Northern Lights in Canada : 05 Best Spots!

Siddhi Gulvi
Siddhi Gulvi Places to Visit
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On its own stage, Mother Nature performs a magic play of colorful dancing lights no Houdini can ever pull off! The play is called the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis! Northern Lights in Canada can be described as you standing beneath the carpet of a billion stars with a serene landscape around you when nature showcases the best of what it has got right on top of you!

Watching the Northern Lights in Canada is one of the best things to do in this land which is blessed with unique natural beauty.

1. Where to see the Northern Lights in Canada?

Catch the astounding view of the Northern lights in Canada. Here are a few of the destinations located in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the Auroral zone to watch the Northern lights.

1.1 Yukon

1.1.1 Whitehorse

The capital city of Yukon, the city of Whitehorse is one of the alluring destinations to visit. This vibrant and dynamic city has several points of attractions of creative interest. It is renowned for its museums, and galleries that showcase cultural and historical significance.


Apart from all these pros, the city is one location to witness the magic of Aurora experience across the horizon during the winter months. Check for locations with dark skies with less light pollution to enhance the experience of viewing the dancing lights across the sky. The place is optimal for viewing owing to its close proximity to the Arctic Circle.

1.1.2 Dawson City

The city with historic charm is set overlooking the Yukon River. It puts forward an opportunity to witness the enchanting experience of watching the Northern Lights. The town has a fascinating history of the Gold Rush that has shaped the city’s identity.

Dawson City Yukon - Home of the Klondike Gold Rush

Witness the Northern Lights here from the seasons of winter, fall, and early spring. The city’s location promises dark skies for more appealing views of the Northern Lights in Canada.

The locals here are helpful and knowledgeable about the timing and location of the most promising views. Don’t forget to capture the Northern Lights above the historic structures of Dawson City making your trip memorable.

1.1.3 Tombstone Territorial Park

Witness the magic of the Aurora Borealis over the rugged rolling landscape of Tombstone Territorial Park. Adorned with the varied picturesque landscape of valleys, mountains, and alpine tundra the park is an exemplary location to witness the backdrop of the Northern Lights in Canada.

15K 360 video of the Northern Lights over Tombstone Territorial Park in the Yukon Territory

Owing to the remote location, the place is ideal to experience the visibility of Aurora. Keep in check the clear, cloudless skies before your visit here. One can avail of the benefit of camping facilities at the park. The cabins here allow one to stay admist the wilderness and possibly catch a glimpse of auroras from the campsite.

1.1.4 Carcross

Carcross is a small town in Northern latitude and is an indigenous heritage city. With an unmatched landscape, the place is one of the best places to witness the dance of lights.

Imagine the stretch of Northern Lights over the rolling landscape with frozen lakes and snowy mountains. The location hence makes it perfect for the display of these multicolored hues across the dark skies. The cultural significance of the lights here adds an interesting aspect to the place.

1.1.5 Faro

Watching the Northern Lights in the Faro City of Yukon is a bliss to experience. The landscape of the region comprises water bodies and lakes. This offers you a chance to capture the charming reflections of the lights across the skies. The weather of Faro in turn alters the frequency and intensity of lights.

1.1.6 Kluane National Park

Witnessing the play of lights over the exquisite location of Kluane National Park is one of the best things to do. The natural setting and high altitude for watching this natural phenomenon make the experience intriguing.

The Auriol Trail - Kluane National Park and Reserve

The lights here get a perfect setting with rugged mountain ranges, a park thriving with wilderness, and fascinating glaciers. Don’t forget to capture the lights here, with nothing but extraordinary spectacle and intense display of lights.

1.2 Nunavut

1.2.1 Iqaluit

Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut is one the excellent locations to watch the spectacular Northern Lights. The destination lies in an auroral oval which promotes the vivid sightings of the auroras.

The Northern Lights here are accompanied by cultural significance and local beliefs. The civilians here believe that the dancing lights in the sky are the spirits of deceased people. Apart from the Northern lights here, one can also spot the captivating views of stars, planets, and other celestial objects.

This incredible location is adorned with the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Don’t forget to fill your cameras with this memorable experience.

Northern Lights Hunting in Iqaluit Nunavut

1.2.2 Rankin Inle

Rankin Inle is one of Nunavut’s cities that offers the sightings of Northern Lights with a touch of cultural significance. The remote locations and dark and clear skies showcase the undisputed views of Aurora.

northern lights in canada

Owing to the experience it offers, Rankin Inle has been renowned as a destination for Aurora tourism. Something very captivating about it lights here is the range of colors. One can spot Northern lights in the hues of red, purple, green, and pink. The picturesque landscape and the Northern lights are perfect to watch.

Additionally, Rankin Inle attracts tourists with several Artic adventures like snowmobiling, ice fishing, dog sledding, etc.

1.2.3 Artic Bay

The display of dynamic Northern lights over the stunning Artic landscape is a visual treat to experience. You can indulge here in something called “Aurora Chasing”. You participate in the thrill of finding the best spot to view the Northern lights. The place also attracts many scientists for studying natural phenomena.

Why Aurora Borealis is so Magical! Gorgeous Northern Lights!

The location is ideal for photography lovers to capture glimpses of Northern Lights, Arctic frozen landscape, and wildlife. This isolated location of Artic Bay is a mesmerizing location to experience the Northern lights.

1.2.4 Baker Lake

Apart from the display of Northern Lights in Canada on the horizon of Baker Lake, the place is renowned for its vibrant Inuit art.

Baker Lake, Nunavut. The Geographical Center of Canada 🇨🇦

Just like other locations in Nunavut, one would be interested to know about the cultural significance, traditions, and the thoughts of community here attached to the Northern lights. The accessible location of Baker Lake, and photography workshops to capture the light make it one of the preferred locations to catch the intense display of Northern Lights.

1.2.5 Resolute Bay

Resolute Bay’s location is one the best locations to view the Northern lights in Canada. The extreme and remote Northern location allows the best experience of the vibrant lights.

Unlike other locations, Resolute Bay offers sightings for extended periods due to Polar night and midnight sun. The location is a prime base for exploring the Arctic region and studying the Northern Lights phenomena. Visitors have a chance to explore the Arctic region while engaging in winter activities and watching the beautiful Northern Lights dance over their heads.

1.3 Alberta

1.3.1 Jasper national park

Jasper National Park is an excellent location for viewing the Aurora Borealis aka Northern Lights. One gets to watch the mesmerizing reflective views of Northern lights over the Athabasca glacier or Maligne Lake.

Catch the Northern lights in several shades like green, purple, pink, and even red. The place is designated Dark Sky Reserve and hence the intensity of watching the lights is multiplied and undisturbed due to minimal light pollution.

aurora over city skyline
Photo by Chong Wei on Unsplash

1.3.2 Banff National Park

Catch the unmatched view of the Northern Lights in Canada over the magnificent Canadian Rockies. Similar to Jasper National Park, this place is also a designated Dark sky preserve. Hence with minimal light pollution, one also gets an opportunity for stargazing.

Lake Louise here which is famous for its beautiful turquoise waters and the Northern lights creates an ethereal beauty when seen together.

1.3.3 Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton National Park is one of the locations for watching the beautiful Northern Lights when the magnitude of solar activity increases. With dark skies, one can catch glances of beautiful shades like blue, pink, red, and purple.

northern lights in canada
Image by JoeBreuer from Pixabay

Either step out on your own to watch these lights, or venture out with guided tours or locals. Don’t forget to fill your camera roll with this memorable experience.

1.4 Saskatchewan

1.4.1 Grasslands national park

Seeing the Northern lights over a prairie setting of landscape is one of the unique things to experience. The engaging atmosphere and the silence in the rolling landscape under the Aurora Borealis provide one with breathtaking views to behold.

The place attracts many photographers considering the beautiful setting. Additionally, there are some astronomy programs that catch the attention of people seeking to visit this place. The place is less crowded as compared to other places.

So if you are looking for a more immersive experience or want to capture some best Northern Lights images then visit Grasslands National Park.

Photo by Dre Erwin on Unsplash

1.4.2 La Ronge

Situated in farther North latitude, the place amplifies the chances of watching the vivid and intense display of Northern Lights at the horizon. Moreover, the place is a naturally rich setting with forests, lakes, and a surreal landscape to encounter.

Learn about the beliefs of indigenous communities and their beliefs about the Northern Lights to pass on the interesting stories about your trip.

1.4.3 Prince Albert National Park

The national park provides a unique backdrop of boreal forests for seeing the Northern Lights. Away from city lights, minimum light disturbance, lakes, rivers, and dark skies allow you to watch the spectacular views of the Aurora Borealis.

Along with the lights, witness the beauty of the wilderness in the park here. The guided programs here educate you about the Northern Lights phenomena. Enjoy the Aurora Borealis for yourself, since the place is less crowded than any other destination.

1.5 Manitoba

1.5.1 Churchill

One of the most perfect places to watch the Aurora Borealis is Churchill, located on the shores of Hudson Bay. The place is located just beneath something called “Aurora Oval“, hence making it an optimal destination to visit.

One gets to encounter it all here, from an Arctic tundra landscape to Polar bears and the warmth of hot springs in the Northern Hemisphere. Make sure you don’t sleep sound here, as some accommodations give you Aurora alarms for viewing the Northern lights.

Northern Lights Season in Churchill, Manitoba

1.5.2 Whiteshell Provincial Park

Catch the dazzling glimpses of the surreal Northern Lights in Canada above the Whiteshell Provincial Park in Manitoba. With the Canadian shield landscape featuring granite rock formations and crystal clear lakes, one can encounter an enchanting experience to witness the Northern Lights reflected in the water.

The place also has potential for its stargazing and photography opportunities for one’s who love to capture such natural settings. The park also features numerous lakes sprinkled around the park and the wildlife here is waiting to be explored!

2. Myths and Legends Around the Northern Lights in Canada

As stunning as the Aurora Borealis is for watching, the stories that have developed around it are more fascinating to hear. Both good and bad stories have loomed around the natural phenomena.

For instance, in quite a few cultures it is believed that the play of lights at the horizon is the spirits of their ancestors dancing. Furthermore, in some places, they believe it to be a crossing for souls toward their afterlife. Interesting right? Moreover listening to the bad omens that linger around the lights is unpleasant to hear.

3. Science Behind the Northern Lights in Canada

The occurrence of these phenomenal Lights in the sky is because of something that lies 93 million miles away from the Earth. Yes! You heard that right.

The exciting green, pink, and even purple hues in the sky can be attributed to the particles that travel from the sun and then enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Who knew that the blend of Earth’s magnetic field and solar winds would result in a beautiful conjunction?

So, the out-of-the-world experience is nothing other than the mix of gases in the sky.

How The Northern Lights Are Created VIDEO

4. Things to Remember About the Northern Lights in Canada!

Now that we know why the sightings of these flashy Lights happen in the sky, we have to accept that it does not occur any time of the year. Here are a few points that you need to consider while you are planning your trip to see the northern lights-

  • The sightings of this natural phenomenon are subject to several factors like the solar winds and earth’s atmosphere.
  • The best time to view the Northern Lights in Canada is from late September to April. The prime time however is from October to March.
  • The light pollution from the place of sighting should be minimal. Moreover, check for the cloud cover to have a vivid view of the auroral activity.
  • Opt for a guided tour for hassle-free travel and enhanced experience of the overall trip.
  • Keep an update on the local Aurora forecast before you plan your visit.
  • Do not forget to carry your camera and tripod to get the best clicks!

5. Tours to see the Northern Lights in Canada

One can easily be allured by the Northern Lights in Canada, and to help you out and make your trip hassle-free there are many tour operators functioning at prominent destinations. In the Northwest Territories which is known as the Aurora capital of North America, the operators avail the visitors with various hospitality offerings.

Yellowknife and the Northern Lights

Guided tours, photography workshops, and other outdoor winter activities like dog sledding, and ice fishing are offered by them. Some of them also provide luxury and cozy accommodations. Additionally, few operators also offer viewing of the Arctic wildlife which includes the sightings of polar bears.

Some of the trusted Aurora tours in Canada are North Star Adventures, Artic Range Adventure, Frontiers North Adventures, Tundra North Tours, Discover Banff, etc. Don’t forget to compare the itineraries to know what the operators have to offer and pick the best bet!

6. Did You Know?

  • The Aurora village is a place in Yellowknife, Canada which is claimed to be one of the best spots in the world to see the northern lights.
  • It is fascinating to know that other planets in the solar system also have their own versions of Aurora depending on the reach of solar activity. Jupiter’s, Saturn’s, and Mar’s Auroras are called Jovian Auroras, Saturnian auroras, and Martian Auroras respectively.
  • In the term “Aurora Borealis” Aurora stands for the name of the Roman Goddess of dawn, and Borealis for Northern wind.
  • Kristian Birkeland, a Norwegian scientist made a remarkable contribution in studying the science behind the occurrence of Northern lights.
  • Canadian bill features the illustration of Northern lights.

7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.1 Where else in the world can one spot Northern Lights except Canada?

Ans. Aurora borealis, also called as Northern lights are seen in various other destinations namely Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Alaska, Greenland, Russia, and Scotland.

Q.2 Which locations in Canada offer sightings of polar bears?

Ans. Churchill, located on the coast of Hudson Bay in Manitoba is referred to as the “Polar bear capital of the world”. One can also spot them in Arviat, and Wapusk National Park. There are Arctic cruise ventures where you might be able to spot polar bears.

Q.3 What is Aurora Australis?

Ans. Aurora Australis aka Southern Lights is a similar phenomenon that occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. The particles in the solar wind interact with the earth’s atmosphere in the southern region leading to the display of lights that happen in the shades of green, purple, red, and pink.

Q.4 What are special accommodation options for the Northern Lights trip?

Ans. Some of the exciting and unique accommodation options in Canada are lodges with heated and cozy lounges and ice hotels with hot springs that keep you warm while you wait for the display of lights. Additionally, few of the lodges have cabins, and heated decks situated in the natural Artic settings.

Q.5 What are other exciting activities one can do other than watching Northern Lights in Canada?

Ans. Visitors can enhance their trip to Canada while engaging in activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice skating, aurora snow show tours, hot springs and saunas, or enjoying their winter festivals and untouched wilderness.

8. Conclusion

Quoting the Northern Lights as the dance of lights or curtain of colors or arcs and swirls or strokes of a painter or scientific phenomena won’t be enough to describe it. One of nature’s wonders is what you can spell when you stand watching this awe-inspiring phenomenon!

Catching a glimpse of the enthralling Northern Lights in a clear night sky will leave the person lasting impression for a lifetime. This remarkable experience cannot be forgotten and is a wish of many to encounter at least once in their lifetime.

Last Updated on by Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi

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