As the sun breaks the horizon of Arizona’s Coconino Plateau backlighting the towering San Francisco Peaks in the distance and illuminating the vibrant colors of nearby Red Butte, it reflects off a complex of dozens of geodesic dome structures nestled amongst a scattered grove of low-lying juniper trees and spilling into the surrounding high desert grasslands beyond. Near the center, is a much larger dome and a sign heralding your arrival at Clear Sky Resorts at Grand Canyon. This flagship property of America’s first and only Luxury Sky Dome resort is in sparsely-populated Valle, Arizona, approximately twenty-five miles south of the Grand Canyon South Rim and fifty miles northwest of Flagstaff.
Located near the intersection of Arizona Route 64 and U.S. Route 180, often referred to as Grand Canyon Junction, you’re only twenty minutes from the one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the Grand Canyon. The canyon and adjacent rims are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, established as the 17th U.S. national park in 1919 after eleven years of fighting efforts by private land and mining interests to block the designation. This Act of Congress preserved hundreds of miles of hiking trails, many worn into the earth over thousands of years by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves. There’s something for every explorer – from easy wheelchair-accessible paved paths to long, well-maintained corridor trails into the inner canyon to difficult primitive trails and routes-less-traveled.
A thousand miles to the north in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Montana, the same sun stretches to rise over the massive peaks of the Lewis Range, illuminating the northeastern flanks of the rugged Flathead Range, home of Clear Sky Resorts at Glacier National Park. Filtered by the surrounding lush old-growth forest of aromatic cedar, hemlock, pine and fir, it takes longer for the sun’s rays to warm the air. Tucked inside your climate-controlled Luxury Sky Dome, you don’t notice the early morning chill until you venture into the outdoors you’ve come to explore.
Situated on scenic U.S. Highway 2, which runs adjacent to the tracks of the Great Northern Railway between the resort and the scenic Middle Fork of the Flathead River, this first location of America’s only Luxury Sky Dome Resort is a few miles northwest of tiny Pinnacle, Montana and just fifteen miles southeast of Glacier National Park’s West Entrance. Dubbed the “Crown of the Continent” by early explorers, this region straddling the Continental Divide was declared a national park in 1910. Known for its majestic beauty, the park features abundant wildlife and vivid blue glacier-fed lakes and rivers so clear you can see the fish swimming by. With over 700 miles of trails providing both short hikes and extended backpacking trips, as well as the 50-mile long Going-to-the-Sun Road’s many scenic viewing opportunities, there’s something for adventurers of all abilities.
Inspired by parents who introduced them to travel at a young age, the owners of Clear Sky Resorts developed a deep love of the great outdoors while experiencing the grandeur of America’s national and state parks on family trips. Fond memories of their fun childhood vacations led to the development of a new brand of resort, committed to creating one-of-a-kind experiences by combing unique accommodations at the country’s most special places.
To do that they had to first create spaces that offered all the comforts of a luxury hotel room while simultaneously giving the feeling of camping outdoors under a canopy of thousands of stars.
More than just a scenic canvas, naturally dark nights have the ability to inspire wonder and awe. But visualizing the vastness of the universe is becoming more rare as the growth of light pollution steals the stars from the skies. Dark sky reserves and parks, the majority located in or near national and state parks, preserve and protect the cultural heritage that stories of shooting stars, comets and constellations illuminate for our children, grandchildren and future generations.
A year of research led the Clear Sky visionaries to a geodesic dome structure with an expansive window and an oversized skylight providing epic stargazing from the comfort of a luxurious bed. Constructed of a network of triangles creating a self-supporting framework that provides structural strength, the high volume-to-surface ratio uses 30% less building materials than standard construction. The Luxury Sky Domes are incredibly energy efficient simply because of their shape – the ambient airflow of the HVAC system inside each dome is continuous, with no stagnant corners, therefore requiring less energy to circulate air and maintain even temperatures. With fewer flat surfaces allowing the structure to shed the elements, each dome can withstand the powerful winds and over-the-top precipitation of extreme weather.
The Clear Sky Resorts brand promotes connection to nature, so it’s fitting that the décor and furnishings bring a touch of the outside wilderness to the inside of many of their Luxury Sky Domes. Wall-sized murals of the surrounding landscape, clean-burning, free-standing ethanol fireplaces or firepits and hand-hewn log bed frames that support princess-worthy mattresses piled high with luxurious white high-thread-count linens bring the outside in. Each dome’s expansive window has curtains that can be closed for privacy and a private bath that comes stocked with thick, soft towels, robes and slippers. Beyond ordinary, every Clear Sky Resorts Luxury Sky Dome comes outfitted with a telescope for zeroing in on planets, galaxies and nebulas in the starry night skies. All domes also include one of Clear Sky’s signature cozy hanging chairs inside and a comfy hammock outside on the private oversized deck. Some domes come with circular hanging beds suspended under the skylight. Research shows that swaying, long employed by parents to comfort infants, is an especially soothing motion providing light sensory stimulation that synchronizes and strengthens our brain waves, leading to a restful state and deeper sleep with a quicker onset.
Clear Sky Resorts’ Glacier National Park boasts sixteen Luxury Sky Domes scattered throughout a lush, aromatic mixed conifer forest surrounded by rugged peaks. Some are 2-person, one-bed domes – one called the “Going-to-the-Sun” dome has a spiral staircase that leads to circular bed hanging under the oversized skylight.
Their 4-person, “Glacier National Park” dome has a queen-sized bed on the ground floor and a staircase leading to a queen-sized bed closer to the skylight in the loft. The family-sized 5-person “Glacier Peak” dome features a queen-sized bed on the main floor and another second queen bed and twin bed separated by a wall in the second-floor loft.
Clear Sky Resorts’ flagship Grand Canyon property has ten styles of Luxury Sky Domes sprouting from the expansive high desert plateau. Many are tastefully themed with unique décor and furnishings that invite you to escape the ordinary with a vacation that’s extraordinary. The 2-person “Grand Canyon” domes are accented with a queen-sized, hand-hewn log bed and a wall-sized mural producing the illusion of sleeping in the quiet hush at the bottom of the deep canyon. The “Grand Canyon Deluxe” dome sleeps 5, with one queen-sized log bed on the main floor and two beds, one queen-sized and one twin-sized, in the loft. The 2-person “Stairway to the Stars” domes substitute a circular bed suspended under the skylight and accessed via a spiral staircase. You’ll actually experience what it must feel like to sleep in an eagle’s nest, built high on the canyon walls depicted in the wall-sized backdrop.
How do you take a vacation experience that’s extraordinary and make it out-of-this-world? The theme experience fashioned by Clear Sky Resorts in a handful of their forty-five Luxury Sky Domes at the Grand Canyon will take you over-the-top. They bring Deep Space inside a galaxy-themed dome that sleeps 7, starting with an oversized circular Galaxy bed and Space Pod twin bunks against a planetary wall-sized mural on the ground floor. Another queen-sized bed and twin-sized bed in the easily accessible loft put guests closer to the “real deal” viewed nightly through the oversized skylight.
Clear Sky Resorts’ “Pink” Luxury Sky Domes at the Grand Canyon are reminiscent of a fictional cat-like character with a red bow and no mouth produced by the Japanese company Sanrio. Youthful and playful, this colorful dome features themed linens and unique egg-shaped chairs next to the clean burning fireplace. “Pink” domes sleep 5, with a queen-sized bed on the main floor, and another queen bed and a twin bed in the upper loft.
Relive the 80’s with a spectacular throwback video game-themed experience only found at Clear Sky Resorts Grand Canyon. Guests, young and old, will go crazy anew over unlimited play of the retro maze chase video game named after its fictional protagonist shaped like a piece of pizza with a missing slice. These Luxury Sky Domes technically sleep 5, using an oversized circular queen bed on the main floor and another queen bed and a twin bed in the loft. That’s assuming you can get the never-ending digital “waka waka waka” sound the video game makes as the character progresses through the maze to stop for the night.
Secretly dream of life as a suave British secret agent? Clear Sky Resorts at the Grand Canyon pays homage to the world’s most iconic spy starting with a Q-inspired bed with Bluetooth speakers against a spy-themed mural backdrop. Matching gold chairs seemingly clad in the smuggled precious metal will have you asking for your happy hour martini to be shaken, not stirred. An authentic London red telephone booth, seen as a British cultural icon throughout the world, completes the look and presents photo opportunities galore in these 5-person themed Luxury Sky Domes.
Last, but definitely in a “we saved the best for last” way, the Grand Canyon location has Clear Sky Resorts’ first Luxury Sky Dome clad entirely with panels of insulated, tempered glass. This dome is truly a sight to behold and hosts an unforgettable overnight experience for a party of two. At night the stars, seemingly magnified by the glass, appear close enough for the guests sleeping inside to reach out and touch. A night in this dome and you’ll know why people who live in glass houses not only shouldn’t throw stones, they also shouldn’t forget to draw the privacy curtains.
Beyond the Luxury Sky Domes, the Clear Sky Resorts brand promotes connection to people. You won’t find televisions here because this place is about the chance to form bonds that last a lifetime – a sort of upscale summer camp for all ages that creates fun-filled opportunities to get to know your fellow guests, your family and even yourself. Unless you’re sleeping under the stars, Clear Sky aims to get you out of your own dome and mingling with the other guests and families at the Welcome Dome.
At the heart of every Clear Sky Resorts location, everything revolves around the oversized Welcome Dome. Every jaw-dropping Welcome Dome takes the wow factor to a whole new level in its own unique local way. Each is designed to bring the beauty of the outdoors inside, using inspiration from the surrounding wild places. Created by general manager and artist-in-residence Sandra Davis, a river painted with epoxy resin appears three-dimensional as it flows through the Welcome Dome at Glacier National Park. The artistic floor mimics the nearby glacier-fed Flathead River, a brilliant turquoise blue and so clear it’s difficult to determine the depth of the river just by looking at it. Using repurposed corrugated metal with the perfect rust patina, epoxy resin and a collection of local rocks gathered by her grandchildren and team members, Davis has also ensured the domes furnishings are one-of-a-kind artistic re-creations of the outdoors unique to the resort.
All Welcome Domes feature bed-like chairs, sized for the whole family, which hang suspended from the cavernous, twenty-six foot ceiling in front of the room-sized panoramic windows, beckoning guests to swing for a spell. All Welcome Domes are furnished with large sectionals, along with other unique seating, providing plenty of space for resort guests to mingle, planning their next adventure. From daily food options to happy hours, these resort hubs were designed to host a warm and friendly community atmosphere of camaraderie not found at traditional resorts. Nightly smores next to one of the signature firepits signals a sweet end to each memorable day.
Fun, family-friendly activities connect guests to each other and make every Clear Sky Resorts vacation once-in-a-lifetime. Classic yard games like croquet, bocce, horseshoes, and their modern day counterparts – lawn darts, frisbee golf and cornhole – help both kids and adults burn off the extra sugar boost provided by the nightly smores. There’s nothing like dancing under the stars to live local music to put a grin on the face of everyone from one to one hundred. Storytelling nights under the stars, sitting around the firepit mesmerized by topics like native folklore, astronomy, geology or wildlife biology make for unforgettable experiences that not only entertain and educate, but inspire. Movie nights are a chance to snuggle under blankets watching that night’s feature under the shimmery dark sky.
Every Clear Sky Resorts location has unique amenities exclusive to only that particular resort. At Glacier National Park, the on-site Tavern at Stanton Lake boasts of a full bar and an American cuisine menu. Stop by for a cold one after completing the popular 3.8-mile out and back hiking trail to beautiful Stanton Lake which begins at the resort and features a river and great views.
Unique amenities at the Grand Canyon resort include a 360 degree Projection Dome, an entire empty dome turned into a planetarium-like movie screen for a truly immersive short film experience. After the sun goes down, Grand Canyon guests can still enjoy the lighted 9-hole disk golf course and lighted sculpture art walk path by night. This location will also host an on-site food truck to keep guests fueled for all the fun. Coming to the Grand Canyon in 2022, an Event Dome will create an impressive space for weddings and other special occasions.
Clear Sky Resorts has plans to add their brand of amazing, one-of-a-kind vacation experiences to new locations near national and state parks around the U.S. at the rate of at least one new location each year. Watching their guests experience the resort, hearing the stories they tell of their adventures and seeing the wildlife and spectacular scenery they capture with their cameras is affirmation Clear Sky is on the right track for helping guests create memories that last a lifetime. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing getaway, you can escape the ordinary with a vacation that’s extraordinary at Clear Sky Resorts.
– Clear Sky Resorts 2021 Media Kit (PDF)