Best time to travel to British Columbia

Northern Lights in British Columbia

Choose British Columbia for a memorable visual adventure

Best time: October–March

Photographers spend hours adjusting their camera settings through the coldest of nights in hopes of catching lights in hues of fuschia and green blazing across the starry night sky in the background. Time stops while the nature of British Columbia demonstrates its skills.

Best time to view northern lights

The best time to see the northern lights in British Columbia and Canada, in general, is between September and March. These months offer the longest hours of darkness throughout the year. The essential requirements for successful glaring at polar lights are northern climate, clear skies, and total darkness.

Best places to view northern lights

No matter where you are heading to, seeing northern light is always a lottery. You might reach the correct location, spend some time there and not even see the lights. But if you're in the tune for marveling at the lights, you can always look through the forecast.

Here you can find few locations where the chances to witness aurora are higher than anywhere else.

Muncho Lake Provincial Park

The more north you go, the higher the chances are to see the aurora borealis. Muncho Lake Provincial Park is situated way up in Northern British Columbia along Alaska Highway. Rumor has it, you can admire the aurora borealis here year-round. However, Muncho Lake Provincial Park is located pretty far, so take a road trip to get to this gem.

Sakinaw Lake

On the shores of Sakinaw Lake, 40 km (25 mi) north of Sechelt, you can capture magnificent illuminated skies from the polar lights. Surrounded by the majestic Coast Mountains and hidden among forests of towering Sitka spruce and Douglas fir, Sakinaw Lake makes for a great place to admire the night sky.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Situated not far from Sea To Sky Highway in Squamish, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is a remote beach area, perfect for viewing the Northern Lights. Porteau Cove Provincial Park has opening and closing hours however it isn't accessible at all times.

Hudson’s Hope

The shores of the Peace River near Hudson’s Hope usually offer a picturesque backdrop. The banks are often laden in a trees covered in frost and swirling mist. This effect is created by a river that doesn't freeze even at -30ºC. Hudson's Hope makes an amazing and non-trivial place to witness the dancing lights display.

Practical info

What is the best time of the year to see the northern lights in British Columbia?

Between September and March, the northern lights can be seen in British Columbia due to longer darkness in these months. Total darkness, clear skies, and a northern climate are essential for the aurora borealis to appear. Natural conditions determine the sightings, and there's no guarantee you'll see the lights, regardless of the ideal conditions. Show more

What are the requirements for seeing the northern lights in British Columbia?

Traveling to the northern climate where it's dark with clear skies is necessary to spot aurora borealis in British Columbia. September to March is the best chance to experience the polar lights in BC. The further north you go, the higher the chances of seeing them. However, the sightings are unpredictable, and despite the ideal location, you may not see the lights. Show more

Where is Muncho Lake Provincial Park located?

Muncho Lake Provincial Park is in Northern British Columbia, Canada, along Alaska Highway. Although it's approximately 1,100 km away from Vancouver, the park is still widely recognized as one of the finest places to see the northern lights throughout the year in Canada. To reach it, a road trip is required as it's far from busy towns. Show more

What are the opening and closing hours of Porteau Cove Provincial Park?

The remote and fascinating Porteau Cove Provincial Park is located in Squamish, BC, adjacent to Sea to Sky Highway. While open all year round, the park only grants access between 8 am and 11 pm. Vehicles are no longer allowed into the park after 10 pm, which may be subject to change. Check their website for the latest updates on park hours. Show more

Why is Hudson's Hope a non-trivial place to witness the northern lights?

Hudson's Hope is a small town near Peace River in British Columbia, making it an ideal destination for viewing the northern lights. The river doesn't freeze even when it's as low as -30ºC, creating a stunning scene with frosty trees and swirling mist that's perfect for the aurora borealis display. There's less light pollution in the small town, leading to a raised chance of a clear view of the northern lights. Show more

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