dark sky parks

Dark Sky Parks in Nevada

Back in the old days, deep, dark skies were the norm. But as the march of progress brought cities and artificial lighting to the masses, the world’s darkest skies began to recede. Today, they’re so rare that we have a designation for such places where you can see the Milky Way and other celestial wonders with the naked eye: certified dark sky parks, reserves, and sanctuaries. Fortunately, Nevada is home to several of them — and that means serious stargazing is possible in various parts of the state.


Visit Some of The Darkest Places in the U.S.

With some of the darkest night skies in the country, Nevada has managed to escape the encroaching light pollution issues the majority of states are plagued with. Check out the 7,000 stars visible to the naked eye in Tonopah, or see the stars and planets of the Milky Way like you’ve never seen them before in Great Basin National Park, one of the least crowded International Dark Sky Parks in North America. If you catch it on the right night, you can watch meteor showers with a front-row view. You make the judgment call if what you’re seeing is a satellite or a flying saucer near Area 51. Whether you explore five miles, or all 110,567 square miles of our state, one night spent on our turf and you’ll see why we’re rated the #1 Stargazing Destination in America by USA Today.


stargazing parks in nevada
Massacre Rim

Spend a Night Under The Stars

If you want to camp in a place with little to no light pollution, you’ll want to take into consideration the time of year you’re visiting. As you can imagine, a state as geographically large and diverse as Nevada experiences four different seasons — sometimes even in the same day! Nevada’s camping hotspots can be visited any time of year if you plan right and the weather cooperates. After all, there’s so much more time to explore the night skies when the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun.

Stargazing Camping Locations in Nevada

We’ve put together a handy guide to the best camping spots in Nevada along with full descriptions, road conditions, amenities, and best times of year to visit. Some of the top spots you’ll find there include Cathedral Gorge State Park between Pioche and Caliente, Jarbidge Wilderness Area north of Elko, Angel Lake near Wells, Death Valley National Park on the southern Nevada/California border, and many more. In each of these locations, you’ll find outstanding views of the night sky and, if you’re lucky, you might catch a shooting star — or maybe a couple dozen.

stargazing camping

Go Ahead, Gaze Away

Dark Skies Finder

With millions of acres of rugged, untamed wilderness, and thousands of miles of get-outside potential, it’s safe to say the Silver State offers dark sky lovers a lifetime of some of the most stellar exploration on Earth. From dark sky locations in national parks to our wondrous, wide-open desertscapes, we’ll show you the least light-polluted corners of the state for your next stargazing journey.

#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.

Night Vision... expanding and exploring into the desert.
Swipe for motion 📽️
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If you like dark skies, ghost towns, wide open empty spaces, and historic parks that are open all night long... Nevada is a good place to be.
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1. Single  ISO 6400  21mm 
f/3.8  20 seconds
2. Timelapse of about an hour. In the beginning you can see when I put the lights in the building. The Milky Way was faint due to a bright moon but can be faintly seen in the sky in the far right.
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#nevada #stateparks #dfmi #ghosttown #milkyway #stargazing #nightscaper #astrophoto #night_captures #nightphotography
#nightsky #longexposure #lightpainting #artofvisuals #astrophotography #abandonedplaces #abandondedbuilding #lightroom #depthsofearth #igworldmilkyway #milkywaygalaxy #nightscaper
#photography #1killershot #photographytips
#TravelNevada #nightshooters #explorecreate
With many key sites in California still closed to us, it’s Nevada for the win!
L👀k up and enjoy the ✨💫⭐️ in #CarsonValleyNV ⁠
When was the last time YOU stargazed ? ⁠
📸: Kim Hunter Steed ⁠
#whyCV ⁠
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#CarsonValley #CarsonValleyNV #MyCarsonValley #TravelNevada #DFMI #exploreNevada #EasternSierra #EasternSierraLove #EasternSierraNevada #hwy395 #milkywayphotography #milkyway #stargazing
Still riding high and in awe of the beauty that occurred 
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#nikon #aurora #auroraborealis #pubity #earthfocus #earthpix #vegas #8NN #travelnevada #astrophotography #nikonoutdoors #hike #hiking #hikingbangers #witns #nightsky #leavenotrace #onlyinnv #only_in_nevada #darkskies #solarstorm #cityoflasvegas #vegasissues
Excited for our next stargazing adventure! #laketahoebucketlist .
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#ledkayak #tahoestars #stargazing #laketahoe #tahoenightlife #bucketlist #luxurytravel #wonderlust #californiatravel #travelnevada photo 📷 brian.walker
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
Stargazing and looking for meteors at the Seven Magic Mountains ☄️🌌 You don’t have to wonder too far from Vegas to catch the meteors. Grab a chair and a few jackets cause it gets 🥶 Shouts to jennayyyyye for helpin me achieve these effects 🔥📸

#astrophotography #travelnevada #sevenmagicmountains #meteorshower
A tired man watching the Milky Way rise through the Vegas city lights in the distance
#photography #landscapephotography #milkyway #pahrump #nevada #astrophotography
Valle of Fire National park 

#valleyoffire #travelphotography #longexposure #photography #luisbonetti
“𝙵𝚘𝚛 𝚖𝚢 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚝, 𝙸 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠 𝚗𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚊𝚗𝚢 𝚌𝚎𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚒𝚗𝚝𝚢, 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎𝚜 𝚖𝚎 𝚍𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚖.” — 𝚅𝚒𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚅𝚊𝚗 𝙶𝚘𝚐𝚑
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