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 in 2019!
Featuring a longer and more-physically-demanding night hike, the Adventure Tour takes participants away from the roads and lights, and into the backcountry.
COVID-19 UPDATE (June 15, 2020):
At this time, Dark Sky Guides will offer various guided walking tours around the Waterton townsite. The Dark Sky Guides’ 15-passenger tour bus will not be utilized until further notice, once all health and safety checks have been completed and installed.
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.
Please click here for our full COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.
This tour begins with an approximately 20-minute drive 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, you can look up, or better yet, set up a camp chair and lean back!
Our guides will set up our telescope, pass around the binoculars and share our stargazing app-equipped tablet. We will point 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. The Lead Guide will share a few interesting stories about the cosmos, while the tail guide prepares and passes out warm drinks.
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.
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 (only available for private bookings)
- Hiking poles
- Collapsible/folding camp chair
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 hrs (start time varies depending on time of year / time it gets dark)
Max Number of Participants: 12
Min Number of Participants: 2
What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate? Click Here to read our FAQs about our back-up plan.