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Top 10 stargazing spots in Jasper

Jasper Dark Sky Festival

Top 10 stargazing spots in Jasper

This post was originally published on the Travel Alberta websiteExternal Link Title.


Dark sky viewing and appreciation has exploded in popularity lately, with visitors eager to venture beyond and look up at the universe in a whole new way. In 2011, Jasper National ParkExternal Link Title received a Dark Sky Preserve designation from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Today it is the second largest and most accessible preserve in the world at 4,250 square miles. It's almost a guarantee that on a clear night, the stargazing is stellar in just about any spot in the park.


Here are some of our favorite places to power down and look up.


1. Medicine Lake

Located 15 miles outside the town of Jasper is a clear blue glacier-fed lake in the summer. An air of mystery falls with the changing of the leaves and arrival of autumn as the water from the lake disappears. Although the water may come and go, the stars are here to stay. Take the short drive out to Medicine LakeExternal Link Title and ponder the universe as you take in billions of twinkling stars like never before. If you're lucky, you may even see the aurora borealisExternal Link Title, more frequent in the winter season but seen year round.


2. Pyramid Lake & Pyramid Lake Island

Venturing just outside the town of Jasper brings you to Pyramid LakeExternal Link Title. Located at the base of Pyramid MountainExternal Link Title, this lake houses a beautiful little island that is ideal ford admiring the stars.


3. Lake Annette

Just a short distance from the town of Jasper sits glistening Lake AnnetteExternal Link Title, with beautiful sandy shorelines. Bring some blankets, lie back and relax in the sand for a few hours as you take in the enormity of the universe.


4. Maligne Canyon

Maligne CanyonExternal Link Title is known for its gorgeous atmosphere and powerful waterfalls. The lesser-known beauty hides in the dark of night as the stars come out in full shine. Step away from the town and enjoy the sounds of rushing water as you drink in the beauty of the twinkling stars in a way that can only be done in one of the world's largest dark sky preserves. 


5. Lac Beauvert

Take a moment to venture beyond the luxury of the Fairmont Jasper Park LodgeExternal Link Title and step into the natural beauty of the night sky. Beside the tranquility of the lakeExternal Link Title, the peaceful sparkle of the stars is sure to put you into a trance of serenity.


6. Tonquin Valley

Ideal for the back country hiker and camper (who hold a Parks Canada Back Country Camping Permit, of course), the Tonquin ValleyExternal Link Title is a magical piece of nature criss-crossed by over 40 miles of hiking trails. Step out of your tent and brace yourself for the breathtaking beauty of the night sky free from light pollution.


7. Mount Edith Cavell

Marvel at the allure of billions of stars while surrounding yourself with mountain peaksExternal Link Title and glaciers. While considered one of the most beautiful hikes in the summer months, it is also a spectacular spot to look up into the universe.


8. Athabasca Falls 

Although Athabasca FallsExternal Link Title isn't the largest waterfall in Jasper National Park, it is the most powerful. With mountains towering in the distance, take in the awesome power of nature as you gaze out into the galaxy.


9. Columbia Icefields

Surround yourself with ancient beauty while stargazing at the Columbia IcefieldsExternal Link Title. What could be more grounding than taking in the timeless wonders of the universe while lounging near the largest icefield in the Canadian RockiesExternal Link Title. Located halfway between JasperExternal Link Title and BanffExternal Link Title, it's an ideal spot to stop on a late night drive to Jasper National Park. The Milky Way looks like it's rising straight up from the center of the Athabasca GlacierExternal Link Title.


10. Maligne Lake 

Maligne LakeExternal Link Title is home to the famous Spirit IslandExternal Link Title, one of the most photographed places in the world. At night this oasis transforms from daylight's natural elegance to reveal an awe-inspiring collection of stars. This tranquil space is perfect to sit back, relax and reflect on the natural beauty surrounding you.


Jasper's Dark Sky invites stargazing adventurers to get lost in the wonder of one of the world's largest dark sky preserves. Come celebrate the skies with the annual Jasper Dark Sky FestivalExternal Link Title, an ever-growing celebration aimed at connecting all ages to our universe and beyond.