Set Your Sights on Scottsdale's Stellar Skies
With vast open skies offering plenty of stargazing opportunities, Scottsdale is known as a stellar site for celestial bliss. Visitors can partake in a variety of experiences from one-on-one viewings with astronomers to guided night-vision Hummer tours in the desert. And it’s not just astronomers looking to the stars. Several Scottsdale spas feature onsite astrologers ready to align the planets and give guests insight into the future
JEWELS IN THE DESERT
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Boulders Resort & Spa, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, and JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa offer Sky Jewels™, a local stargazing program that holds one- and four-hour astronomy tours that change as often as the night sky. Depending on the time of year, guests can locate Jupiter, Saturn, the Orion Nebula, Mars and other wondrous sights. Richard Allen hosts all sessions using state-of-the-art telescopes and star charts, and he tells awe-inspiring stories about the heavens. The sessions are complimentary to resort guests. Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale also offers telescopes in the resort suites and constellation charts as a turn-down amenity.
ADVENTURES IN STARGAZING
What better way to experience Scottsdale’s starry nights than on a Hummer excursion through the Sonoran Desert? Offered by Stellar Adventures, this three- to four-hour tour departs at dusk. It takes guests on a memorable experience through desert landscapes on the way to a remote observation area, with an astronomer pointing out constellations and celestial wonders along the way.
Wondered what it’s like to hike under the stars? Wonder no more with a Full Moon Hike at Pinnacle Peak Park. You’ll be led on a guided walk to the park’s Grandview Lookout area as the moon rises. This starlit excursion is 90 minutes and covers about 1.5 miles of moderate hiking. The park also has Astronomy Evenings, where you can explore the majesty of the stars while you learn about the solar system and our galaxy. Beginners are welcome for this 90-minute educational experience, as explanations are kept to a novice level.
During sunset, drive your own desert vehicle through the Sonoran Desert with Desert Wolf Tours. You’ll hop into a Tomcar, a vehicle originally developed for the Israeli Defense Forces, and with only the illumination of a roof-mounted LED light and the taillights of your guide, you’ll get a true experience of a pitch-black desert as you navigate over washes, rocks and ridges. Keep your eyes peeled for nocturnal creatures including scorpions, desert mice, coyotes and more.
DINING UNDER THE SONORAN DESERT SKY
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale offers customizable “celestial picnics,” a deluxe basket packed by Executive Chef Mel Mecinas with all the traditional accoutrements based on your tastes. The picnic includes a blanket and constellation chart, and the meal can be paired with a bottle of champagne or wine. Other enhancements include a telescope for stargazing, a musician, a photographer, or a personal butler for the evening.
IT’S IN THE STARS
The Phoenician’s Centre for Well-Being has an intuitive guide that helps you achieve serenity of the spirit through astrology readings. Gain insight into the past, present and future using a personalized chart calculated from your birth date, birth time and birthplace. Readings are 80 minutes long and provide powerful tools for self-understanding and personal development.
Joya Spa at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offers a Wellness menu with spa services that include everything from numerologyto astrology. Uncover the secrets of the Earth’s cycle, such as how it affects your place in the world. Become more in-tune with your spirit, and receive insight into your life path.
Guided night bike rides at the Boulders Resort & Spa are the perfect way to explore and learn about the property’s desert surroundings. Wearing halogen light hats, you are given an intimate view of the Sonoran Desert at night. Your guide will point out the local wildlife and plant life, and you may spot some of the coyotes, javelina and jackrabbits known to roam the property in the evenings.
On the eve of the full moon each month, stretch out those weary muscles during Moonlight Yoga in the resort’s serene Organic Garden. The Boulders also offers a night walking excursion, where you’ll see the desert night as never before. Led by the resort’s expert guide, you’ll use hiking headlamps and night vision monoculars to see the unique surroundings while learning about the geology, history and flora and fauna. The excursion also visits areas that might otherwise be missed, such as ancient sites used by the American Indians that walked the grounds centuries ago.