Night Sky Discovery Tour
Join us on our most popular night sky discovery tour. This low-intensity tour focuses on discovering the night sky, learning about nocturnal creatures, understanding the importance of dark skies devoid of light pollution, spending time stargazing, and having the opportunity to peer through various telescopes!
COVID-19 UPDATE (May 8, 2021):
Dark Sky Guides will offer various guided walking tours around Waterton Lakes National Park, with restricted group sizes, as permitted by the Alberta Government. The Dark Sky Guides’ 15-passenger tour bus will be utilized and operated in a manner consistent with Alberta Government restrictions. The Waterton Planetarium will become operational at a later date, to be announced.
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 (onboard the bus, or outside) where a minimum 2m distance cannot be maintained.
Please click here for our full COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan.
This tour begins with a shuttle bus pick-up from your accommodation in the Waterton townsite, and a short ride out towards the northern boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park.
The focus of this tour is not so much the journey, but the destination. We will help you to become familiar with the night sky, nocturnal creatures and the issue of light pollution. We will then set up our telescopes, pass around the binoculars and share our stargazing app-equipped tablet. Our guides will point out some noteworthy features (depending on what’s visible that particular night) and help you learn to navigate your way around the night sky.
After you’ve had your fill of dark skies we’ll pack up and return to the bus. From there, it’s just a short return trip to 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
- 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, rain jacket, or winter jacket - depending on time of year)
- 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 of all ages, fitness levels and experience levels.
Approx. 1.5 hrs (start time varies depending on time of year / time it gets dark)
Max Number of Participants: 13
Min Number of Participants: 2
What happens if the weather doesn’t cooperate? Click here to read our FAQs about our back-up plan.