Las Vegas Valley residents who have never ventured too far from bright city lights may not know just how dark dark can get.
Under properly dark skies, free from the Strip’s light pollution, stargazers can see constellations, planets and the Milky Way with the naked eye.
Death Valley National Park, just a two-hour drive northwest of Las Vegas, is hosting a Dark Sky Festival this Friday through Sunday.
The International Dark-Sky Association has designated Death Valley National Park as a Gold Tier Dark Sky Park, the highest rating of darkness.
With the aid of this weekend’s new moon, the dark skies will allow for ample stargazing and programming focused on astronomy and astrophotography.
During the day, the free festival will offer guided hikes, ranger talks and activities for families.
After dark, visitors can partake in star parties, campfires, astronomy events and 3 a.m. sessions on photographing the core of the Milky Way.
All events are free with the park’s $30 entry fee.
Camping is available at several campsites around the park, starting at $14 for a campsite.
Additional information can be found at nps.gov.