City Stargazing Guide

The 15 Best Places to Go Stargazing in Las Vegas

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 not most 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.

Stargazing in Las Vegas Featured

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

In this post, I promote traveling to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Nüwüwü (Chemehuevi) and Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) peoples, among many others. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

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

The Best Spots for Stargazing in Las Vegas

Stargazing in Las Vegas Map
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As you might expect, your options for stargazing in 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,

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,

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,

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,

Stargazing near Las Vegas - Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area - BLM Nevada via Flickr
Photo credit: Nevada Bureau of Land Management via Flickr

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.

Sunrise Manor, NV 89156

Stargazing near Las Vegas - Desert National Wildlife Refuge - Ken Lund via Flickr
Photo credit: Ken Lund via Flickr

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,

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,

Stargazing Near Las Vegas - Lake Mead National Recreation Area - Kristina D.C. Hoeppner via Flickr
Photo credit: Kristina D.C. Hoeppner via Flickr

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,

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,

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,

Stargazing near Las Vegas - Bonnie Springs Ranch - Dan Dilworth via Flickr
Photo credit: Dan Dilworth via Flickr

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.

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,

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.

Death Valley, CA 92328,

Death Valley - Mobilus In Mobili via Flickr
Photo credit: Mobilus in Mobili via Flickr

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,

How Good is the Stargazing in Las Vegas?

Stargazing near Las Vegas - John Buie via Flickr
Photo credit: John Buie via Flickr

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

Stargazing near Las Vegas - Chao Yen via Flickr
Photo credit: Chao Yen via Flickr

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?

Stargazing near Las Vegas - Daxis via Flickr
Photo credit: Daxis via Flickr

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.

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

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Valerie is the founder and editor of Space Tourism Guide. She grew up in Alaska, has lived across the U.S., and traveled around the world to enjoy the night sky from many different perspectives. Join her on this journey to explore space right here on earth.



    When I was a little the whole family would visit lake Mead every weekend. This was in the 90s. You could see the milky way every night. Millions and millions of stars. It was so clear you can even see the satellites. Now when you go out there you can’t see much even when there is no moon.

  • jeremy

    know any photographers who can lead a tour to some of these places at night? I want to go but not familiar with the area

  • Tim C

    As a visitor to Las Vegas, are there any organized tours for stargazing to either Death Valley or the Grand Canyon? I’d hate to have to rent a car just to get 2 hours outside the city to see some stars one night. Thanks for any info you can provide!

  • Rosanna Perez

    Hi there! I am actually looking to purchase a stargazing experience for my best friend. I wanted to see if you knew of a company that would say provide a guide and a Jeep for just a couple and take them out to see the stars. Something more of an experience …. maybe even a company that provided like the Jeep and the blankets and the directions where to go for a romantic adventure. Just a thought. Do you know of any companies in and around Vegas that sell such a package for a stargazing experience?

  • Jay

    You’ll have to update your Vegas guide here. Unfortunately, Bonnie Springs has closed. Been bought out by developers to build residential area. Sad deal.

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