Anyone who has been to Lake Tahoe will tell you that there’s something different about the air. At over 6,000 feet, the air is crisp, fresh, and refreshingly unpolluted. These clear skies offer spectacular views of thousands of stars, other planets, and far-away galaxies.

Whether you're visiting Northstar California Resort during the summer or the winter, don’t miss out on the opportunity to stargaze at this unique resort in North Lake Tahoe.

Stargazing on Cool Summer Nights

From early June through Labor Day, the whole family can enjoy a stargazing tour with Tahoe Star Tours at its Dark Skies Cosmoarium, located in a parking lot just steps away from the hustle and bustle of Northstar Village.

Owner and astronomer Tony Berenden leads the tours every Thursday and Saturday from 8:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. during the summer months. Upon arrival, Tony greets all the guests and guides you up the hill to the first stop of the tour, where he’ll begin a short presentation. He’ll guide you through everything you’re about to see and offer you tips on how to maximize your stargazing experience.

While you listen and learn, stay cozy by the warm fire pits (and outdoor heaters on the chilliest nights, but remember to bring a jacket, as it can reach lows in the 40s even in the summer!) and enjoy drinks and snacks. They offer coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and the ingredients to roast marshmallows over the fire and make the perfect s’mores.

After the lively and interactive presentation, glow sticks are passed around to the guests, who are escorted to a “no-lights allowed” area where three powerful Celestron telescopes await your eyes. This is where the real magic begins! As you look up at the sky with your naked eyes and through the telescopes, Tony and the other hosts will point out what you are seeing—from detailed craters on the moon, the moons of Jupiter and the planet Saturn, to galaxies and more—and answer any questions you might have.

Stargazing is sure to be a hit with your entire family. Especially if you come from a city or haven’t taken the time to look up at the sky for a while, you’ll be mesmerized by Northstar at night. Last summer, tickets cost $50 for adults and $30 for children ages 12 and under.

Winter Snowshoeing & Stargazing

In the winter, when the slopes are open and filled with skiers and snowboarders carving up the mountain, Tahoe Star Tours shuts down its regular tours. Luckily, that doesn’t mean all is lost when it comes to stargazing. During the winter, the more adventurous of us can partake in a combined snowshoe and stargazing experience.

On a select number of nights (plan your winter vacations accordingly!), Tahoe Adventure Company offers Full Moon Snowshoe Tours or Snowshoe Star Tours (you can check out the exact dates each tour is offered for the current winter season on their website).

Full Moon Tour

Once a month, from November through April, during the full moon, you can join a tour that takes you snowshoeing through Tahoe’s forest, guided just by the bright light of the full moon. After being outfitted with your snowshoes, you’ll begin your 2-3 mile tour, during which your guides will offer up facts about the moon as you trek through the snow and look up at the moon.

They’ll teach you everything you need to know about snowshoeing, too, so first-timers and anyone over the age of 8 are welcome. The tour begins in the late afternoon (depending on the time of year and when the sun is setting), lasts about 3 hours, and costs $90 per person.

Star Tour

Offered just a handful of nights, you can combine an evening snowshoe adventure through the Tahoe forest with a presentation and guided viewing of the stars by Tony Berenden (the astronomer who gives the fascinating tours at the Cosmoarium all summer long).

This tour is perfect for those looking to combine the adventure of trekking through the woods at night with learning about our cosmos. It’s for everyone ages 8 and up and is not to be missed if you’re one of the lucky ones staying in Northstar on the right night! The tour costs $120 per person, and the start time varies based on the tour dates.

There’s More than One Star in Northstar, CA

If you’re looking for a way to clear your head and reconnect with nature, stargazing in Northstar is the place to go. There’s no better way to bond with your family than on one of these adventures filled with snowshoes, s'mores, and stars!