The aurora borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, is a display of colourful lights seen in the northern hemisphere at night. These lights are among the most fascinating wonders of nature and are so mesmerizing to look at that people travel to the north from all over the world just to get a glimpse.
The Northern Lights can be traced back to 30,000 years old cave paintings in France that showcase the illustrations of the phenomenon. The indigenous people used to believe that the Northern Lights were the spirits of people in the sky. Early civilizations across Europe saw the Northern Lights as a harbinger of famine, wars, and destruction. No matter what myth is attached to this phenomenon, one thing that cannot be contested is that these lights make for a sight worth seeing and of course, a bucket list experience many wish to witness.
Canada is one of the most popular destinations in the northern hemisphere to witness the northern lights and below are some of the best places where you have a good chance of enjoying them.
Best Places To See The Northern Lights In Canada
The northern lights can be seen from a number of places, however, the Northern part of Canada is where you will have the best chance.
The Northwest Territories (NWT) are the best when it comes to Northern Lights. Northern Lights are active 240 nights of the year in this region with two peak seasons for aurora viewing. The best part about the Northwest Territories is that even if you cannot make it during the peak seasons, you can still catch these lights in all their glory. In addition to that, this area also has a general lack of clouds which means that the skies are mostly clear. With wide open spaces in the area, it is not hard to find a place where you can sit and enjoy this nightly dance.
Another reason why NWT is best for the Northern lights is that the region is located in the Auroral Oval. The Auroral Oval is the best latitude to see an aurora as it is relative to magnetic poles. Moreover, the capital of NWT, Yellowknife, is right inside the Auroral Oval. Being at the right place, you just need to focus on bring out there at the right time.
Northern Manitoba is located near Hudson Bay and is considered one of the best places on earth to see the Northern Lights. This place is so perfect for aurora hunting that scientists from around the globe come to the town of Churchill just to study the aurora. The best time to view the lights in Manitoba is during autumn and winter.
Another thing that makes this place perfect for a visit is the wildlife in the area. As you spot the Northern Lights, you can also spot the polar bears, belugas, and Arctic foxes. If you want to photograph the lights here, pack extra batteries for your mobiles and cameras as they can fail in low temperatures.
The Wild West Yukon is quite famous for being the land of adventurers. From dogsledding to fat biking, people plan extensive holiday trips here to let off some steam. As a bonus, this place is also a great spot to witness the Northern Lights. Here, the best time for aurora viewing is during winter, autumn, and spring. Although, you can still catch the lights during summer due to Yukon’s midnight sun.
Tourists also go camping in the wilderness near Whitehorse, where they have a better chance of getting clear skies. Get cozy with some hot drinks at one of our handpicked lodges so you can keep warm as you wait for the lights!
Nunavut is a massive northern Canadian territory that is sparsely populated. The region forms most of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and consists of islands with expansive mountains, tundra, and remote villages.
The area is so remote that it is only accessible by plane or boat. This remoteness also makes this an excellent place for Northern Lights display. Summer and spring here get endless daylight so the best time to view the aurora is between October and April when there is less sunlight.
While in Nunavut, not only will you get the light show, but you will also get the fiery fall colour backdrop during the autumn season. Plus, wildlife like wolves and grizzlies hang about in the area so you may even spot them if you are lucky.
Best Time To See The Northern Lights In Canada
The Aurora Borealis in Canada is quite an event and many people make sure to visit the Northern Territory at least once in their lifetime. While the best time for aurora hunting may vary from region to region, the period between October and March is generally considered the ideal time to plan such trips in Canada.
If you are visiting the southern provinces of Canada during summer, you will have a better chance of spotting the Northern Lights on days that have high solar activity.
Late Spring and March receive the most solar activity and there are higher chances of spotting the Northern Lights as opposed to early spring and fall. Having said that, before planning the trip, it is best to always consider the hours of light a particular region receives during the day.
Private Tour To Witness The Northern Lights In Canada
Witnessing the Northern Lights on a dark night is an extraordinary sight that every travel enthusiast wants to see at least once in their lifetime. However, keep in mind that it can get really cold up north, so be sure to pack sufficient clothes with you so you don’t have to worry about the freezing weather while enjoying the northern lights at night. In any case, if you prefer to have someone plan your holiday to Canada, we are always here to help.