dark skies nevada

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.

 

Waxing, waning, full or crescent? Find out which mood the moon will be in tonight or on your next Nevada backcountry stargazing trip.

The Darkest, Quietest Skies in the USA

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. 

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.

International Car Forest of the Last Church

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.

starry skies
Sand Mountain Recreation Area

Travel Nevada Pro Tip

Embark on an adventure of astronomical proportions along the “Starry-est Route in America.” The Park to Park in the Dark route takes you from Death Valley to Great Basin via some of the least light-polluted spaces in small towns in the Lower 48. Just make sure you’re prepared to truly be in the dark. We’re talkin’ long stretches with no cell service, no other people, no nothin’—besides a few thousand stars. Do your homework, journey safely, and let the memories beam down.

Silver State Soundtracks

Stargazing Soundtrack by Travel Nevada

Nevada is home to some of the darkest (and therefore brightest) skies in the Lower 48. It’s easy to spot thousands of stars, distinct constellations, and even other galaxies—often with your naked eye. Here’s a Silver State Soundtrack sure to make your speakers shimmer when you’re out here gazin’.

Great Basin Astronomy Festival

Stellar Solitude in Nevada

“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.

Tonopah Historic Mining Park

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. 

Massacre Rim

BLM Nevada

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.

Excited for our next stargazing adventure! #laketahoebucketlist .
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#ledkayak #tahoestars #stargazing #laketahoe #tahoenightlife #bucketlist #luxurytravel #wonderlust #californiatravel #travelnevada photo 📷 brian.walker
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
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
“Tonopah Trail”  Tonopah Army Air Field, Tonopah, NV  This army airfield (predecessor to the Air Force) was constructed in 1941 to serve as a training facility for various Army Air Force squadrons during WWII.  The airfield was active until August, 1945, and in 1948 it was deactivated and transferred to the town of Tonopah. All that remains of what was at one time one of the Army Air Forces largest airfield is several wooden hangers, such as this one.  #visitnevada #visittonopah #nyecounty #nightskyphotography #milkyway #abandonedafterdark #abandonedplaces #usarmy #usairforce #nightphotography #nightsky #astrophotography #highdesert #nightscapes #nightscapephotography #darksky #darkskypark
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
More star pictures ⭐️ #astrophotography#milkyway#14mmf28#nature#camping#walkerriver#nevada#milkeywaychasers#rokinon14mm#fullmoon#thegreatoutdoors#reiproject1440#offroad#stargazing
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 pauls.photo #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
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
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#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
“When we’re dancing, the night begins to shine...”

Prize to anyone who can tell me where this quote is from without googling it.
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#hellofrom #nevada #greatbasinnationalpark #milkyway #amazingearth #universetoday #igpodium_night #amazing_longexpo #stargazing #startrails #nightscape #ptk_night #timelessuniverse #nightscaper #starrynight #igpodium #long_exposure #nightphotography #astro_photography_ #longexpoelite #night_excl #astrophotography #longexpohunter #nightshooters #nightsky #lazyshutters #astronomy #ig_nightphotography #longexposure #astrophoto
Discover one of the best #NationalParks for hiking and stargazing @GreatBasinNPS  in this detailed guide by @americanfldtrp >> https://t.co/YUcB6u614c 

@TravelNevada #HowtoTravelNevada @travelmindset https://t.co/oJ7igB2lVp
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