Ahhh… a little midsummer night under the stars. And with the Perseid Meteor Shower going into full swing this month, we think it’s just about the right time to talk about all the amazing locations in Alberta for stargazing. Luckily, we’ve got quite a few options to enjoy around the province!

Turns out, Alberta is home to 5 different ‘Dark Sky Preserves’, or regions that are specifically designated for stargazing, and have been protected for that purpose. Some of these belong to the most well-known parks in the province, while others are most certainly part of the ‘hidden gem’ category.

The most notable in the province are both in the northern half- those looking for some mountainside wonder should know that Jasper National Park is one of the most recent names in Canada, getting the recognition in 2011. But, those who truly want to immerse themselves in the night sky should head to the forest. That’s because Wood Buffalo National Park, which stretches between Canada and the Northwest Territories, is actually the largest Dark Sky Preserve in the entire world!

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Of course, you don’t need to spend an entire day driving to see the sights, as some other ones are much, much closer. Those in Edmonton might want to check out the nearby Elk Island National Park. While Calgarians can experience the beauty of Waterton Lakes, which has the unique bonus of being the world’s only International Dark Sky Preserve, sharing the claim with America’s Glacier National Park.

So that’s the nationally recognized side of things. However, there are a couple of provincial options to mention as well! On that front, you can check out Cypress Hills Provincial Park (just south of Medicine Hat) or head east of Lac La Biche to Lakeland Provincial Park. Those looking for more info can check out the Alberta government website.

One thing’s for sure- Alberta is a stargazing paradise, and you’ve got more than a few ways to see the very best of it! Keep it in mind the next time you feel like the night sky is calling your name.