Milky Way at Jasper Town

Big Dipper & Milky Way at Pyramid Lake Island Bridge - Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada | SAMTSAI.COM

September 23, 2011: Star gazing on the Pyramid Lake Island Bridge in Jasper National Park. The Big Dipper can be seen.

Pyramid Lake is one of the few spots within town Jasper that is easily accessible within walking distance and is very dark with very little light pollution for Milky Way viewing. Check the map at end of this article for exact location.

The First Annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival took place on Oct 21-24, 2011. Weather permitting, star gazing is accessible within town of Jasper by Pyramid Lake. I’ve been there on September 23 (one lunar month prior), so I know it’s possible to see milky way there. :D Jasper National Park is designated as the World’s Largest Dark Sky Preserve. Canada is the only country in the world that has established a set of criteria for Dark Sky Preserve, based on Bortle Dark-Sky Scale. It’s a 9-point rating system for stargazing, with 1 being the darkest or purest, and 9 being the worst (eg, Toronto). Jasper is the darkest of all of Canada’s Dark Sky Preserves, for being 1 to 2 on the scale. 97% of the Jasper park is a designated wilderness area, free of light pollution, with roads and trails providing easy access to excellent year-round stargazing sites.

Milky Way above Coast Pyramid Lake Resort Hotel - Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada | SAMTSAI.COM

September 23, 2011: Milky Way can be seen directly above my head. So amazing!!!

This shot was taken in front of Coast Pyramid Lake Resort. No additional light was required. The whole place was illuminated by the lights from the hotel. I was quite impressed by the amount of details captured with the Canon 60D camera.

Star Gazing at Pyramid Lake at Night - Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada | SAM TSAI . COM

September 23, 2011: Starlight at Jasper Pyramid Lake Monument. Pyramid Mountain can be seen in the background.

To take the above shot, I used Coleman LED Quad Lantern to light up the foreground (ie, my face and the Pyramid Lake monument). Pyramid Mountain in the background is lighted up by starlight.

Other star gazing locations within Jasper National Park include: Milky Way at Pyramid Lake/Island/Mountain, Milky Way in front of Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls Milky Way, and of course Milky Way Over Columbia Icefield.


Exact location of Pyramid Lake is indicated by Green Arrow.

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