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

Dates: Saturdays in September 14, 21, 28 || October 5, 12, 19
Time: 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Cost: $15 per person plus valid park pass
Register: 780-922-5790 beginning September 3
*Registration is strongly recommended; max of 25 participants

Experience the wonder of Elk Island’s night sky. In the heart of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve, escape the city to gaze upon the countless stars in our galaxy and learn to navigate from one constellation to the next. Campfire, hot chocolate, s'mores and a friendly park interpreter are included.

What to bring:

  • Headlamp or flashlight with a red light or red filter
  • A lawn chair
  • Appropriate clothing; be prepared for one hour outside in cool evening conditions.

Snowshoe and Stargaze

Dates: Saturdays || December 21, 28 || January 4, 11, 18, 25 || February 1, 8, 15,
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Cost: $29.80 per person with a valid park pass


  • Parks Canada guide
  • Use of snowshoes
  • Warm snacks and refreshments

Register: 780-922-5790 beginning November 15
* Registration is required; max of 20 participants

Come take part in two unique experiences at Elk Island National Park: snowshoeing and stargazing!

Begin your experience with a short guided hike on snowshoes around the shore of Astotin Lake. Roam atop the snow like a snowshoe hare while stars twinkle overhead. As you march along, the welcoming crackling of a campfire eclipses the soft sounds of nature surrounding you.

Grab some refreshments and gather around the fire. Gaze up and stare into the night sky full of stars. With a park interpreter as your guide, navigate the sky of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve; without the glow of city lights around you’ll see more than you knew existed.

After learning about the constellations above, strap your snowshoes back on for the short hike back to the Astotin Lake Recreation Area. As you walk along, listen for the crunch of snow underfoot, trees blowing in the breeze, or the call of an owl overhead.

What to bring:

  • Headlamp or flashlight with a red light or red filter
  • Snow/ski pants
  • Appropriate winter clothing; be prepared for two hours outside in cool 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.