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Dark Sky Guides

Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
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About Dark Sky Guides
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!
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Hours Today: 9:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
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Rhianne wrote a review Mar. 2022
1 contribution
As someone who loves the night sky but lives in the city, seeing the sky in a dark sky reserve is an unforgettable experience. Nobody else signed up for the tour last night but Keith was still willing to take myself and my partner on a private adventure tour. He was very knowledgeable and helped me to understand the constellations that I'm not able to see in the city. He had a laser pointer which was very helpful to know what we were looking at ! We also saw the ISS which was super cool! It is so important to look up and see what we are a part of in this universe! I highly recommend this and will definitely be coming back in the summer months to see the milky way. Thank you Keith !
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Date of experience: March 2022
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Response from The-Dark-Sky-Guides, Owner at Dark Sky Guides
Responded 4 weeks ago
Thank you Rhianne for such a wonderful review! It was our pleasure to go out with you on that enjoyable evening to see some of the wintertime constellations and the International Space Station! And we would love for you to come back to Waterton Lakes National Park and join us for a tour during the summer (when it is a whole different-looking sky)! We couldn't agree more that it is important to look up and appreciate the night sky overhead. With nearly 80% of the global population living under light-polluted night skies (which prevent you from being able to see all but the brightest stars in the sky), being able to enjoy unimpeded views of an unpolluted, pristine dark sky like that found here in Waterton is an awe-inspiring, humbling, yet incredibly memorable experience that everyone should have! After all, it is our mission to encourage everyone to foster their own personal connection with the night sky and Waterton Lakes National Park. Keep Your Eyes on the Skies!
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Anna wrote a review Mar. 2022
Canada3 contributions1 helpful vote
What an amazing trip! We did the townsite tour. Keith was incredibly knowledgeable, was able to answer all our questions and provided a fantastic experience overall! We even got to see several shooting stars! This tour would be great for kids and anyone looking for an easy walk. Highly recommend, can’t wait to come back!
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Date of experience: March 2022
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Response from The-Dark-Sky-Guides, Owner at Dark Sky Guides
Responded 4 weeks ago
Thank you for the 5-star review! Our Starry Skies Townsite Stroll tour is a great, low-intensity, 1-hour walking tour that offers a nice introduction to the night sky. Perfect for families with kids of all ages (as well as those looking for a moderately-easy excursion, and those who maybe don't want to be out too late at night) this tour focuses on naked-eye stargazing.
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Kelly W wrote a review Feb. 2022
1 contribution
We went for a family event to do , our son is 6 and he was able to do it , it was a great experience and so happy we did it. The weather wasn’t the greatest BUT the memory we created was perfect! Our son has asked if we could do it again , we can’t wait to create another memory together as a family. Highly recommended!!!
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Date of experience: February 2022
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Response from The-Dark-Sky-Guides, Owner at Dark Sky Guides
Responded Mar. 4, 2022
Thank you so much for the great review! And what a fantastic picture! We are so happy that your family enjoyed our brand new in 2022 "Discover Snowshoeing" tour experience. It was such a pleasure to spend some time with you all. This year, 2022, we began offering tours all year round, and we have just introduced two fun, exciting wintertime experiences: our day-time Discover Snowshoeing experience is great for those who want to learn to snowshoe; and our Snowshoe Winter Adventure Tour, for those seeking an after-dark stargazing/snowshoeing combination experience. Of course, we also offer our memorable 1-hour Starry Skies Townsite Stroll tour, too! Join us in Waterton Lakes National Park and Discover Your Universe - at any time of the year!
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Ashley M wrote a review Sep. 2021
1 contribution
Had the most amazing experience with dark sky guides! We were able to watch the moon appear from behind a mountain, and Keith was an extremely knowledgeable tour guide. Highly recommended if you seek a one of a kind adventure!
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Date of experience: September 2021
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Response from The-Dark-Sky-Guides, Owner at Dark Sky Guides
Responded Mar. 4, 2022
Thank you so much for this great review! Stargazing around the New Moon affords the best views of the night sky and many of the faint, deep sky objects. That being said, looking up at the night sky around the Full Moon offers some great opportunities to see mother nature put on all sorts of unexpected shows, such as the moon rising from behind the mountain peaks. We are a Travel Alberta ALTO-Award winning tour company in Waterton Lakes National Park that offers a very unique experience, which no other operator in southern Alberta quite compares with, and we pride ourselves on creating memorable experiences!
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Antonio M wrote a review Sep. 2021
Memphis, Tennessee6 contributions2 helpful votes
Please note an enjoyable experience at this tour is dependent on clear skies/good weather. It will not get cancelled or will you get a refund if there is nothing to see due to cloudy conditions which was our case. I do have to say everything else that was in control of Dark Sky Guides was phenomenal: transportation, special chairs to stargaze, explanation, guide knowledge, etc My experience: The tour guide came and picked us up at the hotel, in a passenger van at around 10pm. Everything looked like it was going on track for a great time, it had been raining a little before the pick up time, but it had stopped by then. Once we arrived at the chosen location to stargaze, the guide mentioned our eyes needed a little adjustment at dark to get a good look at the starts, so we should give it anywhere from 15-40 min. There were special chairs that recline all the way back to stargaze which I though were pretty cool, we laid them in the parking lot in a circle, there were about 12-15 of us there. I was a cloudy night, so there were no starts to see, the guide kept mentioning we should be patient and allow the weather to clear up, but it didn't. We sat in the parking lot for about 30min until we decided to head back. I understand the weather, cloudy skies, etc are in control of Mother Nature, but wanted to write the review to relate my experience. It was a real bummer since the rest of the factors unrelated to bad weather seemed to be working perfectly.
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Date of experience: September 2021
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Response from The-Dark-Sky-Guides, Owner at Dark Sky Guides
Responded Mar. 4, 2022
We thank you for sharing your experience with us; we appreciate all of the positive comments you shared! That being said, we must admit that it is a little disconcerting when you offer praise of the guide and the tour itself, yet give a 2-star review, which hurts our rating and our company. As with any tour company that operates outside, we are at the mercy of the weather, and we apologize when the weather doesn't cooperate. Our guides do their very best to monitor the weather forecast and stargazing sky conditions by consulting a number of different forecasts frequently, leading up to each tour. We consult three different weather forecasts each evening (monitoring for overcast conditions, wind behavior and probability of precipitation). In addition, our preferred stargazing-conditions-specific forecast app is usually quite accurate and we rely heavily on it. On top of this, we take into account our guide's experience and intuition (the humidity, current wind behavior, and general feel of the air). Of course, even despite these efforts, the weather doesn't always pan out as expected. In cases where the forecast looks ominous, or the actual conditions are not conducive to stargazing, we actually do cancel our tours and do our best to reschedule tour participants to a subsequent night (hence the reason we encourage you to book your experience for your first night in Waterton). In the off-chance that you are not able to reschedule to a later night, we can offer a company credit on your tour if you plan to visit WLNP at some point in the future. And in response to the ongoing pandemic, we do, as a last resort, offer full refunds for tours cancelled due to poor weather. Now, there are times, like this specific tour, where it rained earlier in the day, and then the clouds broke and sky cleared while picking all guests up from their accommodations in the Waterton townsite. On this particular night, our guide, had consulted the above-mentioned forecasts and (considering the conditions at the start of the tour being clear) made a decision to go ahead with the tour, as conditions were forecasted to improve. Unfortunately, the local sky conditions did not match the forecast and it remained overcast throughout the tour. And for this, we apologize. Please understand that we are working diligently towards implementing some exciting back-up / poor-weather alternative experiences which we hope to introduce in the near future, for times when the weather doesn't cooperate.
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