Magical Display of Lights in Night Sky Will Leave You Breathless
The Northern Lights Canada are among the most spectacular on the globe. People come from all over to see them light up the night sky. Particularly in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Also known as Aurora Borealis, they a natural phenomenon that have fascinated people for centuries. Some have even dedicated their lives chasing these magical displays around the world.
“Canada’s North is one of the last natural beauties on Earth,” says TierOne Travel specialist Nita Nestman. “It’s so clean and beautiful; it will take your breath away.”
Some of Nita’s clients, who have seen the Northern Lights for themselves dancing across the dark night skies in the Arctic Circle, have trouble finding words to describe them. “They really have to be seen to believed,” says Nita. “Photos and videos don’t do them justice.”
Click here to watch a video of the spectacular Northern Lights from Travel Yukon.
What Causes the Northern Lights?
The bright dancing lights in the night sky are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles from the sun’s atmosphere. When the gases collide, they create auroral displays of colour. The most common colours are pale yellowish-green and pale pink, but you can also see shades of red, blue and violet. The lights can appear in patches or scattered clouds, but can also appear as streamers and arcs, rippling curtains or even shooting rays. They light up the sky with an eerie glow.
The lights of the Aurora generally extend from 80 km (50 miles) to as high as 640 km (400 miles) above the earth’s service. They can be seen in both the northern and southern hemispheres over each magnetic pole.
What is the Best Time of Year to See the Northern Lights Canada?
The best time of year to see Northern Lights Canada is definitely winter. Depending on which province you live in, you might be able to see them in the fall and spring as well. And if you live in Newfoundland and Labrador, you can even catch a glimpse of the elusive Aurora Borealis in the summer.
Best Places in Canada to View the Northern Lights
Much of Canada’s North lies beneath the northern hemisphere’s Auroral Oval. It is a popular destination for people from all over the world who hope to see the magical display of lights for themselves.
Although you might be able to see the Northern Lights in any Canadian city, there are some areas in the north that will give you a better chance. The best time of day is around midnight local time, so most people head out between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. to catch the incredible light show.
Best Places in Canada to see the Light Show:
- Yukon – Whitehorse and area in late winter and early spring. It is said that if you stay three nights in Whitehorse, you have a 97% chance of seeing the Northern Lights. The AuroraCentre is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis. There, you can watch the incredible dancing light show from the comfort of an insulated yurt while enjoying a hot drink.
- Northwest Territories – Yellowknife and area in late autumn and winter.
- Nunavut – Kimmirut and surrounding Inuit communities in early autumn and winter.
- Manitoba – Churchill in the sub-Arctic Circle in autumn and winter.
- Newfoundland and Labrador – Torngat Mountains National Park in the summer.
- Ontario – Manitoulin Island and Pukaskwa National Park in autumn.
- Alberta – Banff National Park in autumn.
What Other Activities are There in the Yukon?
As Canada’s #1 spot to view the Northern Lights Canada, the Yukon is a wonderful province to visit any time of year. During the winter months, however, when you are most likely to experience the Aurora Borealis, there are many other great activities to enjoy.
Whitehorse is the capital city of Yukon and it’s likely where you will make your ‘home base’ as you embark on day trips and night tours during your vacation. Nita recommends booking through a TierOne Travel agent to ensure you get the best accommodation, activities and deals to meet your interests and needs.
Direct flights to Whitehorse via Air North
You can fly direct to Whitehorse with Air North from Canadian cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Prince George, Nanaimo, Vancouver, Victoria, Ottawa and Yellowknife.
With a population of 25,000, Whitehorse is a smaller city, but it has all of the amenities of modern-day life. Seventy per cent of people living in the Yukon reside in Whitehorse. And according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Whitehorse has the least air pollution of any other city in the world.
“The air is so crisp and clean,” says Nita. “You have to breathe it to believe it.”
The restaurants are “amazing,” she says, and the shopping is unique. Whitehorse has a thriving arts community and music scene, resulting in a lot of local talent to enjoy and local art to purchase.
They have gorgeous lodges and quaint bed & breakfasts located in log homes where you can rent snowshoes or cross-country skis. You can tour the vast Yukon and take in its spectacular scenery and view wildlife by snowmobile or even dog sled.
Yukon Quest 2020
If you are fortunate enough to book a trip to Whitehorse in February, you can experience the Yukon Quest. Held on the first Saturday of every February, the 1,000-mile (1,609 km) international sled dog race runs from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Whitehorse, Yukon. Founded in 1984, the race follows the historic route travelled by prospectors and adventurers between the gold fields of the Klondike and the Alaska interior.
You might want to take a trip to Dawson City from Whitehorse if you have time. Located about 500 km from the Yukon’s capital city, it’s a super scenic drive along the North Klondike Highway. Or, if you’re short on time, Air North can get you there in an hour.
Dawson City is famous for being at the centre of the Klondike Gold Rush, which began in 1896. Thousands flocked to the city seeking their fortune. The largest gold nugget unearthed in the Klondike weighed over 72 ounces. I was nearly six inches long and in 1898 was valued at $1,150. Today it would be worth more than $30,000. The city also has a thriving arts scene – smaller than in Whitehorse, but just as vibrant.
We have connections!
TierOne Travel has connections with preferred suppliers such as Anderson Vacations to ensure your trip to the Yukon is the best it can be. Specializing in customized tours to Canada’s North, Anderson Vacations have a number of packages to choose from between August 15 and April 15 if one of your priorities is to see the Aurora Borealis. Contact one of TierOne Travel’s specialists to book today.
Be sure you’re well covered
Before you embark on a memorable trip to the Yukon to experience the Aurora Borealis and other activities in Canada’s North, be sure you have enough coverage. Travel insurance will provide you with peace of mind on your vacation. TierOne Travel can help you with all the details.
If you feel like it’s time to explore something new such as an exciting adventure to see the Northern Lights Canada, contact one of our TierOne travel specialists! They have extensive experience in life-changing travel and will be able to craft something that is suited to your unique needs. One call; endless experiences!
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