Canada is one of the best places in the world to view the Northern Lights. Auroras originate as a shower of charged particles – electrons and ions emitted from the sun. The result is mesmerizing, brightly colored streamers in the sky.
You need darkness to see the northern lights. You also want clear skies.
The best months to see the Aurora in Canada are from October to March (most hours of darkness). If we want to see the Northern Lights in Canada in August or another summer month, a high KP in the southern parts (still fewer hours of darkness) would give you the best chances to see Aurora.
Active periods of auroras are typically about 30 minutes long and occur every two hours if the activity is high. The aurora is a sporadic phenomenon, occurring randomly for short periods or perhaps not at all.
Best Places in Canada to watch these fabulous Northern Lights
This is one of the most famous locations to enjoy this phenomenon. Visitors have a 90-percent chance of seeing the northern lights in this less populated province during the winter months.
Visit Yellowknife from mid-November to April for the best viewing opportunity. Great Slave Lake, just outside the city, is a popular viewing area, as is Aurora Village—Canada’s most popular aurora-viewing tour destination.
Each fall, Yukon nights are illuminated by the northern lights, as shimmering bursts of color dance across the sky. Yukon is a top-notch destination for travelers seeking this natural wonder.
Any place along the auroral zone, such as Whitehorse, is best for the views. Lodging options in Yukon are also particularly favorable for those who want to stake out a prime viewing location.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia
The northern reaches of British Columbia offer some of the most picturesque backdrops for catching a glimpse of the northern lights.
The aurora reflects off the calm waters of Muncho Lake year-round. The Northern Rockies Lodge is a cozy haven for a viewing trip in any season.
We can see auroras in, Iqaluit, on Baffin Island. This is one of the coldest and most remote and uninhabited places to experience the Northern Lights.
Athabasca Country, Alberta
Northern Alberta is a hotbed for scientists and aurora seekers who want to get a glimpse of the northern lights in all their glory.
Alberta is home to Athabasca University’s Geophysical Observatory. Though the observatory isn’t open to the public, the surrounding area sets a captivating scene from which to watch the skies.
The city of Churchill in Northern Manitoba is another Northern Lights destination.
Kuujjuaq – Quebec
This is one of the best places to see Northern Lights in Quebec
Jasper – Alberta
Jasper has the darkest skies so if there is a high KP (more than KP6) it is a good place to see Northern Lights in Canada
You can get an idea of how active the northern lights are likely to be in your area. By keeping tabs on a short-term aurora forecast, such as the one provided by the Geophysical Institute here: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast
You can have an aurora experience without even leaving your house. The Canadian Space Agency offers a live feed of the skies above Yellowknife, in Canada’s Northwest Territories: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/