Sequoia Parks Conservancy Invites You to A Star Party under the Milky Way at The Ninth Annual Dark Sky Festival

 Sequoia Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, is excited to announce the schedule of events for the ninth annual Dark Sky Festival taking place Saturday, September 24, 2022 at locations across Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. This will mark the return of the largest night sky festival in the region after a two-year hiatus due to Covid.

The Dark Sky Festival is a free event and open to the public. This year the festival also corresponds with National Public Lands Day. National Public Lands Day is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. This day celebrates the connection between people and the great outdoors. Park entrance fees on Saturday, September 24, 2022 are waived as National Public Lands Day is one of only five “Fee-Free Days” of the year.

Most of the world grapples with the effects of what is known as artificial light pollution. The night skies over Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are one of the few places in California left to experience natural darkness. The Dark Sky Festival aims to educate people about the importance of preserving natural darkness and inspire them to take action in their own communities.

This year the theme for the festival is ‘Under the Milky Way.’ Attendees will be able to watch as the night skies come alive with stars and constellations that are no longer visible to areas of the world due to heavy light pollution.

Under the Milky Way designed by Eric Tan.

The art for ‘Under the Milky Way’ was designed exclusively for Sequoia and Kings Canyon’s Dark Sky Festival by the extremely talented Eric Tan. Shirts, posters, and stickers with this year’s theme will be available to purchase at park visitor center stores on Saturday, September 24th, 2022 as well as online at the week of the event.

This year’s keynote speaker is Kate Gunderson. Kate is a former NASA engineer. She is currently attending the National Test Pilot School to pursue her dream of becoming an astronaut. Attendees will hear her incredible story of achievement, empowering message to all women and the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Photo courtesy of Kate Gunderson.

In addition to this years keynote speaker, attendees will have access to stargazing, guest speakers, movies, Q&A’s, a kids zone, and other enrichment programs throughout Giant Forest & Lodgepole, Grant Grove, and the Cedar Grove areas of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The night will conclude with Star Parties in each of those areas. A digital version of this event schedule is available online at

Event Schedule:


Saturday, September 24, 2022

Walk Around the Solar System

10 AM to 11 AM – Big Trees Trail

NASA: Climate Change

11 AM to 12:00 PM – Beetle Rock Education Center

Solar Viewing

10 AM to 2 PM – Giant Forest Museum

Kids Zone!

10 AM to 2 PM – Giant Forest Museum

What Do Black Holes Look Like?  

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM – Beetle Rock Education Center

NASA Journey to Mars

2 PM to 3 PM – Beetle Rock Education Center

Caltech Astrophysicist Panel Q & A

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM – Lodgepole Campground Amphitheater

Keynote Speaker Address

7:30 PM to 8:30 PM – Lodgepole Campground Amphitheater


9 PM to 11 PM – Wuksachi Lodge back parking lot


Saturday September 24, 2022

Saving the Dark Film 

10 AM to 11 AM

How To Rip a Star Apart

11 AM to 12:00 PM

Understanding the Formation and Evolution of Galaxies

12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Antikythera Mechanism: The 2000 Year Old Greek Computer

2 PM to 3 PM

Saving the Dark Film

3:30 PM to 4:30 PM


9 PM to 11 PM – Big Stump Parking Lot


“The Dark Night” 

8 PM to 9 PM – Cedar Grove Amphitheater


10 PM to 11 PM – Cedar Grove Roads End


We strongly encourage making lodging or camping reservations well in advance at or For more frequently asked questions and to download the Festival Guide visit


We hope you join us this year Under the Milky Way.

Photo credit: Scott Reinhardt

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