Dark sky preserves across the state offer stellar stargazing experiences.

Massacre Rim, Vya ©Kurt Kuznicki

For our ancestors, a view of the cosmos made for nightly scenery. Today, most of us enjoy the stars only a few times a year. The reason? A pristine night sky has become something of a luxury, and even areas outside cities can’t escape the light pollution. But in Nevada, wide-open landscapes promise plentiful stargazing opportunities. 


Massacre Rim

There are dark skies, and then there are dark skies, like what glimmers overhead at the Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary. This remote desertscape joins a mere six other locations around the world as one of the darkest places on Earth. Reno—the nearest city—is 150 miles south, and the nearest services are 40 miles away, so plan accordingly before making the trek. 

Great Basin National Park


Great Basin National Park

The night sky found at Nevada’s only national park ranks among the best in the nation: you’ll see the Milky Way on stunning display each night. Stargazing here is something of a specialty, evident in the park’s research-grade observatory.

Throughout summer and fall, visitors can attend ranger-led Astronomy Talks at the newly built Astronomy Amphitheatre.


Tonopah ©Jackie Gorton

Tonopah Stargazing Park

This park near downtown Tonopah boasts amenities that amateur astronomers and families will appreciate. With plentiful picnic tables and concrete pads for securing a telescope or camera, the night sky is yours to admire before returning to the comfort of a hot meal and hotel bed. 


Plan your stargazing around these upcoming events. Remember that the best time for stargazing is on and around the new moon.


11 Full moon

12-13 Perseid Meteor Shower

14 Saturn visible sunset to sunrise

26 New moon


8-9 Draconid Meteor Shower

9 Full moon

16-17 Lincoln County
            Photography Festival

22-24 Great Basin
            Astronomy Festival

25 New moon

26 Jupiter visible sunset to sunrise


9 Full moon

20-21 Orionid Meteor Shower

24 New moon

For more information on stargazing in Nevada, click here.

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