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What we do International Dark Sky Places

The City of Moab

Red rock cliffs give way to city lights with the Milky Way overhead.

About

The City of Moab, Utah, U.S.A. International Dark Sky Community is located in the eastern part of the state on the Colorado Plateau. It is currently home to approximately 5,300 residents, an ancestral home to many more, and a destination for millions.

The Moab Valley is a rare place where steep, red rock canyons give way to gentle crossing of the Colorado River, drawing people in since time immemorial, including Native peoples, ranchers, missionaries, miners, and now, outdoor enthusiasts. 

Moab is a gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dead Horse Point and Utahraptor State Parks, the Colorado River, and numerous other wild places. These special places provide water and resources for people, habitat for local flora and fauna, and expansive views. Residents have recognized that flourishing on these precious lands requires treading lighter on the ground, in the water, and throughout the sky.

In 2016, Moab City and Grand County began seriously contemplating directing our lights down so we might see the land below and the stars above. By 2019, the city passed an outdoor lighting ordinance, which it updated in 2023. This ordinance outlined rules for new and existing developments. In efforts to become compliant, the City has audited city properties, piloted streetlights, and collaborated with volunteers to measure the darkness of the sky on a quarterly basis. Furthermore, local nonprofit Moab Dark Skies has offered a financial incentive to help residents update their non-compliant fixtures.

The City of Moab invites residents and visitors to join its dark-sky efforts by using exterior lighting to see only the ground and starlight to see the sky. Safety and health of people and the surrounding environment are paramount in the city’s efforts, as one of the treasured features this place affords is the ability to “live and play under the Milky Way.”

Area

12.34 Sq. Km

Designated

2024

Category

International Dark Sky Community

Address

217 East Center Street
Moab, UT 84532
Google Maps

Contact

Alexi Lamm

Documents

Application
Announcement
Annual Reports

Weather

Click here to find ideal environmental conditions for enjoying dark skies near Moab, Utah (38.57, -109.55).