One of the best things about the northern lights is you can experience them completely free - you just have to know where to go. However, for the best experiences, it may be worthwhile booking a tour. Here are some of the best places to see the enchanting streaks of light in the Great White North.
Things To Know
Before you go booking your flight, it’s important to know when the best time to see these spectacular light shows is. The most important factor is darkness, as it is much easier to see in the night sky when there are long hours of darkness. This means the colder, winter months from October to March are the best times to go the northern lights dancing in the night sky.
The auroral oval is what makes Canada such a great place to see the northern lights. The magnetic poles of the earth pull particles from solar activity and direct them to a concentrated spot on the globe. This is known as the auroral oval. Consider visiting areas, such as the Northwest Territories, that sit under the auroral oval for the best chance of seeing the lights.
The northern lights are best seen far from cities, where there is less light pollution.
Check the aurora forecast to get a better estimate of whether the northern lights will be visible.
Make sure to check the weather app as cloudy skies and rain will cover the light show.
Although you can start to see the aurora after the sun sets, the lights are typically brightest between 10pm and 3am.
During winter, temperatures can get as low as -40 degrees Celsius, so be sure to bundle up and bring some hand warmers!
RELATED – The Best Road Trips In Canada
RELATED - Top 10 National Parks To Visit In Canada
If you plan on staying in Ontario, drive up to the border where Hudson Bay is, far away from the city lights. For an even better view of the aurora from the bay, go on a four-day rail trip up to Churchill.
Located at a high latitude, this polar bear capital is the best place to view both the ice bears and the northern lights, so why not combine the two? Hop on a polar bear tour to marvel at those shaggy, cream-coloured bears sniffing your direction in curiosity from mere metres away.
After the sun sets, drive out to Hudson Bay, lean back, and watch as the aurora borealis dances across the sky. Located directly beneath the aurora oval and having auroral activity 300 nights of the year, coming to Churchill should definitely be added to your bucket list. Who knows, maybe you’ll even spot a polar bear viewing the lights with you!