It's time for western Colorado star-gazers to look to the sky for the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.

Every year at this time, the earth passes through the debris field of the 109P/ Swift-Tuttle Comet. When that happens, some of that debris - in the form of ice and rocks- burns up in the atmosphere providing a fantastic meteor display in the nighttime sky. In a good year, star-gazers can see anywhere from 150-200 meteors an hour.

Watching the Meteor Shower This Year Will Be Challenging

This year's Perseid Meteor Shower could be a bit disappointing because the peak of the shower coincides with the full moon. The brightly-lit sky can make it difficult to see the faint meteors. However, according to, you should still be able to see plenty of meteors even if the display isn't as spectacular as it normally is.


What Is the Best Time To Watch For Meteors?

The Perseid Meteor Shower actually happens from July 14 to August 24, but, the peak of the shower happens on August 11 and 12. This is the time that gives you the best chance of seeing a celestial light display. Although you could see meteors anytime in the night sky, the best time for watching the Perseids is just before dawn - around 4:00 a.m.

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What Are the Best Places To See the Perseid Meteor Shower in Western Colorado?

For your best chance to see some meteors, you should go the darkest location possible, lean back, and relax - give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark. Not only will the full moon be a hindrance to meteor viewing, but the bright lights of the city can also make it difficult as well.  You don't need binoculars or a telescope. Just try and get your head back into a position where you can see as much sky as possible.

Some good meteor-watching locations include the pull-out on Highway 50 between Grand Junction and Delta, on the Colorado National Monument, and Rabbit Valley, near the Colorado/Utah border. These locations can get you away from the bright lights of the city and increase your chances of seeing plenty of meteors.

STUNNING: Nighttime photos show the Milky Way over 9 national parks and monuments

Colorado is home to four national parks and eight national monuments. Our neighbors to the west, Utah, boasts five national parks and seven national monuments. Also within reach are the parks and monuments of New Mexico and Arizona.

If you're the road-trip type, they're all reachable in a day's drive from Colorado.

While the majority of tourists visiting these parks only witness the phenomenal views during the day, there's a sight to be seen under the stars.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.


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