Featured

Northern Lights in Canada

northern-lights-in-canada

The Aurora Borealis is at the top of everyone's bucket list

Northern Canada offers some amazing experiences to see our night skies dance amongst the stars across the sky at night

Northern Lights in Canada offers some amazing spots to view the Aurora Borealis dancing across the sky at night. For most people, dancing colours in the dark sky makes it to the top of their bucket list, I know that it was on mine. Therefore, living in Fort St. John in Northern BC Canada for 13 years I got to check this light experience off of my bucket list. I didn't even have to go far, just out my back door. It truly is a sight to see especially if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday city life!
Northern Lights in Fort St John BC Canada. Photo credit Rene Coatta.
Aurora Borealis in Fort St John BC Canada. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

What are the Northern Lights in Canada

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, appear when really tiny particles stream out of the sun and then hit the Earth's atmosphere. These charged particles of electrons and protons collide with the gasses in the Earth's upper atmosphere, which then give off tiny flashes of colourful light that we see as the Northern Lights. As all these flashes occur it makes it look as though the Aurora Borealis is dancing across the sky.

Where to view the Northern Lights in Canada

There are a lot of places in Canada where you can view the Northern Lights, with the number one spot being the Northwest Territories as they are visible 240 nights of the year. Churchill Manitoba which is located at a high enough latitude is another popular spot offering lots of opportunity for Northern Light viewing. The Yukon, Nunavut, Northern BC and Alberta are also great places to view them. If you are not looking for places that are extremely cold and isolated try Banff or Jasper located in Alberta Canada, they are also popular tourist spots and have Northern Light viewing. My favourite spot to view them was in Northern BC Canada anywhere along the Alaska Highway. You didn't have to travel far outside of the city limits to catch a view of this amazing sight!

Northern Lights can be viewed from many of our northern provinces and territories. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

Best time of the year to view the Northern Lights in Canada

The best time of the year to view the Northern Lights is in the fall, winter and early spring. This is when we have the longest evenings with the darkest skies. I have had the opportunity to view them as early as late August right up until March, it really just depends on how clear the sky is that night. The lights can mostly be seen between 9pm and 2am with the strongest light between 11pm and 12am, trust me I know I have spent many hours watching them dance around the sky! 

Northern lights decorate many a Canadian northern town. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

Bring your patience

No matter where you go to view them make sure you bring your patience. There is no guarantee that you will see them unless you are in the Northern most remote places. That is one of the things that makes witnessing this natural phenomenon so special. Make sure sure you have a good camera and lots of warm clothes. Once you see them you will be completely mesmerized watching them dance around the sky.

Forests and skies with Aurora Borealis always makes a Canadian Bucket List. Photo credit Rene Coatta.
Dancing lights in Fort St John British Columbia Canada. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

In conclusion

In conclusion if you ever get the opportunity to view the Northern Lights do it, trust me you will not be disappointed. Whether it is in a remote location in Northern Canada or a little further South, every experience is different then the last. Bring your patience and an open mind and turn your head up to the sky. Get out and explore what Northern Canada has to offer!

Come and experience the Northern Lights in Canada

Aurora Borealis in Northern BC Canada

Location (Map)

Fort St John, BC, Canada
×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Women's Art Retreat in Tumbler Ridge
Creative Artists in North BC Canada
 

Comments 9

EH Canada Marketing Group on Wednesday, 15 February 2023 03:22

Northern lights, aka Aurora Borealis, is on our bucket list. We have seen glimpses, but we would like to see them full on.

Northern lights, aka Aurora Borealis, is on our bucket list. We have seen glimpses, but we would like to see them full on.
Tania Stewart on Wednesday, 15 February 2023 09:08

Love the Aurora Borealis! Used to see them in Northern Sask visiting family. The elders used to tell us that if they touched your head, we would become a part of the lights. And dance amongst the stars forever. I think they said this to keep us from sneaking outside. Beautiful pictures Rene! cool)

Love the Aurora Borealis! Used to see them in Northern Sask visiting family. The elders used to tell us that if they touched your head, we would become a part of the lights. And dance amongst the stars forever. I think they said this to keep us from sneaking outside. Beautiful pictures Rene! :(cool)
Andrea Horning on Wednesday, 15 February 2023 16:18

Mom and I used to go out after I finished work at 2:30am in Moose Jaw to chase the Northern Lights. Got to see some amazing light shows. Great blog!

Mom and I used to go out after I finished work at 2:30am in Moose Jaw to chase the Northern Lights. Got to see some amazing light shows. Great blog!
Rene Coatta on Wednesday, 15 February 2023 19:48

EH Canada Marketing Group They are truly a sight to see! We would get up in the middle of the night just to watch them. They are so mesmerizing to see!

EH Canada Marketing Group They are truly a sight to see! We would get up in the middle of the night just to watch them. They are so mesmerizing to see!
Rene Coatta on Wednesday, 15 February 2023 19:49

Tania Stewart Oh I love that so much!! We loved curling up in blankets on the porch watching them dance across the sky!heart)

Tania Stewart Oh I love that so much!! We loved curling up in blankets on the porch watching them dance across the sky!:(heart)
Rene Coatta on Wednesday, 15 February 2023 19:50

Andrea Horning Aww thank you so much! They are incredible to see and so worth the chase to see them!

Andrea Horning Aww thank you so much! They are incredible to see and so worth the chase to see them!
Lisa Muldoon on Thursday, 16 February 2023 05:54

Thanks for sharing Rene! You have some great pictures. I had the privilege of seeing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife and Iqaluit in late August. They were spectacular. Such an amazing sight to see.

Thanks for sharing Rene! You have some great pictures. I had the privilege of seeing the Northern Lights in Yellowknife and Iqaluit in late August. They were spectacular. Such an amazing sight to see.
Diana Mohrsen on Thursday, 16 February 2023 21:58

Loved your pictures, Rene. I've seen the Northern Lights in Iceland. Whenever I've been in your area of BC, it was in the summer. You were fortunate to have had many such experienes.

Loved your pictures, Rene. I've seen the Northern Lights in Iceland. Whenever I've been in your area of BC, it was in the summer. You were fortunate to have had many such experienes.
Sonya Richmond on Monday, 13 March 2023 17:10

Seeing the aurora borealis is definitely on our bucket list, and this article has great information on how to make that happen. Thank you!

Seeing the aurora borealis is definitely on our bucket list, and this article has great information on how to make that happen. Thank you!
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 24 May 2024

Come Experience the Nicola Valley!