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 7 through Sunday, August 9, 2015
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. View photos from the Dark Sky Festival on Flickr or a video about the festival on YouTube.

The 2015 Dark Sky Festival will be available by early summer.
The 2014 Dark Sky Festival Brochure/Schedule can be used as a reference

Highlights Include:


Astronomy Programs

Night Sky Viewing (summer)

Starry Nights
Wednesdays | 9:30 - 10:15 pm | Devastated Area | through August 27, 2014
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.

Lassen's Dark Sky
9:30 - 11:30 pm | Bumpass Hell Parking Area
Selected Saturdays, check the ranger-led program schedule for specific dates.
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. 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.

Astronomy Talks
Various times and locations, check the ranger-led program schedule for specific dates.
Join a ranger for a auditorium or amphitheater program on topics that are out of this world such as tourist sights of the solar system, Earth's nearest neighbor - the moon, and our closest star - the sun.

Did You Know?