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Annual Perseid Meteor Shower in Rocky Mountain National Park

Each August, the Perseid meteor shower reappears in Colorado—and Rocky Mountain National Park’s dark skies make for a brilliant show. These shooting stars (astronomical debris heating up as they rub up against Earth’s atmosphere) appear at a rate of one per minute or more at the peak.

Direction of the Perseids
Direction of the PerseidsWikimedia Commons Public Domain

When to see the Perseids

According to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke, (www.space.com/32868-perseid-meteor-shower-guide.html) the meteor shower’s peak will be visible both the nights of Aug. 11-12, 2022.

Don’t expect to see too much early in the night. The best viewing time is between midnight and just before dawn. Get as far away from unnatural lights as possible, and give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust. Meteor watching is a waiting game so bring a blanket and get comfortable.

In early August, Rocky Mountain National Parks often holds a Night Sky Festival with ranger-led activities. During COVID, those events were suspended. For more information and updated events, visit www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/night_sky_festival.htm.

Where to see them?

You want to be in a wide open area with 360-degree views. In Rocky Mountain National Park, head for Trail Ridge Road, Kawuneeche Valley, Beaver Meadows, or Lake Irene.

Below is a timelapse video of 2012’s shower filmed by Dave Dugdale at Lake Irene in the park. Nightime shots start at 1:30 marker on video.

Want to learn more about photographing starry night skies, the Milky Way, sunsets and sunrises? Get full access to our Night Sky Photography online course plus other in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses when you sign up for Outside+.