Places to view Northern Lights

Seeing the aurora borealis is a bucket-list experience and Northern Canada is one of the best places on earth for sightings. Jessica Pook suggests some unique viewing spots

Hot Springs, Yukon

North yukon

The Northern Lights are frequently seen between autumn and spring in Whitehorse, Yukon’s capital. Banish the cold by taking in the light show from a steaming outdoor pool at the Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs. Bathers can watch the dancing sky whilst soaking in the healing waters of the pools. Each year the springs host a Hair Freezing Contest – the most creative style wins $2,000!

Tundra Buggy, Manitoba

North Manitoba

Churchill, Manitoba, is located directly under the auroral oval, meaning 300 nights of Northern Lights viewing a year. A Northern Lights and Winter Nights adventure by Frontiers North positions visitors under the darkest skies in a tundra buggy designed for the northern landscape. From here, guests can follow the lights and visit Dan’s Diner, a pop-up dining hall in the wilderness.

Dark Sky Preserve, Alberta

North Alberta

The aurora borealis may not be as prevalent in Alberta as its northern neighbours but there is still a good chance of seeing them in one of its dark sky reserves. Each October, astronomers head to the Jasper Dark Sky Festival for guided stargazing, planetarium experiences and photography classes. If the lights don’t appear, the stargazing is still a must-do.

Aurora Dome, Manitoba

North Manitoba2

Enjoy uninterrupted views of the sky from a heated Aurora Dome, operated by the Churchill Hotel. This remote location is a 20-minute drive from Churchill, ensuring the darkest of skies. Guests can sit and watch the swirling lights, comfortable and cozy in their own personal plexiglass “bubble” and enjoy a spectacular sunrise in the morning. Viewing starts around 20.00 and can go on until 03.00.

Teepee Village, Northwest Territory

North tp

In the Northwest Territory is a village dedicated to Aurora viewing. Located on the Ingraham Trail near Yellowknife, Aurora Village offers traditional teepees that allow visitors to view the Northern Lights in the heart of the wilderness. Guests have a 95% chance of seeing the aurora when they stay for three nights. Heated seats and winter clothing are provided.

Blachford Lake Lodge, Northwest Territory

North Blachford

Blachford offers various Aurora Packages. From mid-August the night skies turn a velvety black, and the adjoining Grace Lake begins to freeze in late October. On calm nights the lake reflects the sky, multiplying images of dancing lights. In winter, a traditional tent frame is set up on the lake, for those seeking another level of winter adventure.