Town of Castle Valley
HC 64 Box 2705
Castle Valley, Utah, 84532
Google Maps


Jocelyn Buck


Annual Reports


Click here to find ideal environmental conditions for enjoying dark skies near Castle Valley, Utah (38.64, -109.41).