June 9, 2017

7 Ways to Celebrate Jasper's Summer Solstice

As the longest day of the year, the summer solstice is a great reason to spend some time soaking up the daylight hours and getting back to nature.

On Tuesday June 20th, seize the day and kick summer off right by celebrating in Canada’s Base of Adventure.

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1. EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE WITH THE JASPER PLANETARIUM

Jasper National Park will always be known for its incredible dark sky (even during the summer solstice!) Join the Jasper Planetarium for a summer solstice planet and star party celebration on June 20th at 7:30 PM.

Join space journalist Peter McMahon and astronomy experts for a celebration of the longest day of the year. Along with the planetarium experience, visitors can look through the largest telescopes in the Rockies.

Personal Solar Glasses (souvenir to keep), and bottled water are included.

2.  CELEBRATE NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY

On Wednesday, June 21st come and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada in Jasper National Park. Festivities will be happening on the visitor information lawn from 10 AM – 4 PM, with a pow-wow lead by Paul First Nation beginning at 1 PM.  Though the solstice lands on June 20th this year, many Indigenous Peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

Parks Canada is committed to working with over 300 Indigenous communities across Canada to develop a system of national heritage places that recognizes the role of Indigenous People in Canada’s culture and in the traditional use of these special places. For more information on National Aboriginal Day click here. 

3. GO CAMPING! (AND GATHER AROUND THE CAMPFIRE, OF COURSE)

One of the best ways to ring in the start of summer is to pitch up a tent and spend some quality time outdoors.  And really…what’s summer solstice without a good ol’ fashioned campfire?

With nearly 2,000 individual campsites and 90 backcountry campgrounds in Jasper, Parks Canada offers plenty of spaces to set up. Keep in mind that summer is a popular time of year for camping in Jasper, so be sure to book your campsite in advance though the Parks Canada reservations system. If you’ve decided to stay indoors overnight, a BBQ or picnic at one of Jasper’s lakes is a great alternative! 

4. RENT A BOAT OR GO FOR A FLOAT

Now that the ice has melted on Jasper’s lakes, you can explore the park by boat! Rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard through Pure Outdoors (they even offer canoe delivery to the lake of your choice!)

Alternatively, you can also score some boat rentals at Pyramid Lake Resort, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or Maligne Lake Boat House.

If you’d rather sit back and enjoy the ride, hop on a rafting float trip along the Athabasca River. Or wildly splash along the Sunwapta. There’s a trip for every level of explorer, check out a full list of raft trips here to find yours! 

5. GO ON A SUMMER PHOTO EXPEDITION

Jasper's endless photo opportunities make it the perfect place for aspiring or professional photographers.

Want to learn how to capture the light artistically and create compelling photographs during the solstice? Jasper Photo Guide offers daily private photo tours around the park with photography instruction to help visitors discover some of Jasper’s hidden gems, breathtaking landscapes and unfrequented spots for the perfect mountain snapshot.  

6. GET HIKING

With ample daylight, going for a hike is a no-brainer! As one of the most popular summer activities in Jasper National Park, there’s plenty of hiking options for beginner, intermediate and advanced hikers. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the area, Jasper hast many guided hiking options as well. Spend the day with Walks & Talks Jasper, Canadian Skyline Adventures or Sundog Tours for an incredible hiking adventure!

Parks Canada

Cory Johnn

Kathmandu

 7. RELAX AND GET READY FOR THE SUMMER AHEAD

As the official mark of the beginning of summer, the summer solstice is a great time to sit back, reflect on your year so far, and rev up for all your upcoming epic adventures! 

Start the summer off in a relaxed state of mind on June 21st with Jasper Wellness. From 5:15-6:15 AM, Jasper Wellness is offering sunrise meditation to honour the solstice and International Yoga Day, as well as Asana meditation and pranayama practice from 7:00-8:00 PM to honour celestial light. 


With Canada celebrating its 150th birthday this year, Jasper is preparing to welcome many new and returning explorers. It’s never too early to start planning! Get started here.


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