With little light pollution and a northern location, Canada is one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights. Also known as the aurora borealis, the spectacular northern lights atmospheric phenomenon is as elusive as it is beautiful. The mix of green, yellow, blue, and pink that dances across the sky is like nothing you’ve ever seen, and Canada’s top locations are known for having some of the most incredible displays of the wonder. Discover the best place to see the northern lights in Canada and improve your chances of experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon for you and your family.
Prince Edward Island for bright lights
Home to Prince Edward Island National Park, Prince Edward Island is a scenic location that experiences minimal light pollution, giving it a dark, unobstructed sky. You could see the northern lights from just about anywhere on the island, but many aurora seekers experience the displays in the park itself.
Yellowknife, Northern Territories to watch the lights from a hot tub
Yellowknife is known as one of the best places to see the northern lights in Canada. The capital is flat and open, providing an unrivalled view of the sky. It’s also dry, so few clouds form in the sky to block the lights. Yellowknife is also within the Auroral Zone, a famous region where the northern lights are known to appear. For a more decadent experience, book a cabin with a hot tub so you can relax in the hot water and wait for the show to start.
Lake Superior, Ontario let the lights dance on the water
Located on the edge of the Canadian Shield, Lake Superior’s shoreline is one of the best spots for a beautiful northern lights display. It’s so popular for viewing the aurora, in fact, that it’s home to the Thunder Bay Lookout at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. When you visit the lookout, you’ll be in complete darkness to view the stunning sky above the lake waters and see the lights reflect on the dark surface.
Churchill, Manitoba for a family tour of the lights
Churchill is conveniently located underneath the Auroral Oval, a band that was displaced by solar wind and protected from geomagnetic storms. As a result, this area is known for northern lights sightings. Because of the popularity of northern lights shows in Churchill, tour operators offer tours in all-terrain vehicles in the landscape to some of the top viewing spots.
Athabasca, Alberta is the spot for children to learn about the lights
Athabasca is home to the Athabasca University Geophysical Observatory, a geological research facility that studies the aurora borealis and its magnetosphere. Though you can’t witness the northern lights from within the facility, its location is a hint to the frequent occurrences of the phenomenon in the area. All around the facility, you’ll find snowshoe and cross-country trails to venture deep into the wilderness and watch the skies light up.
Jasper, Alberta has a Planetarium show for the family
Home to Jasper National Park, Jasper experiences the northern lights about once a week. The area experiences long hours of darkness in the fall and winter, giving you an even better chance of spotting the sky spectacle. The Jasper Planetarium is a great place to catch the show, since it hosts dark-sky tours to showcase the starry sky free from light pollution, and you may catch a northern lights display during the tour.
Takhini Hot Springs, Yukon are perfect for viewing the lights
The Yukon is blessed with long, dark winters, perfect for spotting the northern lights. The Yukon is also home to the Takhini Hot Springs, a set of natural hot springs just outside of Whitehorse. The geothermal springs are popular for travellers looking to soak in the rejuvenating waters, but it’s especially enchanting as a viewing location for the northern lights. You can relax in the soothing waters and watch the dark sky to spot the lights, far from the light pollution in the city.