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Savor True Darkness and Celestial Wonders in the Silver State

Flush with thousands of glimmering stars, constellations, bright planets, galaxies, and beyond—all remarkably visible to the naked eye—Nevada speaks with some of the last true dark skies in America. Unblemished, unbelievably crisp, clear starry night skies can be found in all corners of the Silver State, thanks to the way Nevada was considerate enough to concentrate almost all of its 3 million residents into two metro areas and a handful of intriguing little towns. Even when you’re in town—in places like Ely, Tonopah, and Gerlach—dark sky sanctuaries await, right on the outskirts, where solitude is felt and nature runs wild.


  • The Last True Dark Skies in America
  • Best Stargazing in Nevada
  • Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the Silver State
All Nevada Stargazing

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.

The Darkest, Quietest Skies in the USA


Summer & Fall


All but Southern

Imagine being in a place so dark, you can’t see your hand in front of your face without your headlamp illuminated. Just you and millions of stars like you’ve never seen before, sparkling overhead in a place where darkness reveals true beauty. Sold? Yeah, we are too. Thousands of stars can be seen from any city or town across the Silver State—even places like Reno and Las Vegas deliver celestial shows at times. But the deeper you get into Nevada, the further you find yourself in the nexus of your very own galaxy. Here in the Silver State, true darkness abounds, beckoning professional astronomers, amateur stargazers, and every level of starstruck curiosity in between from all over the world. 

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Sand Mountain Recreation Area

“Half the Park is After Dark” is Great Basin National Park’s rallying cry, making it a satisfyingly easy way to get into stargazing in Nevada. Even during a full moon, you can expect a stunning, starry show at Great Basin, any time of the year. If you really wanna get your astro-geek on, get the park’s annual Great Basin Astronomy Festival on the calendar (late September), where park rangers and astronomers school you, your family, and friends about daytime and nighttime astronomy with special telescopes, while hosting speakers from around the world, photography workshops, community rocket building, and more.

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Tonopah Historic Mining Park

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

As one of only 7 designated Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world, head for northwestern Nevada’s Massacre Rim to experience one of the darkest skies on this planet.

You’ll find Nevada’s most pristine stargazing—we’re talking dazzling, infinite, heavenly night skies—all over central, eastern, and northern Nevada, thanks to a complete lack of light pollution from large cities, or even big towns. A “true dark sky” is a natural resource that’s becoming increasingly rare. That’s why the International Dark Sky Association has officially designated eastern Nevada’s Great Basin National Park an International Dark Sky Park; and not only does it claim to be one of the darkest places in the Lower 48, but also one of the quietest.

In love with the Silver State as much as we are? Learn what you can do to help us keep the places we cherish special—and open—for us and future generations.

stargazing, night skies, Elephant Rock, Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park

Stellar Solitude in Nevada

With more than 300 named mountain ranges, 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 exploration. Departing from Ely’s Nevada Northern Railway Museum, get your ticket to the summertime Star Train. With Dark Sky Rangers of Great Basin National Park aboard, plan for a heavenly evening brimming with locomotive history and night sky delight. Or head for Tonopah’s Stargazing Park—outfitted with cement pads for BYO telescopes—to set your sights on what USA Today says is the #1 Stargazing Destination in America. 

How about 101,000 acres of solitude—hours from hotels, electricity, and paved roads—smack dab in the middle of a whole lot of adventure? With absolutely zero light pollution, one of the darkest skies on the planet is found at Nevada’s Massacre Rim—one of only 7 designated Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world. Situated in remote northwestern Nevada, about an hour north of Gerlach, these public lands are so secluded that they’re not only considered to be one of the darkest places in Nevada, but the continental U.S. Feel the enormity of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies—both bright and clearly visible to the naked eye here—along with millions of stars so bright, they actually cast a shadow.

Get Your Eyes on the Skies

With some of the darkest nighttime skies in the country, Nevada has managed to escape the encroaching light pollution issues the majority of our bordering neighbors are plagued with. Check out the 7,000 stars visible to the naked eye in Tonopah, or see the Milky Way like you’ve never seen it before in Great Basin National Park. 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 miles of our countryside, one night spent on our turf and you’ll see why we’re rated the #1 Stargazing Destination in America by USA Today.


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.

Milky Way rising over the Seven Magic Mountains art installation outside Vegas. This is my most challenging milky way picture to date. Between the light pollution from Las Vegas, State Line, and Henderson I had to be extremely careful with the post processing. On top of that the bright colors of the Seven Magic Mountains Art Installation required a lot of fine tuning to keep them try to life while bringing out the Milky Way in the distance.
Katrina redheadkatrina spinning a Green Orb Light Painted Ball at the back of the Goldwell Open Air Museum House, with the Milky Way rising above in the skies. Taken at Rhyolite Ghost Town in Beatty, NV in Death Valley National Park with the creativephotoacademy, led by cassonephotography and redheadkatrina. This was our very last photo shoot of the night and of our Star Trails and Light Painting in Death Valley Photography Workshop, early this morning at 12:20 AM on June 21, 2020. Good Nigjt and Sweet Dreams, everyone! 🌌🏠💚📷 #deathvalley #deathvalleynationalpark deathvalleynps #deathvalleylove #nationalparklife #rhyolite #rhyoliteghosttown #beatty #nevada #creativephotoacademy  creativephotoacademy #paulsphoto #onlyinnevada only_in_nevada  #exploredesertcities exploredesertcities #onceupon_the_earth #astrophotography #milkyway #milkywaychasers #thegreatmilkywaychase #ig_milkyway #longexposure #longexposure_shots #raw_longexposure #bestpicsaround  #shannasshots #abc7eyewitness #cbsla #nbcla #nikond810 #nikkor2470mm #nikonnofilter #nikonlove
First Milky Way lapse of the year! Feels good to get out again shooting time lapses near home ❤️ #home #Overton #lasvegas #longexposure #nightphotography
Moonrise over Diamond Peak ski resort last night, July 3rd. Which one of these do you like the best?
Amazing moonrise before the fireworks this year! Did you guys see it?
#fawnleachphotography #moonrise #moonphotography #fullmoon #teamcanonusa #naturephotography #skyphotography #badmoonarising #nevada #nevadadesert #nevadaphotographer #nevadaphotography #elkonevada #dfmi #4thofjuly #independanceday #canonusa ⁣
#moonlovers #nightskyphotography #moonshot  #moonpics #moon_of_the_day #nightsky #total_moon
Metropolis NV. I have had this shot planned for two years. I finally made it out to the desert to shoot a series of star trails. First Astro session of the year! #startrails #nevadadesert #nevadamagazine #nightsky #nikond850 #nightskyphotography
Life on Mars; The Milky Way over Gerlach.⁠
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.⁠
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. ⁠
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
By - djmikeyswift
📱LG G7 Red Rock Canyon - USA 🇺🇲

USE - #smartphoneshotz  #smart_phone_shotz

Shot on phone in manual mode.
It is 5 images stacked for noise reduction.
ISO 1200
20 Seconds
#nevadadesert #nvusworldwide #nightskyline #nightshot #starset #roadtripusa🇺🇸 #pointandclickadventure #explorationdot #NightPhotography #NightShooters #NightShooterz #LongExposure #LongExposure_Shots #NightImages #NightPics #StarPhotography #NightScape #MilkyWayGalaxy #AstroPhotography #Photography #WideAngle #LG #LGMobile #LGG7 #ShotOnLG #ShotOnLGG7
Excited for our next stargazing adventure! #laketahoebucketlist .
#ledkayak #tahoestars #stargazing #laketahoe #tahoenightlife #bucketlist #luxurytravel #wonderlust #californiatravel #travelnevada photo 📷 brian.walker
Discover one of the best #NationalParks for hiking and stargazing @GreatBasinNPS  in this detailed guide by @americanfldtrp >> 

@TravelNevada #HowtoTravelNevada @travelmindset