The mountainous Yukon lies in Canada's northwest and borders the Arctic Ocean and Alaska. Thanks to its geographical position, Yukon is the ideal place to observe the enchanting northern lights phenomenon. Caused by geomagnetical activity, northern lights are hard to predict. Luckily, you can check with reliable forecasts prepared by the University of Alaska Fairbanks or other institutions. The best time for watching northern lights is when nights are the longest and darkest: from November through March. However, if you get lucky, it's possible to get a glimpse of aurora in Yukon as early as mid-August when the weather is still warm or as late as mid-April when the snow starts to melt. The lights are most visible for two hours before and two hours after midnight. If you manage to travel this far north, the sightings of aurora borealis are going to be the most vivid. In Yukon, you can see the dancing lights almost from anywhere thanks to low light pollution.
The city of Whitehorse is nestled between the Yukon river and three mountain peaks. It has plenty of scenic spots to observe the beautiful phenomenon of northern lights. Fish Lake is located at an elevation of 4658 ft (1420 m), it's a great hiking destination and a perfect spot for an aurora photo. Chadburn Lake Park in Whitehorse, located on the eastern bank of the Yukon River, is also popular with northern lights enthusiasts. The capital of Yukon also offers plenty of fun activities during the northern lights season: cabins in the wild, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and even the pleasure of observing the night sky from the comfort of a hot pool.
Dawson City and Klondike Valley
Historical Dawson City, located in the middle of the northerly Klondike region by the Yukon River, is a perfect place for viewing aurora borealis. Thanks to its geographical position, you don't have to do much to see aurora there. You can take an organized aurora tour into the wilderness, rent a cabin in one of the local parks or just watch it from downtown since there is not much light pollution in the city. Midnight Dome is the most popular lookout towering over Dawson City. Hike to this scenic vantage point to enjoy the panoramic view of the northern lights and the Yukon River.
Kluane National Park
If you like mountains, Kluane National Park will seem like heaven. It features the amazing Mount Logan (elevation 19,551 ft or 5,959 m), the highest peak of Canada and Yukon. The park consists of large wilderness areas, ice fields, forests, glaciers, and alpine lakes. Stop by Kluane Lake or Kathleen Lake for the most stunning pictures of the northern lights.
Watson Lake, located close to British Columbia, showcases northern lights both indoors and outdoors. The Northern Lights Space and Science Centre, located in Watson Lake, will tell you everything about the science of the mesmerizing lights. You can also enjoy the phenomenon during dark and clear winter nights at Wye Lake or Liard River Canyon.
What is the best time to visit Yukon to witness the Northern Lights?
The ideal season to witness the Northern Lights in Yukon is between November and March when the nights are longer and darker. However, it's possible to catch a glimpse of aurora borealis earlier in August or later in April. The morning hours would usually be the best time to witness the Northern Lights between midnight and 2 a.m. while the sky is clear and dancing with vivid and ethereal hues. Show more
Where in Yukon can you find good spots for aurora viewing?
Fish Lake, Chadburn Lake Park, and Midnight Dome are among the most popular Northern Lights' viewing spots in Yukon especially in the Whitehorse area. Dawson City is another popular destination for its organized tours, comfortable cabins, and beautiful views offered by Kluane National Park, Watson lake, Wye Lake, and Liard River Canyon. These sites have limited light pollution, making them ideal for viewing the Northern Lights in all of their glory. Show more
Is it possible to see the Northern Lights in Yukon during summer?
It's possible to see the Northern Lights in Yukon during summer, but the optimal season for aurora borealis enthusiasts to visit is from November through March when the nights are longer and darker. While you may still catch a glimpse of this stunning natural phenomenon in mid-August, it may not be as vivid as it is in the winter months. Therefore, winter season is the perfect time to experience the Northern Lights' magic in Yukon. Show more
What other activities can you do in Whitehorse during the Northern Lights season?
Whitehorse offers plenty of activities for visitors during the Northern Lights season, including enjoying a cozy cabin and outdoor activities such as dog sledding or snowshoeing. Alternatively, you can take a dip in the hot springs and marvel at the Northern Lights from the comfort of a hot tub. Other activities include skiing, snowboarding, and wildlife viewing, where you can take in the mesmerizing views of the Northern Lights. Show more
Are there any indoor spots to witness the Northern Lights in Yukon?
Watson Lake boasts the Northern Lights Space and Science Center, a facility that allows visitors to learn about the scientific facts behind the Northern Lights. However, this facility does not offer live views of the Northern Lights. There are, however, places such as hotels, cabins, and restaurants in Yukon where visitors can witness the magical display of Northern Lights in the comfort of indoor locales with large windows to allow for an unparalleled view. Show more