My 7 insider tips for planning an astrophotography trip to the US Southwest

Dark Sky Parks of US mid west
Time it right and you’ll see the Milky Way every night (Image credit: Jamie Carter)

The US Southwest is perfect for astrophotography. There are more Dark Sky Parks in the region than any other, with world-famous national parks like Arches and Bryce Canyon once-in-a-lifetime destinations for anyone interested in taking images at night. 

Aside from the protection given to natural darkness in this region, it is also geologically suited to taking star-scapes. The Colorado Plateau covers much of the Four Corners region of the US Southwest where Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet. The essential characteristic is a very high elevation, with almost every national and state park at least 5,000 ft. (1,500 meters) above sea level. Warm and sunny by daytime, the region gets cold, crisp and clear at night, where stars – seen above the thickest part of Earth’s atmosphere – glow rather than twinkle. 

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.