Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver

NightPhotoClass-52If you’ve ever looked up at a night sky from downtown Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed a lot of nothing.  Even on a clear night, you’re unlikely to see stars.  The city lights are just too bright for stargazing.

So what’s a star lover to do? Get out of town.

There are some incredible starscapes out there. The key is finding a dark place, far from the ghostly glow of city lights, which can carry for miles and miles.  The usual suspects for great Vancouver views – like Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour – won’t do because the sky is still too bright. But one of the most popular spots for hobbyists and amateur astronomers – and people who just like to spot the Big Dipper – is Porteau Cove Provincial Park, approximately one hour northwest of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway.

I checked out Porteau Cove on a recent night, which happened to correspond to forecasts of Northern Lights … the wavy green streaks in the night sky common at higher latitudes and on rare occasions even visible in the Lower Mainland.   Continue reading:
Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver

Walking the Seawall by Night

Vancouver Seawall at night

By day, Vancouver’s seawall is filled with joggers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, mom and dads with strollers, dogs on leashes and plenty of sightseers taking in the view.  It’s beautiful but busy.  But there is an alternative: a stroll along the seawall at night.

After dark, the seawall is transformed.  The bustle of the day is replaced by calm and the quiet lapping of the water against the shore.  In another city, safety might be a concern.  But that’s one of the nice things about living in Vancouver.  Even at night, it’s relatively safe to walk along Coal Harbour and False Creek (I might skip the Stanley Park seawall after dark, just because it’s so secluded).

So just what can you expect to see?

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Walking the Seawall by Night

Moonlit Night Hikes at Pacific Spirit Regional Park: March 19

Photo credit: daveelmore on Flickr

Perhaps because it’s situated a bit outside of downtown, Pacific Spirit Regional Park doesn’t get as much attention as some of Vancouver’s other green gems like Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park.  But that doesn’t mean Pacific Spirit can’t hold its own with the local heavyweights.

Located adjacent to the University of British Columbia, the park covers a whopping 763 hectares, making it almost twice as large as Stanley Park.  It embraces terrain ranging from rugged shoreline, including the popular Wreck Beach, to thickly forested hills, plateaus and valleys.

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Moonlit Night Hikes at Pacific Spirit Regional Park: March 19