Sunwapta Falls is 24km further south of Athabasca Falls (or 54km south of Jasper townsite). Both Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls are must-see tourist destinations along Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park. Both of them are by the highway and easily accessible after a short walk of 0.1km or so. They have virtually zero light pollution, making them great locations for stargazers to see milky way.
The First Annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival took place on Oct 21-24, 2011. Weather permitting, star gazing is possible at several locations in Jasper National Park, such as easily accessible Pyramid Lake / Mountain right in the town of Jasper and Athabasca Falls. However, Sunwapta Falls is one of my favourites. I’ve been there on September 23 (one lunar month prior), so I know it’s possible to see milky way there. Plus the milky way is directly above the famous Sunwapta Falls. So you get milky way and waterfalls two in one shot! :D Jasper National Park is designated as the World’s Largest Dark Sky Preserve.
Oh yea, one more thing. I went to Sunwapta Falls during the weekend of Sept 23, 2011, in a hope to see dead German Satellite crashing through the sky. It was reported that two German satellites were in the process of crashing through atmosphere. One of them set to fall to Earth around September 23-25 over Canadian sky. Sadly, I didn’t see any trace of it. :(
Anyway, 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 Sunwapta Falls (parking lot, trail head) is indicated by Green Arrow.
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