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Best places to see Northern lights in Canada

Best places to see Northern lights in Canada

Canada has been selected as one of the best places to see Northern Lights in March 2020. Actually many people don’t know that you can see the Northern Lights in Canada. But of course we can see Northern Lights in Canada in some locations and in some periods. So, if you are planning to see Northern Lights in Canada, please check for the following locations.

Longer nights and lower temperatures mean one thing: winter is here. And one of the best parts of winter is enjoying beautiful, colorful lights. But we are not going to talk about a Christmas tree. We are talking about Aurora Borealis (also known as Northern Lights). It is Mother Nature’s best light display.

Where you can see Northern Lights in Canada

Best places to see Northern lights in Canada Baffin Island

As mentioned earlier, one of the best places in the world to see the Aurora is in the Northern Territories of Canada. Also known as the Aurora Capital of Northern America.

Specially, in the capital of Northwest Territories you can see perfect Northern Lights. It is Yellowknife which is the most famous locations to enjoy the phenomenon. In there, on the shore of the Great Slave Lake in Northern Canada you can get exact views of Aurora.

Another important place is Yukon. According to its latitude and location, Yukon is one the best places in the world to see Aurora. And also in Whitehorse, a top destination, we can even find some of the best Northern Lights hotels in Canada.   

The next best place to see Northern Lights in Canada is the remote and arctic Nunavut Territory. We can also see the aurora in its capital, Iqaluit, on the Baffin Island. This is perhaps one of the coldest and most remote places to experience the Northern Lights.

The other places to see Northern Lights in Canada

Watching Northern Lights is just like a dream comes true. In Canada, there’s another amazing place is there. It is the city of Churchill in Northern Manitoba which situated in high latitude. And you can easily find a Northern Lights tour company to get some help. Also as an additional experience, you can try a polar bear watching excursion in Churchill between September to November.  

Best places to see Northern lights in Canada

On the other hand, Northern parts of the province Quebec maximize the possibilities of seeing Northern Lights. For an example, Kuujjuaq.

And also at the lower latitudes of Canada you can see Northern Lights for sure. The places like British Columbia/Alberta and Canadian Rockies. Within the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park and Jasper Park would be the best places to see Northern Lights. And if you want to see Northern Lights in a more photogenic environment, we would personally opt for the Canadian Rockies.

Here, the chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis are as high as in other territories at similar latitudes, such as British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, or Quebec. However, the incredible Canadian Rockies landscapes will make our Northern Lights photos even more amazing.

Best places to see Northern lights in Canada, as a Summary

Yellowknife – Northwest Territories: The best place to see Northern Lights in winter.

Whitehorse – Yukon: One of the most popular places to take an Aurora visit in Canada

Churchill – Manitoba: Besides of Northern Lights, it is one of the best places to see Polar Bears.

Kuujjuaq – Quebec: Although difficult, this is the best place to see Northern Lights in Quebec.

Tuktoyaktuk – Northwest Territories: It is not so popular but the chance to see Northern Lights is high.

Iqaluit – Nunavut: One of the coldest places to see Northern Lights in Canada.

Banff – Alberta: The chances to see Northern Lights here are lower since it is in South Canadá but with a high KP (more than KP6) you can see them.

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.

Please keep in mind to pay attention to the darkness as a factor for choosing your Northern Lights destination. Stay away from major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Because, the light pollution will mask the Aurora Borealis.

Best Time to See Northern Lights in Canada

Best places to see Northern lights in Canada Yellowknife

Before explain about the best time, I must mention about the KP index. The intensity of the solar particles is measured by the KP index, on a scale from 0 to 9. Higher value means better chances for you to see Northern Lights from places further away from the poles. Or, to put it another way, it is more likely for us to see Northern Lights in the further north regions of Canada, even if KP is not too high. And darkness is an essential requirement for seeing the Northern Lights. So, the best months to see the Aurora Borealis in Canada are from October to March as the most hours are dark.

But in August also you can see it with a high KP in southern parts. But still with a fewer hours of darkness.

If I summarize the story about the Northern Lights in Canada, it is much easier to see during winter. So, plan your dates for the trip and head to the north during winter and south during summer to maximize your chances.

November, December, January, and February: The days are very short and the nights are very dark, so it is easy to see northern lights in the North when the skies are clear.

September and October: Very high KPs during these months and it is easy to see auroras in Canada even though the days are not as long as in winter.

March and April: As it happened with the equinox of autumn, with the one of spring statistically also many Auroras Borealis are seen in Canada.

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