Dark Sky FAQ’s
Learn what to expect and how to prepare for Manning Park Dark Sky viewing.
What accommodations are available for the Astronomy Weekend?
Manning Park Resort: We are booked up for the weekend! Call for alternate dates at 604-668-5922.
Camping: Camping is available in the following locations:
-Lone Duck 1: $13/night First Come, First Serve (FCFS) camping
-Coldspring Campground: $23/night for FCFS, unless closed due to snow
-Headwaters Horse Corral: $25/night for FCFS with access to the Loon Lagoon
-Lightning Lake Day Use area: $13/night for self contained units for FCFS Camping (no campfires permitted)
-Full hook-up RV sites at Sunshine Valley RV Resort, reservations available. Please see website for prices.
Sunshine Valley RV Resort & Cabins offers full hook-up RV sites, and 10 full-service cabins available for rental just 30 minutes west of Manning Park. These one or two-bedroom mountain style cabins are fully contained and furnished, with power, wood stove, plumbing and full kitchen. The Resort features indoor and outdoor heated pools and hot tubs, an onsite General Store, liquor sales, fire pits, a fitness centre and a recreation hall.
How should I dress for outdoor stargazing in October?
In October, in Manning Park, temperatures can range between 10°C to -7°C. There is even a possibility of some snow! The best way to be prepared is to bring lots of warm layers to dress in. We recommend winter clothing, including gloves, toques and scarves and good base layers to keep you warm.
Good boots and thick socks are highly recommended.
Is the Astronomy Weekend suitable for children?
Definitely! We have planned this event with you and your family in mind.
We have a number of events that are tailored to beginner astronomers and they are definitely kid-friendly. Check out the Beginner Astronomy 101 on Friday night and Astro-Activities for Kids on Saturday.
The Windy Joe and Lightning Lake stargazing locations are recommended for bringing children to. These locations are in close proximity to the Resort.
Due to the distance and time commitment required to attend the Cascade Lookout stargazing experience, we are not recommending children under 10 to attend this event.
The best way to create a good astronomy experience for children, is to ensure that they are well dressed for the event! Bring extra layers, blankets and good boots to keep warm while searching the stars.
Do we need to have our own telescope?
You do not need to have your own telescope. The purpose of this event is to get you interested in astronomy. Our RASC members will have a selection of telescopes that you can try at the night stargazing events.
If you do have a telescope, by all means, bring it! Our RASC members can help you understand how to use it better. You can also bring a good pair of binoculars.
There is also a telescope loan program through the Fraser Valley Regional Library. You can borrow a telescope using just your library card! To learn more about this program and to reserve your telescope, visit: https://www.fvrl.bc.ca/telescopes.php
Become a member of RASC! One of the benefits of being a RASC Vancouver member is access to their loaner telescopes. Learn more here: http://rasc-vancouver.com/membership/telescope-loans/
Why do we need red lights? What if I don't have one?
For our outdoor stargazing events, we require you to use red lights only. This helps protect your night vision so that your eyes can stay adjusted in the dark.
You can make your regular flash light or headlamp into a red light by covering the light with some red cellophane and securing it with an elastic band. With registration in our Stargazer Packages, we will provide some red cellophane for you.
Can we bring dogs?
Manning Park Resort allows pets in our pet-friendly accommodation. Please inform the Front Desk when making your reservation.
The indoor sessions do not allow pets, and we are not allowing pets on the Cascade Stargazing trip.
For the outdoor stargazing session at Lightning Lake, dogs are permitted. However, please note that, as this is a Dark Sky Event, we are not permitting lights, except red lights for the stargazing locations. Please be conscious that there will be families, children and expensive telescope equipment in the dark. Some caution is recommended as this may be upsetting or disorienting for your dog.
As per BC Parks rules, dogs must be on a leash at all times, and you must pick up after your dog. Thanks!
Are the skies clear in Manning Park? What if it's cloudy?
With the closest towns being 65km away, there is very limited light pollution in Manning Park, which makes for excellent dark sky viewing! Click here to see the location of Manning Park on the Clear Dark Sky light pollution map.
October is typically a good month for stargazing, however, if there is cloud cover during the Astronomy Weekend, we have alternate events for the stargazing sessions that will still satiate your astronomy yearnings!
What can we see in the sky in October?
There is a host of things we will be looking for in the Dark Sky viewing events scheduled for the Astronomy Weekend. Pick up a copy of the Manning Park Dark Sky pamphlet to learn more. When you register for the weekend, this is also included in your Stargazer Package.
Highlights include Mars (visible until midnight), Neptune and Uranus (visible all night). Uranus will be near its brightest for the year around this time.
The moon phase is between the new moon and the first quarter.
Can we go stargazing year-round in Manning Park?
Yes, definitely! There are great stargazing locations around the park. Some of them are open seasonally.
Here’s some of our recommended stargazing locations:
- Windy Joe field: located in the middle of our cabin look to the west of the Resort. This is a very accessible location, although there will be more light in this area as it is around the Resort. Year-Round
- Lightning Lake Day Use: 4km from Manning Park Resort on Gibson Pass Road. Viewing area is located at the far end of the parking lot in the field by the lake.
- Parking: Park in the Day Use parking lot. Year-Round
- Cascade Look-out: 8km on the Blackwall Peak Road. This is a winding mountain road with 1150m elevation gain. Please use caution!
- Parking: Parking lot is at the Look-out. Spring- Fall only
- Sub-alpine Meadows Parking Lot: 16km up Blackwall Peak Road. Road is paved 8km to the Lookout, then is gravel.
- Parking: parking is in the Lower Lot, near the Naturalist hut. Viewing is in the upper parking lot. Walking off the path is prohibited. Spring-Summer only
- There’s lots more for you to discover! Where’s your favourite spot?