The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (2022)

We get it: most people who go to Las Vegas aren’t there to see stars any further away than the nearest stage. That flash and sparkle are what Vegas is all about for most people.

If you’re reading this post, and you’re looking for how to go stargazing in Las Vegas, you’re probably notmost people. Maybe you’ve visited many times and have seen all the shows and casinos; maybe you live in Vegas and want to understand how you can get away from the dazzling city lights to find some darkness and peace.

This is the post for you, with 25 amazing places to go stargazing in Las Vegas and the surrounding desert.

This post was originally published in June 2018, and was updated in June 2020 and again in March 2022.

Table of Contents

The Best Spots for Stargazing in Las Vegas

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (1)

As you might expect, your options for stargazingin Las Vegas are slim. The map below shows the two places within the city, as well as a handful of places you can easily reach within an hours drive of the strip.

Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary

Gilcrease Nature Sanctuary is primarily a home for rescued animals, especially birds. It’s also a good place to escape the bright lights of the city. This makes it one of the few places in Las Vegas where you’ll find some real stargazing opportunities.

8103 Racel St., Las Vegas, NV 89131, gnslasvegas.org

(Video) World's Best Stargazing Sites | MojoTravels

Exploration Peak Park

Exploration Peak Park is a 2846ft tall mountain that’s full of playgrounds, walking trails, and water play areas. You can get a great view of the sky by hiking to the top. It’s great if you want to take your kids somewhere to play in the daytime and go stargazing at night.

9700 S. Buffalo Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89178, mountainsedge.com

Desert Bloom Park

Desert Bloom Park has everything from playgrounds, walking trails, basketballs courts, picnic areas, and more. It’s also isolated enough from the city to provide some good stargazing opportunities. It’s another place that kids can enjoy during the day while you wait for the sun to go down.

8405 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89123, redrock.clarkcountynv.gov

Stargazing Spots Within One Hour of Las Vegas

If you’re willing to drive up to one hour outside of Las Vegas, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the variety of stargazing destinations you can easily reach. Whether you’re looking to get into nature or experience a bit of the old Wild West before the sun goes down, here are some of the best options.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

This conservation area can be found in the middle of the Mojave Desert surrounded by mountains. As such, it’s one of the best places to go stargazing around Las Vegas. Its 13-mile scenic drive provides many beautiful opportunities to see the night sky.

1000 Scenic Loop Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89161, redrockcanyonlv.org

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (2)

Sunrise Mountain

Sunrise Mountain stands 3.3 miles high to the east of Las Vegas, rising 3,366 feet in elevation. Stargazers will find this hike well worth the effort. It’s high altitude and isolation from the city means you can get an amazing view of the night sky from its peak.

Clark County, NV 89156

Frenchman Mountain

Frenchman Mountain is an even taller mountain than Sunrise Mountain. Its highest peak is 4.4 miles, making it a perfect spot to see the stars. However, please be careful when hiking up this mountain: it can be incredibly steep in some spots, and you should be aware of the risks especially if you’re planning to be on the mountain at night to try stargazing.

(Video) 9 Darkest Places in the U.S. for Incredible Stargazing #USA Stargazing

Sunrise Manor, NV 89156

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (3)

Desert National Wildlife Refuge

The Desert National Wildlife Refuge consists of 1.6 million acres, making it the largest wildlife refuge in the 48 contiguous United States. It’s well-known for being home to a wide variety of animals, especially bighorn sheep. Its location in the Mojave Desert also offers an amazing view of the sky at night.

16001 Corn Creek Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89124, fws.gov

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

You might be surprised to see a location in Arizona on this list – but Vegas is so close to Arizona that it’s hard to pass up some of Arizona’s great stargazing opportunities!

At 1.5 million acres, Lake Mead National Recreation Area covers almost as much land as the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. It contains nine different wilderness areas and is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. You can also find plenty of nice, dark areas here for observing the sky.

Temple Bar Marina, AZ 86443,nps.gov

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (4)

Mt. Charleston Lodge

At 7717ft., you’re almost guaranteed to get a good, up-close look at the stars from the peak on Mt. Charleston. The hike itself is fairly simple, and there’s a restaurant available once you reach the top. This peak is also about 30 degrees cooler than the valley below, making it a rather comfortable place to watch the stars.

5375 Kyle Canyon Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89124,mtcharlestonlodge.com

Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

The Spring Mountain Ranch State Park is located next to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. It is a frequent meeting place for the Las Vegas Astronomical Society. During this time, you have access to state of the art equipment and experts that can answer any questions you might have.

6375 Nevada 159, Blue Diamond, NV 89004,parks.nv.gov

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Pioneer Saloon

The Pioneer Saloon is a charming western-themed saloon that has been the set for several Hollywood movies. Along with great food and amazing atmosphere, they also offer stargazing tours. It’s a bit expensive, but you get access to 18 telescopes and a guide who can tell you everything you need to know.

310 NV-161, Goodsprings, NV 89019,pioneersaloon.info

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (5)

Pinto Valley Wilderness

It takes about an hour to reach Pinto Valley Wilderness up in Lake Meade National Recreation Area. A number of locals recommend this area for stargazing because it is far from Vegas’ light pollution without an extended drive. There are a number of hikes and canyons to explore, so read up to plan a spot you can spend time stargazing.

nps.gov

Stargazing Spots Within Two Hours of Las Vegas

Have up to two hours to drive out of Vegas for stargazing? You’ll be able to reach some of the best stargazing in the U.S.! If you can make a weekend out of a trip to one of these stargazing spots, be prepared for some of the darkest skies you’ve ever seen.

Valley of Fire State Park

Located just over an hour from the bright lights of Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park is worth exploring during the day and at night. This area is full of red rock formations, including impressive evidence of sedimentary layers and erosion over the millennia – and there are over 20 hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging.

Once the sun goes down, the rock formations provide the perfect foreground to enjoy the stars whirling overhead.

29450 Valley of Fire Hwy, Overton, NV, parks.nv.gov

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is the largest Dark Sky Park in the US. On top of this, it’s also considered Gold Tier, the highest level that a Dark Sky Park can attain. Stargazing events are often held here throughout the year, many of which are held by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society.

Here’s a complete guide to stargazing in Death Valley, to help you plan your time in the park.

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Death Valley, CA 92328, nps.gov

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (6)

Grand Canyon National Park

Along with having an incredible view in the daytime, the Grand Canyon also offers some of the best views of the sky at night. Grand Canyon National Park was recently awarded a Provisional Dark Sky Status by the International Dark Sky Association and hopes to be given full Dark Sky Status by 2019. You’ll also find Star Parties being held here on a regular basis.

395 State Route 64, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023, nps.gov

How Good is the Stargazing in Las Vegas?

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (7)

It should be no surprise that stargazing conditions are pretty awful within Las Vegas. It’s one of the most brightly lit cities in the country, which makes it very, very difficult to see the stars.

Strangely enough, you don’t have to journey too far for the opposite to become true. Once you get into the desert, it’s not hard to find a clear view of the sky. Death Valley National Park and Grand Canyon National Park, in particular, are considered two of the best places in the United States for stargazing.

To go stargazing in Las Vegas, all you have to do is be willing to leave the city!

Best Times of Year to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (8)

Las Vegas is surrounded by desert; you can go stargazing in the desert any time of the year. The skies are clear almost every night, no matter what season you’re in. In winter months, you may need to pack extra layers to combat how much the temperature will drop as the sun goes down.

That being said, you’ll have even better conditions if you wait for a New Moon each month. This way, you won’t have to worry about the light of moon interfering with your view of the stars.

Can You See the Milky Way in Las Vegas?

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (9)

As with every city we’ve created a stargazing guide for, you’re not going to see the Milky Way in Las Vegas itself. Still, it is possible to see it in a few places outside the city if the conditions are just right.

If you’re willing to make the trip, Death Valley National Park and Grand Canyon National Park will give you your best chance of seeing our galaxy. The stargazing in these two places is fantastic in general. You’ll find it was well worth the drive.

(Video) Top 5 Stargazing Destinations Worldwide

Do you have other questions about stargazing in Las Vegas? Let me know in the comments!

The 16 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas (10)

FAQs

Where is the best place to see the stars in Las Vegas? ›

Red Rock Canyon

Situated among some starry skies and dark mountains, it's one of the best places in Las Vegas to get a view of the night sky. Try First Creek area, Oak Creek trailhead area (both off SR 159), and Blue Diamond Row (along SR 160).

Can you see the Milky Way from Las Vegas? ›

Can You See the Milky Way in Las Vegas? As with every city we've created a stargazing guide for, you're not going to see the Milky Way in Las Vegas itself. Still, it is possible to see it in a few places outside the city if the conditions are just right.

Where can I see stars in Vegas? ›

Spend the night at the Atomic Inn, a retro, boutique hotel in Beatty. Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge: Just outside of Death Valley Junction, this area's unique landscape of wetlands and desert offer a peaceful place to observe the night sky.

Where can I see the meteor shower in Las Vegas? ›

Black Mountain is one of the best places near Vegas to watch various meteor showers throughout the year. Parking is easy to find; however, it is limited. Although the trail is very steep, you can hike it. Your best bet is to watch from the side of the road as it is a safe location.

Can you go to Red Rock at night? ›

The park is open from sunrise to sunset for day use. The campground is open 24 hours.

Is Red Rock Canyon Good for stargazing? ›

Located only miles from Las Vegas, yet set among dark mountains and starry skies, Red Rock Canyon is an excellent place to view the night sky and related astronomical objects.

Where is the darkest place on earth? ›

Using 11 million photometers from 44 of the darkest places, the study concluded that Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, also located in the Canary Islands, is the darkest place on Earth.

What planets are visible tonight in Las Vegas? ›

Night Sky Bright Planets for Las Vegas, NV
BodyRisesSets
Mercury6:16 A.M. NE8:26 P.M. NW
Venus3:49 A.M. NE6:20 P.M. NW
Mars12:34 A.M. E2:03 P.M. W
Jupiter10:58 P.M. E11:18 A.M. W
4 more rows

Where can I view the Milky Way near me? ›

Any national park located a good distance away from an urban area is ideal for seeing the Milky Way. Many of these are located in the western half of the United States, from Arizona up to Montana and Idaho, as far east as the Rockies, and at least two hundred miles away from the populated cities along the west Coast.

What is the star train? ›

October 2019) The Western Star was a named passenger train operated by the Great Northern Railway between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest via Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

Where is massacre rim Nevada? ›

Directions. Massacre Ranch is located north of High Rock Canyon Wilderness, 3-miles east of Nevada Highway 8A, and approximately 45-miles east of Cedarville, California, in northern Washoe County, Nevada.

What time can you see the Milky Way in Joshua Tree? ›

Best Time To See The Milky Way In Joshua Tree Is Spring and Summer. June - July: This is the best time to view the milky way with the naked eye. August - September: The milky way is vertical and out all night during these months.

How do you stargaze in the Great Basin? ›

Almost anywhere in the park will provide you with beautiful views of the night sky. Look for somewhere with an open horizon. Mather Overlook on the scenic drive is an excellent spot. For lower elevations, try the Baker Archaeological Site near the town of Baker.

Where can I stargaze in Death Valley? ›

Ubehebe Crater will provide you a great Death Valley experience. When it comes to stargazing in Death Valley, you'll be hard pressed to find a better location than Ubehebe Crater. The crater was formed from a volcanic eruption many years ago, don't worry it's safe now, and provides a unique stargazing experience.

Where can I see the Milky Way in Nevada? ›

At the Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary, the Milky Way galaxy shines bright enough at night to cast shadows. Jen Rovanpera drives through remote and rough parts of northwestern Nevada, about 6 miles outside the Oregon border. She is an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management.

What direction do I look to see the meteor shower? ›

That highest point is in the south as viewed from the Northern Hemisphere, closer to overhead for the Southern Hemisphere. That's why the Southern Hemisphere sees more meteors (the radiant is higher up), and it's why – for all of us around the globe – the hours before dawn are best for this shower.

What does it mean when you see a shooting star? ›

Stars are the map of the universe and have been relied on to foretell the future and other things in many cultures throughout history. To see a shooting star can mean that change, luck, fertility, and love are on the way to you.

What should I wear to Red Rocks? ›

(Red Rocks does NOT allow umbrellas.) Long-sleeved shirt or hoodie: Once the sun goes down behind those rocks, the temperature can drop significantly. You'll want a long-sleeved layer, even if it's just for the walk out.

Where should I sit at Red Rocks? ›

Torri likes to sit up close, about row 17. But it's also very subjective, and the best seats will be different for everyone. If you like your music loud, then you'll be happier down in front, he said. If not, then “move higher up the hill where it's not quite so powerful.”

Can you bring drinks into Red Rocks? ›

Although we have a great selection of food and beverage available at Red Rocks, you may bring your own food as long as your soft sided cooler or cloth bag fits under your seat. The following items are permitted: Non-alcoholic beverages in factory sealed plastic containers, not to exceed 32 oz.

What state is best for stargazing? ›

The 12 Best Places to Stargaze in America
  1. Mauna Kea | Hawaii. ...
  2. Bryce Canyon National Park | Utah. ...
  3. Denali National Park and Preserve | Alaska. ...
  4. Glacier National Park | Montana. ...
  5. Cherry Springs State Park | Pennsylvania. ...
  6. Big Pine Key | Florida. ...
  7. Chaco Culture National Historical Park | New Mexico.

Where are the stars the clearest? ›

Death Valley, California

The Death Valley plays an important role in preserving the dark skies despite worldwide urbanization. Urbanization tends to bring along with it light pollution which is a big threat to dark skies. Photographers are also able to take their best astronomy shots at the Death Valley.

What is the bright white star in the sky? ›

Sirius, also known as the Dog Star or Sirius A, is the brightest star in Earth's night sky. The name means "glowing" in Greek — a fitting description, as only a few planets, the full moon and the International Space Station outshine this star. Because Sirius is so bright, it was well-known to the ancients.

Where is Venus right now? ›

Venus is currently in the constellation of Gemini. The current Right Ascension is 06h 42m 34s and the Declination is +22° 46' 42”.

What planet is visible right now? ›

Use it to locate a planet, the Moon, or the Sun and track their movements across the sky.
...
Visible night of Jul 28 – Jul 29, 2022.
Mercury:Until Thu 9:00 pm
Mars:From Fri 12:29 am
Jupiter:From Thu 10:52 pm
Saturn:From Thu 9:03 pm
Uranus:From Fri 12:29 am
2 more rows

How can I see the Milky Way in 2022? ›

Sunrise/Sunset

Even if it's in the sky, the Milky Way will be barely visible during blue hour, so you'll have to wait at least until the end of the astronomical twilight to see all the details of the Milky Way. What is this? You can quickly check the sunrise and sunset time at your location here.

Can you see Milky Way with naked eye? ›

From Earth, it can be seen as a hazy form of stars in the night sky that the naked eye can barely notice. You can see the Milky Way all year, no matter where you are in the world. It's visible just so long as the sky is clear and the light pollution is minimal.

What months can you see the Milky Way? ›

In the spring (March – May), it will first become visible a few hours before sunrise. By June it will rise much earlier before midnight. The summer months (June – August) are generally the best viewing time because it will be up most of the night.

How often can you see the satellite train? ›

Please see above. The satellites move really fast, and travel the entire world in 90 minutes. Every 90 minutes, they return to the same point (but a little further away). That's why sometimes you can see them again within 2 hours of a previous sighting.

What is a space train? ›

It takes between three to six months for a probe to reach Mars from Earth. A new concept space train called Solar Express is challenging that time frame: it would, hypothetically, be able to transport people and cargo from earth to Mars in less than two days.

Is the Music City Star running? ›

The Music City Star, also known as the WeGo Star, (reporting mark NRTX) is a commuter rail service running between Nashville and Lebanon, Tennessee.
...
Music City Star
Annual ridership57,500 (2021)
WebsiteOfficial website
Operation
Began operationSeptember 18, 2006
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Why is it called massacre rim? ›

The Massacre Rim derives its name from the steep escarpment along the western edge of the volcanic plateau and its proximity to the Massacre Lakes, a series of seasonally-dry lakes.

Can you camp at massacre rim? ›

There are no established campgrounds in the area, but primitive, Leave No Trace Massacre Rim camping is permitted with a 14 day maximum stay per location.

Which part of Joshua Tree is best for stargazing? ›

The Night Skies in Joshua Tree are Dark - Very Dark.

The reason it is dark here is because the Park is located in the High Desert (5000 ft above sea level) and it is located far from major cities (which create light pollution). The East side of the park is best for stargazing.

Can I enter Joshua Tree at night? ›

Yes, you can enter Joshua Tree at night. If you're visiting Joshua Tree National Park to feast on the stars, we have good news for you — the park gates are open 24/7, and anyone can drive in or out of the park regardless of where they're staying.

What is the best time for stargazing? ›

The best time to go stargazing is the days before, during and soon after each new Moon, when there is no Moon in the sky. During these times, there is no bright Moon to wash out the light from fainter stars.

Where is the darkest sky in America? ›

Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve (International Dark Sky Reserve) The only International Dark Sky Reserve in the U.S., this reserve offers nearly 1,500 square miles of land in the picturesque Sawtooth Mountains, making it the perfect place for a stargazing road trip.

Where is railway to the stars? ›

The Great Basin Star Train takes you to a dark place in north-central Nevada to see what our ancestors saw before light pollution wiped out most Americans' views of the night sky. The ride starts at 7:30 p.m. in the tiny town of Ely, about four hours north of Las Vegas, one of the brightest cities in the world.

What is Great Basin in Nevada? ›

The Great Basin, broadly speaking, is a geographic area between the Sierra Nevada mountains on the west, the Rocky Mountains on the East, the Snake River on the North and the Sonoran/Mojave Deserts to the south. About 95% of the state of Nevada is in the Great Basin.

Where can I see the Milky Way in Nevada? ›

At the Massacre Rim Dark Sky Sanctuary, the Milky Way galaxy shines bright enough at night to cast shadows. Jen Rovanpera drives through remote and rough parts of northwestern Nevada, about 6 miles outside the Oregon border. She is an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management.

Is Red Rock Canyon Good for stargazing? ›

Located only miles from Las Vegas, yet set among dark mountains and starry skies, Red Rock Canyon is an excellent place to view the night sky and related astronomical objects.

Where do stars live during Vegas residency? ›

Some have homes in the Valley, some stay in hotels. Celine Dion has a home in Lake Las Vegas as does Flavor Flav. Wayne Newton's house is on Pecos/Sunset where Mike Tyson used to live next door.

What planets are visible tonight in Las Vegas? ›

Night Sky Bright Planets for Las Vegas, NV
BodyRisesSets
Mercury6:16 A.M. NE8:26 P.M. NW
Venus3:49 A.M. NE6:20 P.M. NW
Mars12:34 A.M. E2:03 P.M. W
Jupiter10:58 P.M. E11:18 A.M. W
4 more rows

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