Stargazing in Nevada

Want to cast your gaze upon something truly otherworldly? Nevada is home to some of the darkest skies in the world, meaning stargazing opportunities await in every corner of the state. Camp out in Great Basin National Park (rallying cry: “Half the Park is After Dark”) or explore warm evenings in Death Valley National Park—both of which proudly qualify as International Dark Sky Parks touting Dark Sky Rangers (our version of park rangers) and astronomy festivals that speak to everyone from casual stargazers and amateur astronomers to professional scientists alike.

Your typical night stargazing in Nevada? On moonless nights, all you’ve gotta do is look up, and you’ll be rewarded with thousands of stars, entire constellations, planets, nebulas, and galaxies, usually visible to the naked eye. Even in Nevada’s metro areas like Reno or Las Vegas (the brightest place on Earth), all it takes is about a 30-minute drive to find a front-row seat for a celestial show. However, the deeper you delve into rural Nevada, you’ll find the best places to stargaze in the Silver State—and maybe even find yourself in the darkest place in Nevada.

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darkest place in nevada

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Whether it’s the newest item on your bucket list or the best wrong turn you ever took, whichever corner of this state you venture to, you’re bound to uncover the kind of unexpected encounters, memorable characters, and only-in-Nevada experiences that make this place so damn special. Get your hands on stunning images, surprising stories, colorful characters, do-before-you-die events, and beyond. And just to sweeten the deal, in addition to sending you our official Nevada Visitors Guide, we’ll throw in our swanky state map, too.

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Darkest Place in Nevada

Nevada’s night skies delight in every season. But if you’re craving something truly spectacular, treat yourself to a magnificent glimpse of the Milky Way. From May to September, the Milky Way’s galactic center is on full display, with swirling kaleidoscopic greens, oranges, yellows, and blues visible from all corners of Nevada.

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Want to really get into your elements? Few things are better than admiring the heart of our own galaxy. And there’s nowhere better to do it than right here in the shimmering Silver State.

So, what’s the darkest place in Nevada? That depends… 

Many visitors look to our skies and think they see, well, other types of visitors—especially beneath another storied Nevada dark sky found along the aptly named Extraterrestrial Highway. Keep your eyes peeled for UFOs, satellites, and shooting stars, then cruise a little further west to find another holy grail stargazing favorite at the Tonopah Stargazing Park—in the town ranked as the best one to stargaze in by USA Today. Visit Great Basin National Park and stop by their Astronomy Amphitheater to glimpse the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies during Dark Sky Ranger talks, especially during September’s Great Basin Astronomy Festival (when they bring out the big glass). Or take a ride on Ely’s famous Star Train to learn more about the astronomical world swirling above you in the night sky from a historic steam locomotive. Got a 4×4 rig? Travel to the Massacre Rim Wilderness Study Area, one of the only spots in the United States recognized as a dark sky sanctuary with absolutely zero light pollution, and camp next door at the neighboring Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge for a whole night under the stars. No matter where you choose to kick back, stretch out, and look up, our skies are always here—and always open.

#TravelNevada

Had an out-of-this world experience in the Silver State? Tag #TravelNevada to help us show off the best stargazing in the USA. If we love your photo, you may find it featured here.

Amazing moonrise before the fireworks this year! Did you guys see it?
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#fawnleachphotography #moonrise #moonphotography #fullmoon #teamcanonusa #naturephotography #skyphotography #badmoonarising #nevada #nevadadesert #nevadaphotographer #nevadaphotography #elkonevada #dfmi #4thofjuly #independanceday #canonusa ⁣
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#moonlovers #nightskyphotography #moonshot  #moonpics #moon_of_the_day #nightsky #total_moon
Moonrise over Diamond Peak ski resort last night, July 3rd. Which one of these do you like the best?
Where else can you take pictures like this??? Only in #Tonopah 💫✨ #tonopahnv #tonopahnevada #nevada #dfmi #travelnevada #nevadasilvertrails #homemeansnevada #tonopahhistoricminingpark #tonopahminingpark #jeffthetourguide #roadtrip #nvroadtrip #freerangearthighway #stargazing #starparties #stargazingpark #mizpahhotel #clownmotel #haunted #ghosts #photography
Life on Mars; The Milky Way over Gerlach.⁠
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Things often do not go to plan. Sometimes you head out for a leisurely tour of the desert, and instead your truck breaks, your dog tries to drown himself, and you find yourself completely and utterly exhausted every night at 3:30 AM after yet another ten hours of driving on roads that are much rougher than the last time you were there. And then you set up your camera for about five minutes, take a photo, and then eek out a few more hours of sleep before the sun comes all the way up and it's time to pack up and go home.⁠
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Overall I'd say it was pretty worth it, dog troubles not withstanding. The wabi-sabi of the planet is a beautiful thing to take part in, even though it means accepting that you too will crumble into dust with so much left unseen. ⁠
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After aggregating years of my life here, I'm not sure how many more times I will make it out to this desert. I'd wager that I might not see it many more times, as there are only so many days left and still so many other places. I'm glad I got to see it be new again, and changed from my memories. In the meantime, in internet time, I'll still be there for a while, because I have a lot of new memories to share.

#blackrockdesert #blackrock #blackrockcity #theplaya #burningman2020 #a7iii #sony20mmf18 #sonya7iii #milkyway #milkywaychasers #nightphotography #bestdarkphoto #nightsky #deserts #desertlife #desertlandscape #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #solstice #summersolstice
Stayin’ up late. Morey Peak WSA, Nye County.
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#wildnevada22 #nevada #campnevada #hikenevada #nyecounty #tonopahnevada #tonopahbrewingco #mizpah #tonopahstartrails #darksky #star #bortlescale #geographyofhope #moreypeakwsa #hotcreekrange #travelnevada #nvmag #greatbasin #natural_nevada #nevadadesert #nevadacamping #nevadalandscapes #optoutside #explorenevada #centralnevada #natgeo #outdoorphotographer #nightlife #nevada_outside #nyecounty #remotenevada
Gold Mining and Reaching for the Stars! Tribute to Shorty Harris statues by Fred Bervorts, with a Prospector and a Penguin, and Star Trails at the Goldwell Open Air Museum at the Rhyolite Ghost Town in Beatty, NV. Taken on June 20, 2020 during our Star Trails and Light Painting in Death Valley Night Photography Workshop with creativephotoacademy, led by Instructors cassonephotography and redheadkatrina. Keep on reaching for the Stars and have a Terrific Thursday, everyone! 🌠👥📷 
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STACKED
Instagram.com/christineanneho
Facebook.com/christineanneho

Nikon D810 
Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 
14mm at f/2.8 

June 20, 2020 between 8:48 PM and 9:40 PM, for a total of 1 hour and 8 minutes. 
34 pictures stacked and edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

For all 34 Star Trail exposures, 90 seconds each at ISO 400.
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#deathvalley #deathvalleynationalpark deathvalleynps #deathvalleylove #nationalparklife #rhyolite #rhyoliteghosttown #beatty #nevada #goldwellopenairmuseum goldwellmuseum #tributetoshortyharris #creativephotoacademy creativephotoacademy #paulsphoto pauls.photo #cpadvjune2020 #startrails #startrailchasers startrailchasers #ig_startrails #longexposure_shots #raw_nightshots #raw_longexposure #raw_community_member #exploredesertcities exploredesertcities #onceupon_the_earth #onlyinnevada only_in_nevada #abc7eyewitness #cbsla #nbcla #nikond810 #nikkor1424 #nikonnofilter #nikonlove
Excited for our next stargazing adventure! #laketahoebucketlist .
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#ledkayak #tahoestars #stargazing #laketahoe #tahoenightlife #bucketlist #luxurytravel #wonderlust #californiatravel #travelnevada photo 📷 brian.walker
Good Friday to all! The Last Supper statues by Albert Szukalski, with Star Trails at the Goldwell Open Air Museum at the Rhyolite Ghost Town. The Star Trails add showers of blessing to these amazing plaster sculptures, which amazingly have endured the extreme over 100 degree heat in this desert! Taken during our Star Trails and Light Painting in Death Valley Night Photography Workshop with creativephotoacademy, and Instructors cassonephotography and redheadkatrina. This was one of our last pictures of the Workshop! 🌠👬👬👬👬👬👬📷❤🙏 
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STACKED
Instagram.com/christineanneho
Facebook.com/christineanneho 

Nikon D810 
Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 
14mm at f/2.8 

June 20, 2020 between 10:57 PM - 11:34 PM, for a total of 37 minutes.
15 pictures stacked and edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

For the first image, 20 seconds at f/2.8, and ISO 4000.

For all of the 14 Star Trails pictures, 90 seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 400.
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#deathvalley #deathvalleynationalpark deathvalleynps #deathvalleylove #nationalparklife #rhyolite #rhyoliteghosttown #goldwellopenairmuseum goldwellmuseum #lastsupper #creativephotoacademy creativephotoacademy #paulsphoto pauls.photo #cpadvjune2020 #astrophotography #startrails
#startrailchasers startrailchasers #ig_startrails #onlyinnevada only_in_nevada  #exploredesertcities exploredesertcities #onceupon_the_earth #raw_nightshots #raw_longexposure #raw_community_member #longexposure_shots #nightshooters  #abc7eyewitness #cbsla #nbcla #nikond810 #nikkor1424 #nikonnofilter #nikonlove
I've been fortunate to enjoy some glorious night skies but this night...was just phenomenal. Around midnight, I am driving in one of the loneliest roads in the world (notorious for UFO activity). Out of the window, I suddenly see this glowing object. I cannot believe it - it's the core of the Milky Way. Such luminosity that I can see it with my naked eyes from inside the car!! I immediately pull over to check the GPS and offline maps. I need a worthy foreground. I find this
With many key sites in California still closed to us, it’s Nevada for the win!
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