By Soren Rivero
Situated in the Northern Hemisphere’s Auroral Oval, Canada is brimming with excellent spots to witness the natural phenomena that is the Northern Lights. Interested in where? Here are a few of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Canada!
Late December - Early January (9PM-3AM)
Yukon is a pretty famous place to see the Northern Lights in Canada due to its elevation and placement on the world map. Many locals and tourists travel to Yukon with the sole intention of seeing the Northern Lights, though of course there’s so much more beauty to Yukon than just this natural phenomenon. But for Northern Lights searching, we recommend aiming for Whitehorse. This city is known as the heart of the Aurora viewing in all of Yukon.
Banff National Park, Alberta
Late November - Early February (10PM-2AM)
Banff National Park in Ontario provides you with several good places to see the Northern Lights. The National Park is huge and features beautiful lakes, mountains, hiking trails, and much more. Though you'll want to visit during the day to enjoy the wonder of the park, come night time, you'll get to see the Northern Lights in Banff National Park! The Cascade Ponds is a bit of a hidden area away from the rest of the park, but is an excellent starting point if you want to see the lights in solitude. The easiest way to see the lights would be through Vermilion Lakes from Banff. You won’t get the clearest view, but its beauty is more than enough.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
Late November - Early February (10PM-3AM)
Over in Alberta, you’ll find that the lovely Jasper National Park is an excellent spot to catch the Northern Lights in Canada. Located just a tad bit off center from Alberta’s city of Edmonton, Jasper National Park is the largest park in all of the Canadian rocky areas. Stargazing is a popular night time activity at the park, and the Northern Lights also like to make themselves known by an occasional visit to Jasper National Park. The lights are elusive, so don’t expect too much. But if you catch them dancing in the air above the park’s vast lake, you know you’ve struck gold!
Late December - Late March (9PM-3AM)
If you happen to be in Manitoba, head over to the quaint town of Churchill to partake in one of the several Northern Lights tours hosted by organizations in the area. Churchill has frequently been dubbed one of the three top places to see the Northern Lights in the world, and some tour groups in Churchill offer unique amenities like heated buggy rides!
Late October - Mid January (9PM-4AM)
Nunavut is one of Canada’s largest territories, yet one of the most sparsely populated – probably because of its location at the very northern tip of Canada. Combine that with its incredible tundra landscape filled with craggy mountains, and there’s no wonder this territory has so few remote villages. What it lacks in population, however, is made up for in its beauty. Let's just say, the Northern Lights love to call Nunavut home, especially during fall or winter. If you travel to Canada in winter, try visiting Kimmirut. This is a traditional Inuit community where you can learn history, see icebergs, and catch the Northern Lights.
Please note: Be prepared to go on a scavenger hunt for the Northern Lights anytime you wish to see them. The frequency of their appearances are random depending on where you go. Some places on this list are more consistent, whereas others are more sporadic. We’ve included the best dates and times to search for the Northern Lights in every location on this list.
Which of these magical destinations will you see the Northern Lights in Canada?