Dark sky experiences

Elk Island National Park

Join fellow night sky enthusiasts at Astotin Lake after dark! Elk Island National Park is a member of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve and is a perfect place to experience the stars and planets above. Because the earth is constantly rotating, the night sky changes throughout the year.

Gateway to the Stars

Thank you to everyone who participated in Gateway to the Stars! The program is now finished for this season but check back at the end of summer 2023 for more opportunities to attend next year!

Snowshoe and Stargaze

(Sold Out)

Dates: Saturdays || January 7 (full), 14 (full), 21 (full), 28 (full) || February 4 (full), 11 (full), 18 (full)
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Cost: See prices, plus valid park pass

Register: Call 780-992-2965 or email interp.elkisland@pc.gc.ca; beginning November 15
Registration is required. Registrations are managed on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please contact us on one of those days, send an email, or leave a message and we will get back to you on the next booking day.

Program Information:

Come take part in two unique experiences at Elk Island National Park: snowshoeing and stargazing! A short guided snowshoe hike around the shore of Astotin Lake takes you atop the snow like a snowshoe hare while stars twinkle overhead. With a park interpreter and Orion as your guide, settle in next to a campfire and gaze up into a sky full of stars and learn to navigate the night sky of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve. Without the glow of city lights you’ll see more than you knew existed!


  • Parks Canada interpretative program
  • Use of snowshoes during the program
  • Use of a red headlamp during the program

What to bring:

  • Snow/ski pants
  • Appropriate winter clothing; be prepared for two hours outside in evening conditions

Note: Programs may be rescheduled or cancelled due to extreme weather conditions. Please ensure that the contact information given upon registration is accurate. You will be notified of cancelled or rescheduled programs. Refunds will not be issued if programs run.

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