The wide summit ridge of Mount Steele is a 15-20 mins hike from the comfortable cabin of the same name.  This would make it an ideal destination for stargazing if light from Vancouver and Nanaimo didn’t reach the area…  Nevertheless, it’s a sublime place to be at night and skies are dark enough to clearly see the Milky Way.  It is not bright by any means, but the city lights produce exotic long exposure photos when they dissolve into the night sky.

Leaving the trailhead as the afternoon grew shadier, we jogged our way up most of the trail to the Mount Steele Cabin before sunset.  We took a short break inside and were excited to realize that we would have the cabin to ourselves for the night, allowing us to freely indulge in as much stargazing as we wanted to.

We went out to scope the surroundings and admire the fading daylight over the Coast Mountains.

 

After a long supper, it was time to hike up and enjoy the show!  The night was warm with no wind at all.  Laying on our backs on top of the mountain, looking up for an indefinite amount of time, we were entirely immersed into space.  It was striking to essentially experience Earth as a grand ship travelling the Universe.  Space is not some distant place, it is right here and we live amongst the stars.

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The ever setting sun of Vancouver
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Mars and the Milky Way above Vancouver (left) and Nanaimo (right)
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Mars

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The next morning, we went back to the summit to enjoy the views of Tetrahedron Peak, the highest and most dramatic mountain in the park…  our next objective!

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