At some of the highest latitudes on earth the northern lights, a natural light display, dances in the sky with shades of red, green and blue. The science behind it is still relatively unknown but travellers journey north every year into rural areas in hope of seeing this natural phenomenon.
Canada is one of the best countries in the world for witnessing the Aurora Borealis. Located far enough north that a large part of the country is located within the polar regions, the Canadian landmass has several Northern Lights hotspots. The best months are between fall and spring – across winter – and the lights are easier to spot in clearer skies away from the light pollution in cities.
The Takhini Hot Springs are beautiful regardless, but imagine lying back in the hot water as the Aurora Borealis circles above. If you’re not looking to dip into a hot spring late at night the natural phenomenon can be seen across Whitehorse. For tourists who are keen to not just see the northern lights but to learn more about them, you can also pop into the Northern Lights Space and Science Centre beside Watson Lake.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada for two reasons. One: it is directly under the aurora oval. Two: it is mostly flat allowing for unobstructed views. If you’re wanting a sneak peak of the lights, the Canadian Space Agency switches on its live web cam whenever it occurs.
One of the most northern Aurora Borealis spots in Canada, this remote area actually lies north of the oval. Despite this, it remains a great viewing point – mainly because there are no city lights to dim the view. It’s not always easy to get to Iqaluit (especially in winter) so maybe it’s one for the more adventurous traveller (but we promise that it’s more than worth it).
Also famous for being the polar bear capital of the world, Churchill is also famous for common sightings of the Aurora Borealis. Located in the middle of Canada this town sits directly under the auroral oval making it one of the best spots for Northern Lights tourism in Canada.
Dubbed the ‘City of Northern Lights’, this small city in the north-eastern corner of Saskatchewan offers undisturbed views of the northern lights. The rest of the state also has eleven provincial parks north of Saskatoon that offer remote viewing options.
Athabasca Country, Alberta
This rural region in northern Alberta is home to Athabasca University’s Geophysical Observatory, one of 18 NASA stations located in North America studying the science behind the Northern Lights. While the university is not open to the public, tourists can be left assured that if the area offers clear enough views for professional scientists, it will offer good enough views for everyone else.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia
If heading north into the cold doesn’t appeal to you – and your Canada holiday is in British Columbia – then head along to the Muncho Lake Provincial Park in the northern part of the province. Located along the Alaskan highway, it’s one of the best places to view the Aurora Borealis in the southern parts of the country.