Dark Sky Guides
Dark Sky Guides
5
Walking ToursNight ToursSightseeing ToursNature & Wildlife Tours
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Monday
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Tuesday
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Wednesday
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Thursday
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Friday
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Saturday
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Sunday
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM
About
Dark Sky Guides offers guided interpretive nighttime tours and stargazing opportunities in Waterton Lakes National Park, by providing tour participants with the chance to stargaze using quality telescopes, binoculars, and other stargazing equipment. The Dark Sky Guides are storytellers that deliver personable, memorable, interpretive tours that focus on showcasing the night sky, the moon and neighboring planets, deep sky objects like distant nebulae and star clusters, the Milky Way Galaxy, constellations, and even Aurora Borealis and nocturnal creatures. Ultimately, we encourage people to foster their own personal connection with both the night sky and Waterton Lakes National Park. Join us and Discovery your Universe!
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2024

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Travelers talk about
(14 reviews)
(14 reviews)
(12 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles165 reviews
Excellent
158
Very good
5
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
0

V C
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
Keith was an excellent guide! Despite Covid restrictions that prevented us from being able to use telescopes, Dark Sky Guides put together an engaging program. Being from the city, we loved seeing all the stars we normally can’t see, the Milky Way and learning about astronomy. We even got to hold a real meteorite rock! It was quite cold and we were not prepared so I would recommend that you bring layers, even in the summer. It might be nice to have blankets available, although I understand this might not be possible with Covid. After guests book, a suggestion to bring layers or a blanket in the confirmation email may help. I’m excited to see the soon-to-be opened planetarium one day soon. Thanks for a wonderful experience, Keith!
Written July 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We are so happy to receive your great review of our guide Keith. Thank you so much! It is unfortunate that we are not able to use our telescopes this year due to COVID-19, but we appreciate your understanding of our COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan/Policies. And we are glad to hear that you still found the tour engaging. You are correct that is can get cold at night and we're sorry we weren't able to offer you blankets (we used to have them available on the Night Sky Discovery Tour, prior to the pandemic, but we had to remove those from our tours, for the time being too...). 27vc, thank you for the great suggestion about adding "blankets/layers" to the confirmation email. We will add that right away! We look forward to having you join us for a planetarium experience soon! Thanks again!
Written July 29, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisa Marie
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Couples
This was my most memorable moment of my trip hands down.
Keith will pick you up from your hotel (around 11pm) and take you about 15 mins from the hotel to Red Rock canyon. We only had two other people on tour with us.
He talks about his beloved town and super knowledgeable when asking questions. His demeanour is extremely warming and you know he is doing something he loves.
A short hike (easy trail, maybe 15 mins) with headlamps (you can use their hiking poles too if needed) to the gazing spot is next. The experience and feel of being outdoors at night is something in itself.
Once you get to the gazing spot he does the story telling and gives you all the information about the stars and more. You can bring a blanket to lay down and look up which I recommend. We had a super beautiful clear night, seeing the stars like that was worth it and then some. Because of Covid we couldn’t use telescopes or binoculars but in all honesty I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. Just laying there looking up was enough for me. Keith was just superb and made it more intimate and comfortable, not “tour guidey”. Full of knowledge and you get to hear the beautiful history.
It was something I will always remember, I highly recommend booking a tour!!
Written July 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much, Lisa, for your kind words and amazing review; your comments mean the world to us! It's great to hear that your Dark Sky Adventure Tour was such a memorable experience! Even though AHS and the Alberta Government have lifted COVID restrictions, we still feel that to ensure a safe experience for our guests and Guides, as well as to protect our stargazing equipment from the chemicals in various disinfectants, we are going to continue without telescopes and binoculars for the time being, and instead continue to focus on delivering naked-eye stargazing experiences (with assistance from our handy Green Laser Pointer). We will continue to monitor the pandemic situation across the province as the summer progresses and we hope to be able to change our operations later this year, but we cannot confirm if/when those changes will be implemented.
Written July 13, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lyle2017
Lloydminster, Canada5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
We were a group of 6 that had the pleasure of viewing the night sky with the highly knowledgeable guide, Keith, from Dark Sky Guides. He pointed out constellations as well as relayed native stories about them. We were very impressed and would definitely recommend taking the time to enjoy the dark sky preserve while you are vacationing at Waterton National Park. Worth the money for sure.
Written June 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for the wonderful review, Lyle2017! Keith is just one of the Dark Sky Guides, and he is a Professionally Certified Interpretive Tour Guide with a commercial Class 1 drivers license and his 80-hr Wilderness First Responder First Aid certificate (among other certifications), to ensure a safe stargazing experience.
Written July 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Victoria M
Pincher Creek, Canada4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Had an amazing first time experience hiking at night, with a knowledgeable tour leader. My Dark Sky Adventure Tour began with pickup at the Prince of Wales Hotel. On the drive to the trail head we were treated to a narrative history of Waterton Park and its amazing wild diversity. Hiking through the forest at night, under the stars, is a completely different experience. Sounds take on so much meaning when sight is limited, the rush of water, rustle of the breeze. With no interference from light pollution and a waterfall for background, we settled in as our guide brought the heavens to life, aided by a laser pointer. Stars, planets, and constellations identified and their movements explained, retelling of ancient legends and myths behind their names. If the world feels like its changing too fast, this tour will reconnect you to things that are eternal. Highly recommend!
Written July 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
What an extraordinary review - thank you so much! Our Dark Sky Adventure Tour is a great way for people to safely experience night-time hiking, led by an experienced local guide. This tour takes you away from the sights and sounds of civilization and allows you to connect with nature and the cosmos, in a personal, meaningful way using all of your senses! Once again, Victoria, thank you for taking the time to leave such a great review! We hope to see you in Waterton Lakes National Park again in the future and hope you might join us for one of our other tours later in the year, as the constellations (and our interpretation) change with the seasons!
Written July 13, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cruiser568595
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
If you like star gazing or just a pleasant walk in the dark in the mountains at night, check out the Dark Skies hike. Our guide Keith is a rare genuine Waterton native and has a great knowledge of the subject. Even if you know your constellations, you probably haven't heard about the aboriginal versions of them and Keith told some great stories that shine a light on aboriginal culture. Waterton is a dark sky preserve so there's not a lot of places to experience the stars like this. We were lucky enough to enjoy a warm, clear night and it was a wonderful experience.
Written July 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
It means so much to us, Cruiser568595, that you took the time to leave such a wonderful review! And we are very happy to hear you enjoyed what Keith had to share. Like all of the Dark Sky Guides, Keith is a Professional Interpreter, and has a group management certificate, issued by the Interpretive Guides Association. As one of our tour bus drivers, Keith holds a valid professional-class Driver's License. Furthermore, he has also earned the title of a Tourism Certified Professional as a Tour Guide, from Tourism HR Canada. All of our guides also have appropriate current first aid training. We believe it is important that our guides are properly trained so as to offer the highest quality, safest, and most professional experience possible. We constantly encourage our guides to expand their natural history knowledge, and pursue continuing professional development opportunities to enhance their guiding skills.
Written July 14, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bonnie
Calgary, Canada2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Friends
This was a great experience! A friend and I booked a custom tour with Dark Sky Guides. Keith hosted the tour and he was very knowledgeable about the constellations. We enjoyed his stories about the indigenous myths and discussion on a topics ranging from the air currents in the mountains to ufo’s. We had a very bright full moon the night of our tour which impaired our ability to view the milky way but he modified his presentation and location for viewing to make sure we still had a memorable experience. Keith used a laser pointer to help point out the stars and constellation as he spoke which was brilliant...that really helped to identify what we were viewing. We also got a bonus wildlife experience with all the animals that were out and about that night.
Written August 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Custom/Private Tours are, in our opinion, the best type of tour to book, as it allows our guides the greatest opportunity to connect with our guests. Custom/Private tours are designed in such a way, that the guide can tweak and adjust the tour duration, stargazing location, and interpretation/storytelling. We love being able to cater the tour to the interests of each specific group and feel that this creates a more personable, memorable experience. Thank you so much for joining us!
Written August 12, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Harpreet S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Great experience! They were not able to pick us up in their van from our accommodation because we stayed an hour away from the Waterton park. We were provided with reclining chairs, which I felt were a little uncomfortable. I had to move my chair around to look at different directions in the sky. I would recommend dressing warmly and carrying a blanket even if it is really warm during the day. The day we went for dark sky adventures, it was very hot during the day, we thought that we would not need blankets in the night, but luckily we brought our blankets at night and were still cold. Due to the smoke and moonlight, we could not see as many stars in the beginning but as the moon set, more stars were visible. We saw a couple of shooting stars, many constellations, planets, and International Space Station. Our guide, Keith, was very knowledgeable about the night sky and in the end, I was left with knowledge about the night sky that I didn't have before.
Written July 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for the great review - we really appreciate it. While we offer complimentary pick-up / drop-off from accommodations within the Waterton townsite, we are unable to provide full transportation from accommodations outside of the Park (due to timing/logistics of picking up those who are staying in town). Thank you for your understanding and flexibility. Lastly, thank you for sharing your comments about blankets (we have started to look into offering blankets to guests next year - once we have hopefully moved beyond the effects of the pandemic).
Written July 26, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wanda R
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We took part in the Dark Sky Guides "Discovery Tour" and had a fascinating evening star gazing. Keith was an excellent guide pointing out the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars as well as numerous constellations that came to life with his tablet which made it easier to picture each constellation and the stars we were looking at. With the use of his lazer pointer we could easily follow as he pointed out the fascinating objects in the night sky. We even saw a shooting star and then learned all about meteors & meteorites and even got to handle a true meteorite piece. Keith also included information on local First Nations legends regarding the constellations. We would recommend this to everyone and would love to do another of their tours.
Written September 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeoDudeDenver
Denver, CO10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
This dark skies tour was definitely one of the highlights of our quick three-day trip to Waterton, Alberta in mid-September, 2023. We learned so much from our guide, Keith Robinson. He picked us up from our hotel at around 10 pm in a very comfortable mini bus. Keith was very professional and gave us an overview of the company and the experience. He drove us outside of Waterton where the only ambient light was from the stars and Milky Way. He set up very comfortable stargazing chairs and we enjoyed spotting a spectacular array of shooting stars, satellites, and celestial formations. He pointed out the constellations, stars, and planets that were visible in the night sky. Keith brought an amazing digital telescope that tracked with the night sky. The telescope allowed us to see nebulas, galaxies, Jupiter, and Saturn. One of the best things was that he was very knowledgeable in answering the many questions from our inherently curious group. He not only answered our many questions about deep space but also about the history of the area, indigenous beliefs, wildlife, geology, the Kenow wildfire, and life in Waterton during the winter. Keith was obviously passionate about space and the human relationship with the natural world. We were fortunate to not have any moonlight, wind, or clouds on the night we took the tour. But even if we had, I am confident that we would still have had a fantastic experience that we would have remembered for the rest of our lives. Highly recommend and we wish Dark Sky Guides all the best as they continue expanding minds about space.
Written September 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for leaving this fantastic review! It was real a pleasure to be able to share Waterton's dark skies with you earlier this month! As a local, year-round resident of Waterton Lakes National Park, Keith is one of the most-experienced and most-knowledgeable guides in the area; he prides himself on being able to offer up insightful, meaningful interpretive moments on just about any topic related to the Waterton-area.
Written September 18, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mackenzie
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Friends
My evening with Dark Sky Guides was a mixture of adventure, learning and awe!

I appreciated Keith's (our guide) interest in providing us with local legend, knowledge and lore. I will never forget some of the stories that accompany the stars in our beautiful summer skies!

The process was easy and organised. I believe the tour caters to folks who range from avid hikers to first timers. Those in our group who have never done a nighttime hike were outfitted with gear (headlamps and walking poles). We stayed together during the hike to our stargazing site and learned about some local flora and fauna along the way (we even saw some adorable boreal toads!).

I would recommend bringing layers even if it is a hot night in town and a blanket to rest on while listening, looking and learning about these cool (or hot) astronomical objects!

Well worth staying up past my bedtime for.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Our ALTO-Award-Winning Dark Sky Adventure Tour is a great way for both experienced backcountry enthusiasts and first timers to challenge themselves with a night-time hike and stargazing experience that offers more than just a chance to look at the stars (like seeing those rather elusive boreal toads!). Thank you so much for the amazing review; we really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with others. And we are happy to hear that you felt it was worthwhile to stay up late (the approximately 2.5 hour tour normally ends around 01:30 am during the summer months).
Written July 6, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 165

Dark Sky Guides - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All Waterton Lakes National Park HotelsWaterton Lakes National Park Hotel Deals
All things to do in Waterton Lakes National Park
Spas & Wellness in Waterton Lakes National ParkTheater & Concerts in Waterton Lakes National ParkDay Trips in Waterton Lakes National Park
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars