Discover the Cosmos at the Death Valley Dark Sky Festival

Man lighting up Badwater Basin at night under the milky way galaxy

Explore the mysteries of the cosmos from one of the darkest skies in the United States at the upcoming Death Valley Dark Sky Festival, which will be held from March 1–3, 2024. This festival brings together scientists and park rangers in organized programs to unravel the wonders of the universe and showcase Death Valley National Park’s ideal night skies.

Death Valley National Park, one of only eight “gold tier” International Dark Sky Parks in the nation, allows stargazers to behold the Milky Way with the naked eye—an exceptional experience, given that light pollution plagues most residential areas. The National Park Service, in partnership with the Oasis at Death Valley, has taken significant steps to minimize light pollution in the region, eliminating the need for specialized telescopes. Although they are not necessary, telescopes are recommended for those looking to explore the extraordinary beauty of distant celestial bodies. 

The Death Valley Dark Sky Festival is a joint effort involving Death Valley National Park, the non-profit Death Valley Natural History Association, NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ames Research Center, SETI Institute and the California Institute of Technology. The Death Valley Dark Sky Festival extends a warm invitation to the public, offering free access to all its programs. Additionally, there are specific programs intended to cater to families with children. Visit the park’s website here for lists of programs and accommodations.

Oasis at the Death Valley

At The Oasis in Death Valley, you’ll find two state-of-the-art luxury properties featuring modern design and family-friendly accommodations. In an optimal location, this resort ensures consistently clear nights, minimal urban development, and deliberately subdued exterior lighting. This strategic design creates an idyllic haven for stargazers and astronomers. Guests can view night sky wonders, such as constellations, planets, deep-sky objects, lunar eclipses, meteor showers and even the elusive Milky Way.

The Oasis at Death Valley, located 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 295 miles northeast of Los Angeles, strikes a harmonious balance by providing both seclusion from the bustling Southwestern cities with its unobstructed views of the night sky while offering convenient proximity for city dwellers seeking a weekend escape.

For those looking to elevate their nocturnal experience, guests can opt for a private stargazing party, embarking on an explorative nighttime adventure. Furthermore, on the property, Furnace Creek Stables provides a unique and enchanting approach to stargazing with its moonlight tour on horseback.

Learn more about the Death Valley Dark Sky and other Dark Sky communities here.

Photos courtesy Xanterra Travel Collection

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