• Lassen Peak from Hat Creek

    Lassen Volcanic

    National Park California

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  • Park Highway Closed to Through Traffic

    Lassen National Park Highway is closed to through traffic. The highway is open to the the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center (1 mile inside the southwest entrance) and the Devastated Area (10 miles inside the northwest entrance). Snow removal has begun. More »

Stargazing & Astronomy

Star party at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center during the Lassen Dark Sky Festival
NPS Photo
Lassen Astronomy poster, "See the Milky Way"

Half the park is after dark! From animals to plants and water to volcanoes, Lassen Volcanic National Park protects many different natural phenomena. One of the most spectacular is frequently overlooked -- our incredible, dark, night sky. Lassen Volcanic is one of the best places to learn about and enjoy the splendor of the night sky. Far from the light pollution of civilization, Lassen is one of the last sanctuaries of natural darkness. Whether you have yet to experience the grandeur of the Milky Way, or you are a dedicated amateur astronomer, Lassen's dark skies offer unparalleled view of the celestial wonders. Experience Lassen after dark:

  • Attend a Starry Night ranger-led program at various locations throughout the park
  • Join us for Lassen's Dark Sky Festival
  • Pick-up a night sky viewing book or sky chart from the Lassen Association bookstore, and explore the night skies on your own
  • Learn more about Night Skies online
  • New! Watch Lassen's Dark Sky video

Lassen Dark Sky Festival
Friday, August 1 through Sunday, August 3, 2014
Join park rangers, astronomers, and planetary geologists in celebrating all that is out of this world during Lassen's Dark Sky Festival. Special programs, presentations, hikes, and Junior Ranger Night Explorer activities will be offered during the festival. Check back in spring for the 2014 event schedule. You may also view the 2013 event schedule (pdf, 651KB).

View photos from the 2013 Dark Sky Festival on Flickr or a video about the festival on YouTube.

Highlights Include:


Astronomy Programs

Night Sky Viewing
2014 Dates To Be Announced

Join park rangers for a tour of Lassen’s incredible dark, night sky. Learn how to spot the North Star, and how to easily find star groups like the Big Dipper, Swan, Scorpion, and many others. A telescope will be available for close-up views of celestial wonders.

Programs begin approximately one hour after dusk or 9 p.m. in July and 8:30 p.m. in August. Please use your parking lights and avoid driving towards the viewing area. Be sure to bring warm clothing for comfortable viewing. Programs are subject to weather conditions. Call the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center for current conditions or more information.

Future Parks of Our Solar System
2014 Dates To Be Announced

In this fun and well-illustrated presentation you will take a guided tour of the top tourist sights of the solar system. Featuring the latest spectacular images and movies from robot space probes, you will get up close and personal with some of the most spectacular places in our solar system.

Starry Nights Ranger-led Program
2014 Dates To Be Announced
Devastated Area

Join a park ranger for a program on stars, planets, and constellations. Hear stories and learn to locate objects in the sky. Dress warmly, night-time temperatures vary between 30 and 50 degrees F in the high elevations of the park.

Did You Know?

reddish color microscopic snow alage

The reddish color sometimes observed on top of snow at Lassen Volcanic NP snow is a living organism called snow algae. When snow begins to thaw, these microscopic organisms spring to life. They function as a primary food source and are being studied for their cancer-fighting properties.