True darkness abounds right here in the Silver State, beckoning professional astronomers, amateur stargazers, and every level of starstruck curiosity in between from all corners of the globe. While thousands of stars can be seen from any city or town across the Silver State, the deeper you get into Nevada, the further you find yourself in the heart of your very own galaxy. And, there’s no better place to get to know real stargazing in Nevada and bask beneath the brightest stars among the darkest skies than at the Tonopah Stargazing Park.
Nationally recognized as one of the best places in the United States to experience breathtaking stargazing in the darkest skies, the Tonopah Stargazing Park just so happens to be some of the best stargazing in Nevada, thanks to minimal light pollution from area city lights. Here, your idea of the darkest skies becomes redefined, where you can see thousands of stars, planets, constellations, galaxies and beyond, all visible to the naked eye on any average ol’ night from the Tonopah Stargazing Park—which has been masterfully outfitted with picnic tables and concrete pads as the perfect place to stage telescopes or long exposure cameras. But if you just so happen to cruise through Tonopah on a moonless night—or even better, plan to arrive on a new moon cycle—more than 7,000 stars shine overhead, unveiling some of the most spectacular Milky Way viewing in the Lower 48.
That, and many visitors look to our dark skies and think they’ll cross pass with well—other types of visitors—especially along the Extraterrestrial Highway. Tonopah bookends this legendary Nevada Road trip, so while you’re looking above, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for UFOs, satellites, and of course a whole lot of shooting stars. Before you hit the road and make the Tonopah Stargazing Park part of the itinerary, be sure to check ahead at Tonopah Clear Sky Chart for optimal dark sky viewing conditions, too.
The Tonopah Stargazing Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The only thing preventing you from staking your spot among the observation sites would be a seasonal, weather-related closure. For more info on the Tonopah Stargazing Park, be sure to get in touch with the Town of Tonopah office at (775) 482-6336.
The Tonopah Stargazing Park is managed by the Town of Tonopah, who offers free stargazing access available to all. Keep an eye out for monthly Star Parties hosted here from June to October (small fee for event entry) and annual nighttime photography workshops hosted at the Stargazing Park and nearby Tonopah Historic Mining Park.