Dark Sky Adventure Tour
This is our adventurous, exciting tour, which was awarded the Travel Alberta ALTO Award for New Tourism Experience of the Year!
Featuring a longer and more-physically-demanding night hike, the Adventure Tour takes participants away from the roads and lights, and into the backcountry. Please note that telescopes are not used on this tour - after all, the best way to stargaze is simply to use your own two eyes!
COVID-19 UPDATE (January 31, 2022):
Dark Sky Guides continues to offer various guided walking tours around Waterton Lakes National Park, with restricted group sizes. The Dark Sky Guides’ 15-passenger tour bus will be utilized for certain tours offered during the summer months, and will be operated in a manner consistent with Alberta Government restrictions.
Please note, to ensure the safest and healthiest tour environment possible, Dark Sky Guides has made the decision that tours WILL NOT offer telescopes, binoculars or other optical stargazing equipment at this time, and until further notice. This decision has been made to reduce guests’ exposure to high-touch surfaces, and to avoid damaging the sensitive optics of the stargazing equipment from extra/additional cleaning/disinfectants.
In the absence of telescopes and other stargazing equipment, all tours will instead focus on immersive storytelling experiences that will be augmented by naked-eye stargazing, and interpretation that encourages guests to explore with all of their senses.
DSG strongly encourages all interested tour participants (“guests”) to consider booking private/custom tours so as to limit your exposure to others and maintain better social distancing, as well as allow our guides to offer a more personable 1-on-1 experience.
Guests are strongly encouraged to bring/wear their own masks at any time during the tour where a minimum 2m. (6') distance cannot be maintained.
This tour begins when your guide picks you up from your accommodation within Waterton Lakes National Park. After stepping aboard the Dark Sky Tour Bus, your guide will safely drive approximately 20-minutes to the trailhead. During the drive you will get to know the guides and learn about Waterton Lakes National Park. The hike involves night time hiking at a moderate pace, following a developed trail over undulating hills and through various stands of trees. The hike can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to arrive at our destination. Participants will feel what it’s really like to go for a hike in the dark. Once at the destination, sit down, lean back and look up!
Our guides will begin by pointing out a few noteworthy features (depending on what’s visible that particular night) and help you learn to navigate your way around the night sky. Listen to some interesting stories about the cosmos and discover your universe.
Before you start to get tired, the group will pack up and begin the return hike to the bus. Along the way, your guides will point out a few more noteworthy features and share a few additional stories. Once aboard the bus, sit back and relax in comfort as we drive back to town and your accommodation.
Please note that the use of telescopes are not included in this tour. The Dark Sky Adventure Tour focuses on the night hike itself, as well as naked-eye and binocular stargazing, and immersive storytelling.
COVID-19 NOTE: Not all of the above mentioned elements of this tour may be available due to Health & Safety concerns resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic.
What’s included in the Tour?
- Personalized tour commentary provided by knowledgeable, friendly, experienced local guides
- Complimentary shuttle transport with pick-up and drop-off at the location of your choosing in Waterton Lakes National Park
- Hiking poles
What to Bring / Wear
- Whenever you are taking part in outdoor activities in the mountains, it is a good idea to dress in layers appropriate for the weather (e.g. Tops: base-layer t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, sweater or fleece, outer-layer jacket; Bottoms: shorts, long underwear, pants)
- Appropriate outerwear suited for the weather (a good windbreaker or rain jacket)
- Wear good, sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots
- Appropriate headwear (hat, bandana, warm toque, if desired)
- A small backpack (with rain-cover, if you have one)
- Your own headlamp with required red-light setting (if desired)
- Your own hiking poles (if desired)
- A blanket (if desired)
- A favorite cushion or collapsible/folding camp chair (to kneel / sit on, if desired)
- Any medications / allergy prevention
- A Sense of Adventure and an interest to learn!
This tour is suited for participants who enjoy an active lifestyle. Some younger and older participants might find this tour too physically demanding, so should instead look at our Night Sky Discovery Tour.
Approx. 2.5 hrs (start time varies depending on time of year / time it gets dark)
Max Number of Participants: 12
Min Number of Participants: 3
What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate? Click Here to read our FAQs about our back-up plan.