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What we do International Dark Sky Places

Death Valley National Park

The Milky Way over the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park, California. Photo by Dan Duriscoe.


Death Valley National Park is distant enough from the large cities of the southwest so that much of the night sky above the desert floor is near pristine and, in many places, offers views close to what could be seen before the rise of cities. While Death Valley is comprised of rugged wilderness areas and is famous for its extreme climate, the night skies above the park are as fragile as the land below. The Park is largely free of its own sources of light pollution but the lights of distant Las Vegas and other cities have an impact on the park’s skies and desert nightlife.

The skies there are affected by only the smallest amounts of light pollution classifying it at the highest level of IDA designation and star-filled skies, the “Gold Tier”. Astronomical objects seen there are available only to some of the darkest locations across the globe.




Dark Sky Park



California, U.S.
Google Maps


Matthew Lamar

Land Area

13,743 km2


Lighting Plan
Annual Reports


Click here to find ideal environmental conditions for viewing the night sky at Death Valley National Park (36.24007, -116.82583). Don’t forget to plan your trip during the new moon and astronomical twilight to enhance the viewing experience!