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Any photographers here that can answer?

Chilliwack, Canada
4 posts
Any photographers here that can answer?

I am going to drive to arrive in Banff June 10 and then head to Jasper the following morning. My sole reason for this trip is to photograph night skies and also landscape pictures in the daytime. Can anyone tell me what would be the best campsite to stay at that I could shoot dark sky from? I just need a place to park my car to sleep in the car. I won’t be bringing a tent for the two nights that I plan to stay. I just need a campground that I can use as a basecamp to sleep in after each day of photography. It's my first time to visit this area so I have no idea where a good place to park overnight is.

7 replies to this topic
Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
20,579 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Any photographers here that can answer?


i have no idea about best location but hope you are a night owl as it was still light around 11:00 pm in Jasper early June when we went. https://flic.kr/p/nTpK8W

Chilliwack, Canada
4 posts
2. Re: Any photographers here that can answer?

Wow! It sure stays light a long time. Thanks for sharing that link to your photos. Very nice!

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
22,190 posts
132 reviews
3. Re: Any photographers here that can answer?

Jasper National Park is a Dark Sky Preserve. However, the larger campgrounds (Whistler & Wapiti) have some street lights, so I would recommend one of the smaller first-come, first-served campsites along the Icefields Parkway. Traffic is very light on the parkway overnight so you won't have headlights. Most, if not all, campgrounds are forested, so you will want somewhere more open to photograph the sky. If you are not concerned about being near Banff townsite, you might consider Waterfowl Lakes CG, about halfway between Banff and Jasper townsites. It's also at fairly high elevation. If you camp at Wilcox Creek CG, you could head to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier to shoot.

You might want to bring some screening and tape, to rig up a way to have a window open for fresh air without letting in a bunch of mosquitoes.

Sunset on June 11th is 10:17 pm at Jasper townsite, and sunrise the next morning is 5:27 a.m. It's actually only dark for a few hours, in the wee hours, maybe 12:30 to 3:00 or 3:30 (and not actually totally dark, but actually "astronomical twilight").

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
274 posts
4. Re: Any photographers here that can answer?

Jasper and Banff are far enough north that from late May through late July the night sky never gets completely dark, they get about 3 hours of "astronomical twilight" between roughly midnight and 3 a.m. where the sun is more than 12 degrees below the horizon but not the 18 degrees below the horizon for true dark "night". So it will look pretty dark but there will be enough light to wash out any really long exposures like if you are planning on taking star-trail photos. With you being there just a week and a half before the summer solstice, you are going at about the worst time of the year for dark skies. You should still be able to get some pics with lots of stars and deep twilight, just not really long star-trail exposures.

Here's a link to a twilight graph:


Chilliwack, Canada
4 posts
5. Re: Any photographers here that can answer?

krp329, thanks for your input. I’m going to look into those spots that you suggested. I’m glad that you reminded me about the mosquitos and that’s an excellent idea about screening a window. I’ll be sure to do that. The short nights have me a little concerned.

Chilliwack, Canada
4 posts
6. Re: Any photographers here that can answer?

Don T, Thank you for that link to the handy twilight graph. I’m so surprised and disappointed about the lighting this time of year at Jasper. Perhaps I should reconsider sky pictures for this trip. I can always return in October for better night skies. I’ll have plenty of Kodak moments in the daylight hours to keep me busy. I’m really excited about seeing the Jasper area.

Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
7. Re: Any photographers here that can answer?

Try looking up Patricia and Pyramid Lakes. Just outside Jasper. I have not been there but noticed mention of “night sky” viewing there in research for my own trip to Jasper.

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