Know Before You Go: Review COVID-19 Travel News and Resources for the Sierra Nevada. Learn More


Share This

Pink sunsets, yellow moons, shooting stars, and green meadows. We’re not talking about the magically delicious breakfast cereal. Rather, we’re talking about the sights above our heads after the sun dips below the horizon. With warm, fun-packed days followed by cool, comfortable evenings, summer stargazing in the High Sierra is a treat everyone should set aside time for.

Perseid Meteor Shower

Night Sky Hogan Lake In The Valley Springs
Courtesy of Instagrammer: @Jossscelyn – Image appears courtesy: Calaveras County Tourism

As the Earth passes through the path of the Comet Swift-Tuttle around July 23rd – August 20th, something magical occurs. The dust left behind creates the annual Perseid meteor shower. Arguably one of the most popular meteor showers of the year, you can catch a glimpse of this cool natural phenomenon at either the New Melones annual stargazing viewing (telescopes provided) or among giant sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Calaveras Big Trees will be holding astronomy nights on August 8th beginning at 7:30 p.m. & August 29th beginning at 8 p.m.

Visiting Calaveras in August? Be sure to check out Calaveras County’s list of fun things to do in August.

Dine & Discover The Stars In Yosemite

Yosemite Valley Night Sky
Photo By: John Milam – Appears courtesy: Yosemite Conservancy

Every summer the Yosemite Conservancy holds a few “Dine & Discover” showcases where a naturalist guides you on an easy hike to an iconic viewpoint off of Glacier Point Road. As you admire the Yosemite backdrop alongside an al fresco meal, a Naturalist guide will indulge you with information about the area’s natural and human history. To top the evening off, you’ll take advantage of one of the best stargazing settings in the park. Or if you’re up to a bit more work, check out their overnight backpacking adventure on July 27th.

Can’t make it to any of these events? No problem! Here’s the 10 best spots to catch a glimpse of the night sky in Yosemite|Madera County.

Observe The Night Sky With The Oldest Living Things On Earth

Bristlecone Pine Forest
Photo by Instagrammer @astro.gordonfreeman Image appears courtesy: Visit Bishop

We’re going to let you in on a secret… the backdrop when enjoying a night sky is as important as minimal artificial light. Surround yourself by the oldest living things on Earth. And then look up at a sky filled with stars that are even older than them! The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains is open through October and provides a great vantage point to take it all in. If you do miss the window to see these giants, don’t worry! The skies are nearly as magnificent at Alabama Hills near Mobius Arch.

Here’s some tips on how to make the most out of your stargazing when in the Eastern Sierra.

Experts say that 80% of Americans & one-third of all humanity can no longer see the Milky Way due to light pollution. Fortunately, stargazing in the High Sierra gives you clear skies and an opportunity to see this and much more. After all, there’s a whole universe out there, so don’t miss your chance when visiting!

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at

Share This

Follow Us

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

Stay Up to Date

for updates on hidden gems, events, and more from California's High Sierra.

More Trip Ideas

More Trip Ideas

Keep Discovering

Need more reasons to visit the Sierra Nevada High Country?

Get a glimpse of the stunning scenery to see and activities to do in the Sierra Nevada.

View Gallery Brochure

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content