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Seeing the northern lights is a Canadian rite of passage. This magical anomaly is phenomenal and the Northwest Territories just happens to be one of the best places in the world to view it. Not only does the NWT sit directly under the northern rim of the aurora oval (a ring around our geomagnetic poles), they also statistically have the clearest nights in northern Canada… which means your chances of seeing the lights is very high. Where is our favourite place to view the northern lights in the Northwest Territories? The Aboriginal-owned and run Aurora Village of course.
Aurora Village is an aurora borealis viewing centre situated in the Northwest Territories, just 30 minutes outside of Yellowknife. Aurora Village offers nightly northern lights viewing tours that typically run from 10:30 pm to 2:00 am. If the lights are exceptional Aurora Village welcomes you to extend your tour to better enjoy the sights of the night sky. The centre is equipped with a dining lodge and traditional teepees used as warming huts during northern lights tours. While the lodge serves a full dinner menu before the viewing, you are welcome to stop in during your aurora viewing tour for warm soup, bannock and treats throughout the night. Unfortunately, you can’t sleep overnight in the teepees but you do get assigned to a general teepee that you can use throughout the entire evening of your aurora borealis viewing tour for photography and keeping warm! At the end of the night, the hotel shuttle bus will pick you up and bring you to your accommodations so you can sleep in and dream about the stars.
The first viewing night is $120 + GST and the second night onwards is $95 per night + GST.
Stay at the Coast Fraser, the Quality Inn, the Days Inn, the Explorer Hotel, or the Discovery Inn in Yellowknife, NT and the Aurora Village shuttle will pick you up and bring you to the Aurora Village site each night.
Bring a tripod and a DSLR camera/camera with manual functions to shoot photos of the northern lights. From November to May expect extreme winter conditions, come prepared with a warm parka, warm footwear, toques and gloves. It doesn’t hurt to overpack when packing for the north.
Aurora Village is open 7 days a week from August 12th – October 7th for the summer/fall season. The winter season runs from November 20th – April 7th. We recommend you plan to go northern lights viewing for multiple nights to increase your chances of getting the best sights
Like this post? Check out Dustin Milligan Thinks Everyone Should Visit The NWT and The North’s Best Kept Secret: The Long John Jamboree, too!