dark skies nevada


Nevada stargazing is unbeatable, because the state is home to more of the last true dark skies than anywhere in America. Unblemished, unbelievably crisp, clear starry night skies can be found in all corners of the Silver State, thanks to the way Nevada’s history concentrated almost all of its 3 million residents into two metro areas and a handful of intriguing little towns. Even when you’re in a small town like Ely, Tonopah, and Gerlach—dark sky sanctuaries await, right on the outskirts, where solitude is felt and nature runs wild. Find out how to stargaze with the naked eye in the Silver State as you take a look up at the Nevada night sky.

What is Stargazing?

Wondering, “what is stargazing?” It’s exactly what it sounds like: looking up and soaking in the wonder of a deep, dark sky and appreciating the majesty of it all. The thing is: you don’t need professional equipment such as telescopes or an astrophotography rig to enjoy Nevada stargazing. All you need is a sense of curiosity and a clear night.

what is stargazing
International Car Forest of the Last Church
Sand Mountain Recreation Area

How to Stargaze?

Now, we said you don’t have to get all fancy with how to stargaze, but we’re totally fine if you do. If you’re able to pull out the big ‘scopes, star charts, stargazing apps, and other accoutrement of the trade, go for it. But Nevada is the ideal place for the amateur stargazer, too.

There are endless gadgets and tools you can use for locating the Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt, and other notable constellations. But you may be amazed to find that they’re all super easy to spot in Nevada’s dark skies. Whatever you have (or don’t) — just get here to witness these heavenly wonders.

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

nevada night sky

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’.


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.

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
Did you see our Star Trains featured on CBS and on NBC Las Vegas? Go to our facebook page
Don’t forget to add stargazing to your travel itinerary✅

P.S. The stars shine brighter in Henderson ✨🌎💫 📸: shay_na

#VisitHenderson #Stargazing #DesertSkies #VacationItinerary #TravelItinerary #StarWatching #DesertViews
Throwback to the deserts of Vegas. Although Vegas is a party city it was so nice to explore the outskirts and see what Nevada had to offer. 🌵
“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
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.

#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
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
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
ISO 1250 .
#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
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.
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