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Did you know the bright dancing lights of the aurora borealis are actually collisions between electrically charged particles that enter the earth’s atmosphere? This collision effect only happens over the north and south poles of the earth and lucky for us is especially active directly over Canada. This makes Canada one of the best places on earth to view this spectacular sight.
To better help you get your glimpse of beautiful science, we have compiled a list of the best places in Canada to see the Northern Lights.
1. Northwest Territories
The NWT is one of the top northern lights destinations in the world. This is because it sits directly under the auroral oval and is also mostly flat, providing unobstructed views of the epic aurora borealis displays above. As if it wasn’t good enough, Yellowknife also receives very little precipitation making nearly every night a clear night. Break out those cameras and start practicing your long exposure skills!
"When you stand under the dancing northern lights, all your cares and concerns suddenly become so trivial." @william_patino shares with us a glimpse into the magic of the northern lights at Aurora Village in #Yellowknife. #ExploreCanada “Lorsque que vous vous trouvez sous la danse des aurores boréales, tous vos soucis s’évanouissent soudainement. » @william_patino nous offre un aperçu de la magie des aurores boréales au village Aurora de Yellowknife. #SpectacularNWT
Those looking to see the aurora borealis can look no further than the Yukon between fall and spring. Adventure away from light pollution and enjoy a show of colours in the sky. Need help adventuring? Choose from the many Aurora Borealis tours from Arctic Range, Northern Tales, Nature Tours Yukon & Yukon Wild.
With little to no light pollution, Iqaluit in Nunavut is a great place to view the northern lights. There are few tour operators here, so you will just have to venture off on your own to find a good place to tilt your head back and take in the view.
Manitoba is more than just the quickly growing city of Winnipeg. Up north in Churchill, Manitoba, you can scope out polar bears, beluga whales, and the aurora borealis up to 300 nights a year.
There are plenty of places in this great province to lay out a blanket and watch the sky, including the eleven provincial parks north of Saskatoon, which are open year-round.
Don’t be too distracted by the beauty of the Rockies. Go off the beaten path and head to Athabasca County where you can view the northern lights alongside one of just 18 stations in North America studying the magnetic effects of the aurora borealis.
7. British Columbia
If you want to see the northern lights you need to head north. We suggest Muncho Lake Provincial Park, a stop along the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia. In this national park you are sure to catch the lights above beautiful Muncho Lake.
Have you ever looked at a map to see how far north Quebec actually spans? The province is huge and the northern region of Quebec is situated right beneath the auroral oval. Headed that way? Go to Kuujjuaq, Quebec, on the west shore of the Koksoak River. It’s the largest village in the region and the best place to visit if you want to see the sky dance.
Have you ever heard of the Native tales about the Northern Lights? Inuits say that if you whistle at the Northern Lights, they will dance for you. Some would argue that it can bring misfortune or even death! They say it would carry you up to the sky and, worse one I've heard yet, decapitate you. I had a chance to find out for myself and I'm glad curiosity didn't nearly kill me 🙈👻 Within seconds, I watched the sky lit up in luminous green and as they floated closer to me, I found myself surrender to pure bliss!💘😍💚
Want to learn about the Cree people while still enjoying the northern lights? Look no further than the Cree Village Ecolodge in Moose Factory, Ontario. Here you can enjoy an educational day and an entertaining night of aurora viewing.
Canada’s smallest province has visible displays of the aurora borealis on nights with strong geomagnetic activity. With a population of less than 150,000, there’s little light pollution to hinder the view and a dramatic coastline to get you all the likes on social media.
Know the best place in Canada to catch a glimpse of the northern lights? Share it with us in the comments below.