4 Best Spots to Stargaze in Lake Tahoe


4 Best Spots to Stargaze in Lake Tahoe



Because of its dry air and permanent marine airflow, Lake Tahoe features almost 300 cloud-free nights every year, which makes the area ideal to watch the stars.

If you’re passionate about astronomy and use to carry your telescope wherever you go and want to find new places to stargaze, or if you just enjoy spending part of the night contemplating the milky way and counting shooting stars (with friends or by yourself), this guide will help you get to the best spots in Lake Tahoe.

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What to Look for in the Skies of Lake Tahoe?


The skies above Lake Tahoe are the perfect setting to watch the different phases of the moon. The Full Moon can be seen from the Earth about once a month. Usually, the full moon we see is not perfectly full since part of it is shaded by the Earth. And when the perfect alignment between the sun, Earth and the moon occurs, this produces a lunar eclipse.

May’s full moon is one of the supermoons of 2021 that occurred on Wednesday, May 26 at 7:14 a.m. (EDT) during the only total lunar eclipse of 2021. If you missed the Super Flower Blood Moon, you can watch the video captured by the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, CA.



Photo Credits:  Alex Andrews



2021 Full Moon Calendar

Date Name U.S. Eastern Time UTC
Jan 28 Wolf Moon 2:16 p.m. 19:16
Feb 27 Snow Moon 3:17 a.m. 8:17
Mar 28 Worm Moon 2:48 p.m. 18:48
Apr 26 Pink Moon 11:31 p.m. 3:31 (Apr. 27)
May 26 Flower Moon 7:14 a.m. 11:14
Jun 24 Strawberry Moon 2:40 p.m. 18:40
Jul 23 Buck Moon 10:37 a.m. 2:37 (Jul 24)
Aug 22 Sturgeon Moon 8:02 a.m. 12:02
Sep 20 Corn Moon 7:55 a.m. 23:55
Oct 20 Harvest Moon 10:57 a.m. 14:57
Nov 19 Beaver Moon 3:58 a.m. 8:58
Dec 18 Cold Moon 11:36 p.m. 4:36 (Dec 19)

Courtesy of www.space.com



Planets and Constellations above Lake Tahoe


Since light pollution is very scarce in Tahoe, you can easily find planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Mars, depending on the month of the year, as well as some constellations such as the Big and Little Dippers and Orion, being its Belt the easiest part to find. 

During the summer, you can’t miss the stargazing tour, one of the most beautiful adventures offered in Lake Tahoe, which takes you on a translucent kayak or a paddle board to explore while getting a full 360-degree view of the beauty under the water and the magnificent milky way above the lake.


Now that you know what can be seen above Lake Tahoe, check these four places that, for me, are the best spots to enjoy the majesty of the universe outside.


1. Spooner Lake

Located at the north of Highway 50 and Highway 28 intersection, with an altitude of 6,980 feet, Spooner Lake offers some very nice open spaces free from light pollution. For those ambitious stargazers, the Marlette Lake Trail (8,000 feet above sea level) may be the best option, with a 10-mile round trip hike and breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe. Make sure to bring a headlamp and extra supplies.

If you’re not about hiking, Spooner Lake’s gate remains open so you can drive along the path to the shoreline and enjoy the sky scene right next to the lake.

Milky Way stargazing Tahoe ENG


2. Emerald Bay

Even though it is one of the most popular destinations in South Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay is never crowded during the night. In spite of the occasional light impact from the highway, this place offers unique night shows where the crystal waters of the lake reflect back the stars in sky. Don’t forget to bring chairs, blankets, some snacks and hot/cold beverages so you can easily stay the night awake and see the amazing sunrise.


3. Camp Richardson

Located on Highway 89, about 3 miles north from South Lake Tahoe, Camp Richardson Resort has peaceful sandy beaches where you can stargaze accompanied by the pleasant sound of the waves reaching the shoreline. Hot beverages are always welcome.


4. Hope Valley

Next to the intersection of Highways 88 and 89, there are many road pullouts and service roads where you can park and take any of the trails that lead you to wide open spaces free from light pollution. Bring blankets, hot coffee or cocoa, or soup.

Milky Way



For those who like to watch shooting stars, or just learn about the planets in our solar system, guided by the experts, Jack C. Davis Observatory in Carson City, is open to the public on Saturday evenings until 11 pm. This observatory also hosts “Star Parties” when an astronomical event happens (eclipses, meteor showers).

Some General Recommendations

Make your stargazing experience comfortable: Bring chairs, blankets/sleeping bags, and hot beverages/soup.


Download a Stargazing App: There are plenty of free apps available that allow your smartphone to identify planets, stars and other celestial bodies. We recommend Star Chart (iOS / Android), and NASA App (iOS / Android).


Enhance your experience with a Telescope and/or Binoculars: A telescope is always the best option to make your stargazing adventure more interesting. If you’re willing to get your own telescope to start learning about astronomy, but don’t know which one to buy, we recommend you the Celestron Astromaster 130, which brings everything that a starter needs. Otherwise, if you don’t want to invest in big equipment, a pair of binoculars will help anyway.

Find a Lake Tahoe Stargazing Tour

If you would like a little help, try out one of the Stargazing tours from Stargaze Tahoe or try a unique night paddling experience.

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Lake Tahoe’s Statistics in Augmented Reality (AR)

If this is your very first time using Augmented Reality, check the following video as a quick reference.

Lake Tahoe’s Statistics in Augmented Reality (AR)

This is 3D model. You can drag or tap it to move in any direction.

AR powered by Virtualmerse

1. If you are seeing the image: click on it.
2. When a new image appears, click on:

AR powered by Virtualmerse

Now, try your self this amazing Augmented Reality experience:


1. Find a flat and clean surface (table, desktop) ideally without objects on it.

2. Open the current page in your iPhone or iPad.

3. Alternatively, scan the QR Code with your mobile device camera.

4. Enjoy it!

Scan the QR Code to see the model in your iPhone or iPad only

Lake Tahoe's Statistics in Augmented Reality





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