Alberta’s Night Sky

Home to five dark sky preserves — including one of the largest in the world — the night sky in Canada’s Alberta twinkles with stars, planets and even the odd flash of the Northern Lights

Jasper National Park

Home to the second-largest dark sky preserve in the world, Jasper celebrates all things dark sky, especially during the annual Dark Sky Festival in October. The Jasper Planetarium is a fantastic starting point for budding astronomers. The Planetarium Experience transports visitors to the edge of the universe (and back) inside the dome theatre. For first-hand viewing add on a Telescope Experience or enjoy a Stargazer’s Lakeside Dinner at Pyramid Lake Resort. Some of the best places to stargaze in the park include Medicine Lake, Pyramid Lake, Maligne Canyon, Maligne Lake, and Lake Annette.

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Waterton Lakes National Park

The smallest of Alberta’s mountain parks, Waterton Lakes National Park is nestled in the southwest corner of the province. It’s also the only place you’ll find a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an international peace park, dark sky preserve and biosphere reserve rolled into one destination. Some of the best places to spot constellations include the Red Rock Parkway and Cameron Bay.

Learn from an expert with a Dark Sky Guides tour and try out telescopes, binoculars and stargazing equipment for the best view.

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Elk Island National Park

Take a day trip from Edmonton and visit Elk Island National Park, a beautiful wilderness setting that plays an important role in the conservation of Plains bison. The national park is also a dark sky preserve, and an ideal place to enjoy night sky experiences. Take in the sights at your own pace, or join a Snowshoe and Stargaze tour during the winter. The short, guided snowshoe walk winds around the picturesque Astotin Lake before getting cosy around the campfire to learn all about the night sky.

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Stay in a geo dome

What’s more romantic than gazing up at the stars from the comfort of a geo dome? Elk Island Retreat, located less than an hour from Edmonton, offers geodesic domes which can accommodate two adults, complete with all the amenities for a cosy stay.

Meanwhile Métis Crossing, a significant cultural interpretive destination that shares the stories, history, and traditions of the Indigenous Métis people, has recently opened new geo domes on site in addition to guided cultural interpretive experiences.