Jasper National Park Dark Skies Preserve
Jasper National Park is one of North America’s best places to stargaze. Jasper National Park has truly earned its nickname, The Dark Sky Capital of Canada. This USA Library of Congress Image shows all of North America awash in artificial light. The one un-bright spot (sorry, pun) is Jasper, the yellow telescope in this image.
A Dark-Sky Preserve is an area in which artificial lighting is very limited and strictly controlled, and active measures are in place to educate and promote the reduction of light pollution to the public and nearby municipalities. Sky glow from beyond the borders of the Preserve will be of comparable intensity, or less, to that of natural sky glow. Public are able to access the Preserve at night.
Designated Dark Sky Preserves must pass rigorous screening and ongoing environment protection plus spirit of education in order to maintain status as a preserve.
Our Dark Sky Preserve is a light-protected area of over 11,000 square kilometres, the largest of Canada’s Dark Sky Preserves!
Royal Astronomical Society Tips
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada offers great tips on how to get started observing stars. They’ve also got a great, down-loadable star-finder chart. Or you can order one online. Star gazing is a fun activity that you can tailor to fit any ages.
Starry nights are a big part of Jasper’s appeal as a tourist destination, but they’re not just for tourists. The town of Jasper has adopted an official dark skies policy, which means they’re committed to making sure that people can enjoy the night sky as much as possible.
This past August we enjoyed watching shooting stars while camping out!
Jasper Dark Skies Festival
The dark skies festival officially starts on October 13 through to October 29th. However, you will find star gazing opportunities throughout the year.
Bring your own binoculars or telescope but they’re not essential. You can observe with the naked eye or, better yet, attend presentations by darks skies experts.
Travel Jasper has more ideas on how to best observe our incredible night skies.
One of the best ways to experience the area at nighttime is via the Jasper Skytram.The Skytram links Jasper’s town centre with Whyte Lake, which lies about 4,000 feet above sea level.
During the fall months, the Jasper SkyTram offers a unique dining experience. Guests can enjoy a gourmet meal in the Summit Cafe while star-gazing. After desert, you will have the opportunity to look through telescopes for optimal viewing of stars and planets.
According to NASA, Saturn is the Jewel of the Solar System. From our fairytale-like perch on top of the world, we were treated to a closer look at Saturn courtesy of our SkyTram star-gazing guides!
Symphony Under The Stars
One of the events we absolutely love during the dark skies festival is the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge symphony under the stars. It’s a popular event so you’ll want to plan ahead & get your tickets asap.
Cozy up with a blanket and listen to the magic of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Strings amplified by the Rocky Mountains under an infinitely vast light show of dancing stars.