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Northern Lights & Dark Skies Nature & Wildlife

Imagine looking up and seeing a wisp of neon green uncurl slowly across the Canadian night sky. The apparition is soon joined by others and together they grow into a bright, pulsating chorus of multi-colored light, waving, melting away and then forming anew. The aurora borealis is one of the most surreal natural phenomena on earth. Optimal viewing is September through mid-May in northern Alberta and in dark skies around the province. Lucky us – we have the world's two largest dark-sky preserves: Wood Buffalo and Jasper national parks.
Northern lights Cold Lake
Northern Lights viewing on Cold Lake
Dark sky in Jasper National Park

Northern Light & Dark Sky Preserve Options

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Jasper Dark Sky Preserve

Jasper, Alberta

Due to it's vast size and location, the 11,000 sq km (4,247 mi) Jasper National Park is considered to be the world's largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve. It's also one of best places to stargaze in the Canadian Rockies. Every October the park holds a Dark Sky Festival that includes both free and ticketed events and workshops. You can learn about the constellations, listen to aboriginal songs and stories and even pick up some tips for photographing the spectacular starlit sky.

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Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve

Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

This 300 sq km (116 sq mi) dark sky preserve, just east of Edmonton, encompasses Elk Island National Park and neighboring Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area. By reducing artificial light, the preserve increases the visibility of the night sky. Whether you stargaze around the campfire or attend the preserve's annual Star Party in September, you'll find that the night sky shines brighter in Beaver Hills.

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Cypress Hills Provincial Park Dark Sky Preserve

Elkwater, Alberta

Due to its high elevation and lack of urban light pollution, Cypress Hills was the first designated Dark Sky Preserve in Alberta. Every August the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada holds a Summer Star Party that's considered to be one of the largest stargazing events in the country. The park also offers a variety of camping options, so cozy up by the campfire and gaze in wonder at the starlit sky. If the conditions are right, you may even see the Northern Lights.

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Travel Offers

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Earth Hour Planetarium & Telescope Experience

Enjoy your very own “dome experience” with astronomy experts, guided tour of the stars above Jasper’s most iconic destinations and incredible 360-degree views, followed by an astronomer who will take you outside for incredible stargazing: peer into the skies using the largest telescopes in the Canadian Rockies!

Expires: 2017-03-25
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Stargazing Snowshoe Tours

Come to Kananaskis and be dazzled by a sky full of more stars than you can possibly fathom. Join our skilled interpreters on a starlit snowshoe through a frosty forest, enjoy hot chocolate in a mountain meadow and be awed by the incredible vastness of the milky-way before your eyes.

Expires: 2017-03-24
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Sunshine Village Snowshoe and Fondue Tour

Sunshine’s historical snowshoe tour provides a unique Rocky Mountain experience through untouched powder deep into Sunshine Meadows a location renowned for beauty and immense Rocky Mountain surroundings. The experience culminates indoors at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge’s Chimney Corner Lounge and Wine Bar with a traditional Swiss-style cheese fondue.

Expires: 2017-04-30
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Tours

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Rocky Mountain Adventure Bike Touring Company Ltd

Edmonton, Alberta

Have you ever wanted to ride an adventure motorcycle through the beautiful Canadian Rockies and not take the tourist highways? Rocky Mountain Adventure Bike Touring Company specializes in guiding riders along the interesting and adventurous paths less travelled, in a unique, all-inclusive package.

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Adventure Borealis

Fort McMurray, Alberta

Adventure Borealis offers premier outdoor adventures in the heart of the oil sands. Our local Metis guides help ensure your memories of an outdoor experience in Fort McMurray will last a lifetime. Our years of outdoor experience and knowledge of the region will provide a safe and enjoyable experience.

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SunDog Tour Co.

Jasper, Alberta
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Providing memorable sightseeing, activity and transportation services. From daily sightseeing excursions, to group tours, to airport shuttles, to coach touring and conference services, our staff of holiday planners specialize in making your time in the mountains unforgettable.

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Events

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No Greater Love

Morley, Alberta
2017-08-12 to 2017-08-13 MST

No Greater Love Music Festival is quickly establishing the reputation as being the ultimate faith festival experience. It’s all about unity and community. Thousands coming together at the foot of the majestic Canadian Rockies that is now being dubbed one of the most spectacular festival backdrops in North America. Hosted on the lands of the Stoney Nakoda Nation, recognized as 'Mother Nature’s Movie Set' where Hollywood blockbusters like The Revenant, Legends of The Fall and Shanghai Noon were filmed. It’s the perfect setting for a one-of-a-kind festival experience.

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