The stargazing train near you runs in conjunction with ranger programs at Great Basin National Park. In addition to ranger programs, Lassen hosts an annual Dark Sky Festival where people come together to learn about Lassen’s dark skies from day to night. Great Basin National Park in Nevada hosts some of the darkest skies in the western continental U.S. Low humidity levels, dark skies, and high elevation make optimal stargazing conditions. Menu. Mather Overlook on the scenic drive is an excellent spot. The Great Basin National Park has its own troop of Dark Rangers who guide visitors on their stargazing adventures. Things to do in Great Basin National Park include a scenic drive, Lehman Caves, epic hiking, Bristlecone Pine Trees, Nevada's only glacier, and the best stargazing of the Milky Way in the lower 48 states. Calendar. It was even named an International Dark Sky Park in 2016. The Milky Way, our home galaxy- Wikipedia Commons The Snake Range is far from major population centers and the high elevation skies are clear and dry much of the time. Great Basin's dark sky rangers will be onboard to talk trivia, give out prizes, and answer questions. This year, Lassen hosted a virtual festival due to COVID restrictions. Mid-ride, visitors look through high-powered telescopes outside of town. Best yet, the park recently unveiled an observatory. Cave tours are Ranger-led and offered daily, year-round, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Great Basin National Park is among the least visited in the national park system (according to a 2020 list by Travel & Leisure) and scores a 1 on the Bortle Dark Sky scale – … I’ll never forget my visit to Great Basin National Park. Though this phenomenon occurs year-round, it is not always visible. On a moonless night at Great Basin, you can expect to see thousands … Kelly Carroll. Attend a night-time stargazing event and learn about deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulas to earn the certificate (and a Milky Way candy bar!). Most of the South Snake mountains are in the Great Basin Desert. 7. Named an official Dark Sky Park since 2016, its high elevation, low humidity, and minimal light pollution provide visitors with near-perfect viewing conditions. Great Basin is a gold tier international dark sky park, meaning there is very little light pollution and on a clear night you can see upwards of 30,000 stars with the naked eye, and in the summer months has some phenomenal views of the core of the milky way galaxy. The Great Basin National Park Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created in 1998, is the official non-profit partner of Great Basin National Park.The Foundation has raised over a million dollars which have helped the park create a new Visitor Center, maintain and increase access to park trails, preserve the cultural heritage of the Great Basin … Great Basin National Park: Nevada For a stargazing adventure filled with all kinds of space-themed activities, travel a few miles west of the Nevada-Utah border to Great Basin National Park. What is Great Basin National Park known for? Available 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Plan a visit to Denali National Park in the winter to ensure a dark enough sky, as days from April to August are too long for aurora-borealis visibility. On the ride, rangers will host visitors in trivia, prizes, and Q&A’s. Tickets to ride the “star train” are also available from the Nevada Northern Railway. Still, e ven if you miss the chance to book a ride on the Star Train this year, it’s not too late to plan a stargazing trip to Nevada. If an object is moving quickly and not blinking, it is a satellite or possibly the International Space Station. I will warn you though, Great Basin is not close to anything. Reserve your free tickets at the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. Winter Stargazing The train will … In summer, we are looking towards the center of our galaxy, so it will be denser and therefore a bit easier to see. If seeing the northern lights is on your bucket list, but a trip to Alaska is not, then head to Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota where the aurora borealis is visible in certain conditions. If you come to the park at the right times, you might catch the Perseids in August, the Orionids in October, the Leonids in November, and the Geminids in December. Available 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Want to try astrophotography? 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