stargazing in Nevada


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

stargazing map


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. 

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 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.

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.

Elephant Rock stars
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.

Did you see our Star Trains featured on CBS and on NBC Las Vegas? Go to our facebook page
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! 🌠👥📷 

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.
#deathvalley #deathvalleynationalpark deathvalleynps #deathvalleylove #nationalparklife #rhyolite #rhyoliteghosttown #beatty #nevada #goldwellopenairmuseum goldwellmuseum #tributetoshortyharris #creativephotoacademy creativephotoacademy #paulsphoto #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
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
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
L👀k up and enjoy the ✨💫⭐️ in #CarsonValleyNV ⁠
When was the last time YOU stargazed ? ⁠
📸: Kim Hunter Steed ⁠
#whyCV ⁠
#CarsonValley #CarsonValleyNV #MyCarsonValley #TravelNevada #DFMI #exploreNevada #EasternSierra #EasternSierraLove #EasternSierraNevada #hwy395 #milkywayphotography #milkyway #stargazing
Discover one of the best #NationalParks for hiking and stargazing @GreatBasinNPS  in this detailed guide by @americanfldtrp >> 

@TravelNevada #HowtoTravelNevada @travelmindset
First Milky Way lapse of the year! Feels good to get out again shooting time lapses near home ❤️ #home #Overton #lasvegas #longexposure #nightphotography
Excited for our next stargazing adventure! #laketahoebucketlist .
#ledkayak #tahoestars #stargazing #laketahoe #tahoenightlife #bucketlist #luxurytravel #wonderlust #californiatravel #travelnevada photo 📷 brian.walker
A night out stargazing in #imlaynevada #travelnevada #getoutside
Night Vision... expanding and exploring into the desert.
Swipe for motion 📽️
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.
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.
#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