stargazing, stargazing Nevada, Nevada stargazing, night skies, milky way

Stargazing

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.

Highlights

  • The Last True Dark Skies in America
  • Best Stargazing in Nevada
  • Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the Silver State
Tele-Scope Fave Spots

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

Season

Summer & Fall

Region

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. 

stargazing, night skies, starry skies
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.

stargazing, nevada stargazing, night skies, nevada night skies, stargazing at Tonopah
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.

stargazing, night skies, Elephant Rock, 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.

#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.

Moonrise over Diamond Peak ski resort last night, July 3rd. Which one of these do you like the best?
More star pictures ⭐️ #astrophotography#milkyway#14mmf28#nature#camping#walkerriver#nevada#milkeywaychasers#rokinon14mm#fullmoon#thegreatoutdoors#reiproject1440#offroad#stargazing
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
The cloudy skies 2 hours before sunset last night didn’t give me a lot of confidence that I was going to be able to shoot any milky way. I was going to turn around but decided to drive to Goldfield anyways just for the drive. I arrived at 9pm and I was rewarded with clear skies. Setup my tripood, grabbed a chair, and just snapped away for almost 2 hours. Figured I’ll get my shot for image stacking, Star trails, and a time lapse! Multitasking. Also it was going to be the last night was nice weather. It was 62 degrees, this time I remembered to bring pants and a jacket. Starting next week, we’ll be in the triple digits so you’re going to see a lot of night photography from me for a while. ————————————————————————
#nikon D810
#nikkor 14-24mm ƒ/2.8
15 sec ƒ/2.8
14mm
ISO 1250 .
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#goldfieldghosttown #nevada #travelnevada #astrophotography #photo #photography #longexposure #longexposurephotography #nikonnofilter #nightskyphotography #starrynight #starrysky #nightscape #nightshot #nightscaper #nightphotography #natgeospace #instashot #instaphoto #instaphotography #nightpics #yourshotphotographer #nightsky #startrails #publiclandowner
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
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
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
✨ star chasing
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#milkyway #nightshots #astrophotography #getlost #nikonphotography #galaxy #astrography_ #jupitersetting #dontfencemein #travelnevada #darkskies #nightscaper #ownthenight #astronomy #longexposure #stargazing #cosmos #nightscape #vegas #lasvegas #exploremore #mojavedesert #perspective #desertphotography #vegasskies #visittheusa #findyourparks #reise #amateurphotography #fotografia
Hardest part about shooting the Milky Way...getting the courage to go sit outside in the dark by yourself for 1-3 hours during the middle of the night.
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#nightscape #nightphotography #milkywaychasers #milkywayphotography #astrophotography #longexpoelite #nightsky #nightskyphotography #travelnevada #nvstateparks #cathedralgorge #outdoortones #outside_project #outdooradventures #wildernesstones #wildernessnation #idratherbeinnature #justgoshoot #sonyalpha #createcommune #bealpha #creativetones #artofvisuals #bevisuallyinspired #marvelshots #sonyimages #sonyworldclub #yourshotphotographer
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
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