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The Night Sky

Discover the Night Sky

Humans have always been in awe of the night sky. Gazing up at the heavens above can create a sense of wonderment, peace, and rapture. With more than half of the Earth’s dark sky preserves, Canada offers so many options to delight in the beauty above, whether through photography, yoga under the stars, tracking constellations, or simply sitting by a fire with friends and contemplating the vastness of the universe.

Jasper Dark Sky Credit Jeff Bartlett

Unlock the Secrets of the Universe

There’s so much we don’t yet know about the universe around us, but you can learn from the experts by visiting a planetarium, and drink in up-close views through powerful telescopes at astronomy observatories. Enchanting star constellations, eerie eclipses, beautiful harvest moons, stunning comets and meteor showers, and of course the breath-taking Northern lights – you can see and learn all about these celestial phenomena with the knowledgeable astronomers who understand them best.

Night Sky 12 Elk Island Credit Travel Alberta and Jeff Bartlett

Join the Celebration

The mysteries of the night sky beckon as people are drawn together to rejoice and make merry under the twinkling stars and glow of the moon. With dark sky festivals in Alberta, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Yukon, and Quebec, there’s no shortage of jubilant and reverent activities to deepen your appreciation of the galaxy. Celebrate with art, food and drink, storytelling, nighttime flights, and of course, other lovers of the night.

Night Sky 05 Jasper Credit Parks Canada and Ryan Bray

Chase the Lights

Mother Nature can often play hard-to-get. While the night sky is always above us, tours are available to help you maximize your chances of having those one-of-a-kind views on your trip. Guides can take you to the best spots and the best moments (and provide the best equipment) to observe the moon and planets, distant nebulae and star clusters, the Milky Way and aurora borealis, and nocturnal creatures, while providing you with meaningful stories, interesting facts, and a deeply personal and unforgettable experience.

Tours with Night Sky Viewing

Beautiful, energetic and entertaining—known as the “Wilderness City”, Whitehorse has the great outdoors at its doorstep and has adventure for all interest levels.
Enjoy an incredible Rocky Mountain experience, travel to the iconic sites, and discover hidden gems in the Jasper and Banff National Parks. This 9 day, 8 night package is accessible daily.
Enjoy truly Canadian experiences with bucket list views. Discover what makes Alberta so unique and explore the Rockies like you’ve only dreamt. This 9 day, 8 night package is accessible daily.

Build Your Own Night Sky Tour

Let’s make a trip that’s uniquely yours! You decide how long, viewing options, number of inclusions, everything. Start planning now and make your dream trip a reality.

Staff Picks

Jasper Dark Sky Festival

Jasper is a designated Dark Sky Preserve. The town celebrates this with an annual festival in October, inviting stargazers to drink in the celestial bodies while enjoying works by local artists, treasure hunts, fireside chats, exclusive dining, and other themed activities.

Jasper Planetarium

Jasper has its own domed theatre that can take you on an adventure of visual delights. Learn stories about local Indigenous constellations, see recent Jasper views of Northern lights, and rocket into space.

Aurora Glass Chalets

Just outside Whitehorse at the Northern Lights Resort & Spa, you can spend the night in a beautiful glass chalet, with views of the dancing lights even as you curl up in bed.

ADVENTURE

Ethereal Events

Dark Sky 03 Northern BC Credit Northern BC Tourism and Ryan Dickie

Aurora Borealis

Energized particles from the sun slam into our planet’s magnetic field, creating a dazzling dance of light and color for Earth’s inhabitants to marvel at.

Night Sky 03 Jasper Credit Ryan Bray

Zodiacal Light

A band of sunlight reflected in cosmic dust, this beautiful sight stretches in a triangle shape across the Western sky at dusk and Eastern sky before the sun rises.

Night Sky 04 Jasper Credit Jeff Bartlett

The Moon

The Earth’s orbiting moon offers a range of visual delights, appearing in different shapes and locations depending on the time of month, day, and year. Additionally, special lunar events include eclipses, supermoons, and harvest moons.

Essential Gear and Equipment

While your eyes can provide quite a visual treat themselves, you can enhance your night sky viewing with cameras, telescopes, and binoculars. Use a red flashlight to provide visibility while you set up in the dark, making it easier for your eyes to adjust.

Tips

Anytime you decide to go explore nature, you should…

  • Check the weather.
  • Research the area and take a map with you. 
  • Carry the proper gear for the experience.
  • Bring extra food.
  • Tell someone where you are going.
  • Check with the Parks or tourism office for closures and wildlife updates. 
  • Follow the Leave No Trace principles.
  • Do not feed, touch or approach wildlife.
Night Sky 01 Grasslands National Park Credit Tourism Saskatchewan and Chris Hendrickson Photography

Bring your friends – The best views are out in the wilderness, away from other light sources, so go in a group to ensure safety.

Reduce light pollution – Use a red flashlight when setting up, turn off your phone, and favor amber over blue/white lights. Doing so not only enhances your experience, but also helps to save the planet’s dark skies.

Did You Know?

While the Yukon’s peak season for the dancing Northern lights is September to April, their night sky during the summer months has something special to offer as well. As the Yukon is north of the Arctic Circle, the sun remains above the horizon almost the entire day from mid May to mid July. Yukon is referred to as The Land of the Midnight Sun, and on the June solstice, you can head to a mountain top and watch the sun circle right around the peak without ever setting.

Midnight Sun 01 Yukon Credit Government of Yukon

Have Questions?

Sometimes it’s just easier to talk to someone. Give us a call and let’s discuss how we can create your unique experience.