It’s midnight on the Icefields Parkway, and my only company is a light breeze. In the clear fall sky overhead, stars, planets and clouds of stellar gas are bright enough to reflect off the snow on the surrounding mountain peaks.
A brilliant geyser, the Milky Way erupts out of the tongue of the Athabasca Glacier. Here, on Alberta’s Highway 93 North, nature is stage-managing the ultimate light show. Like Hawaii and Chile before it, Canada has become a bucket-list destination for astronomy lovers. The country is now home to nearly half the world’s recognized dark-sky preserves—19 designated areas protected against urban light pollution. And Jasper National Park has more goods to lure stargazers than just about any other place on Earth.