Every October, Jasper town holds its annual Dark Sky Festival to celebrate its designation as the World’s Largest Dark Sky Reserve, free from urban city light pollution. One of the favourite activities during the festival is the Milky Way viewing. There are numerous locations within the national park for viewing the amazing Milky Way that are easily accessible by cars with a short walk, such as Pyramid Lake, Maligne Lake, Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, Columbia Icefield, etc. Mount Edith Cavell, deep into the mountain peaks away from light pollution, is yet another great location for viewing Milky Way.
Mount Edith Cavell nearby the Jasper Townsite is a popular hiking destination in Jasper National Park, with its three magnificent glaciers (Angel Glacier, Cavell Glacier, and Ghost Glacier), two scenic lakes (Cavell Lake and iceberg floating Cavell Pond), and one backcountry trail (Tonquin Valley Trail). Mt. Edith Cavell is accessible through Cavell Road that is open only during snow-free months, usually from June to October. Call the trail office in Jasper for trail conditions before heading out to Mt. Edith Cavell, so that you won’t get disappointed.
From my experience, the Milky Way lies in east-west direction at 9pm and slowly rotates to south-north direction at 3am. It’s nice to know this timing, so as to incorporate your favourite landscape with Milky Way during photography.
Read Icefields Parkway Tour Guide for nearby attractions.