In a UK poll that asked 22 million people what destinations or activities top their Bucket List, 27% (the second highest percentage) said they want to see the northern lights. One of the best places in the world to do this is in Yellowknife. The city lies beneath a halo-like ring known as the aurora oval, where lights flare in the sky with an increased intensity. With few geographical obstructions, and a high percentage of clear winter nights, the northern lights are particularly active from mid-November to mid-April. Experience aurora watching in comfort thanks to tour operators like Aurora Village and Yellowknife Outdoor Adventures, who provide heated viewing decks, hot drinks, and comfortable chairs in cabins removed from local light sources. Watching green, red and blue lights dance across a clear northern sky is a natural spectacle that belongs on Canada’s Bucket List too.
Length of Trip : Typically 4-hour nightly excursions
Visit Aurora Village and Yellowknife Outdoor Adventures for the latest package prices. Great Canadian Trails offer a 3-day Northern Lights Eco-Escape that starts from $1560 per person.
Best time to go : Mid-August to the end of September and from mid-November to mid-April
Wheelchair friendly : Yes
Family friendly : Yes
Where to eat :
The Black Knight Pub
Official Site :
Great Canadian Trails Northern Lights Eco Escape
Where to Stay :
Accommodation at an eco-lodge is included in your Great Canadian Trails package. In Yellowknife, we recommend: The Explorer Hotel
The Discovery Inn
Getting There :
There are regular flights between Yellowknife and Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, and Whitehorse.
Transportation to Aurora Village or Yellowknife Outdoor Adventure’s wilderness cabin is included in the price.
Note from Robin :
Yellowknife is under the Aurora belt and therefore you’re increasing your odds of actually seeing the mythical lights. But there’s no guarantee. The weather has to be ideal, and the conditions just right. The operators don’t give you your money back if the lights don’t fire, and many a guest (including this one) has left feeling disappointed. This is the nature of natural spectacles! Dress warm, as the best time to see the lights is late night/early morning when temperatures plummet. Ask your hotel if they’ll give you a wake up call if the lights are firing over the city during the night (a tip for the front desk won’t hurt).