Discover the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve

Northern Lights

The sky gets plenty dark in the North through fall, winter and spring until, that is, the Milky Way spills across the sky like a starry river. If you’re lucky, the Northern Lights will light up the night sky.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada designated Wood Buffalo National Park the world’s largest Dark Sky Reserve in 2013. This designation preserves habitat for almost a dozen owl species, bats and other nocturnal animals. Restricted artificial light also benefits us as constellations come to life and the Milky Way spills across the horizon. Flare activity on the sun can spread the reds and greens of the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights) across the night sky. Late August and September offer longer - but still warm! - nights for Aurora viewing. The cold, often crystal clear nights of December, January and February also offer amazing viewing opportunities. Campers enjoy a vast night sky filled with constellations. Wolves, owls and loons are often heard as visitors gaze at this astronomical portrait far from the urban glare.

The Dark Sky Festival is scheduled every August. Front country camping (self-registration) is available from May-September. Year-round backcountry permits are available. Observation sites remain open year-round.

For more information: Dark Sky Festival