Among the tens of thousands of tourists who pack their suitcases in the country of the maple leaf in cold weather, a large majority arrives with a very specific purpose: to conquer the mythical auroras of the north. Since the dawn of time, these celestial phenomena at the origin of many legends and beliefs fascinate man.
However, only the smartest travelers will have the good idea to combine the pleasures of a snowmobile Canada raid and discover one of the most beautiful natural sights in the world, during a sensational hunting of the aurora borealis by snowmobile!
Where, when and how to observe the Aurora borealis in Canada?
A stay in Canada and especially in its northern part is a great opportunity to go hunting for the Northern Lights. Indeed, as it is located in the area surrounding the Earth’s magnetic pole, the great north of Canada conceals spots from which you can observe the fabulous celestial phenomenon with the naked eye. Nevertheless, a voyage to conquer the aurora borealis is not improvised. There are principles and tricks to know to be sure to get to the end of your quest! It is to be in the right place, at the perfect moment in the best conditions…
Little Stories of Aurora Borealis
They raise in the skies nebulous veils of green, blue, yellow and purple and illuminate the sky with a sumptuous kaleidoscope surprising… By their almost mystical appearances, the Aurora Borealis Force fascination and admiration! Moreover, those who have already had the opportunity to witness them speak of an unprecedented spectacle that gives the impression that the time stops to make a beautiful part of alchemy…
For the Amerindian peoples who see in the Aurora Borealis an enchantment, these demonstrations are closely linked to life, death and fate. In Hudson Bay, it is believed that these games of light are torches lit by souls who are in Paradise to guide the new deceased. According to the Algonquin myths, they represent a great fire lit by Nanahbozho, creator of the Earth, to remind men that he does not forget them… For the Inuit shamans, it is the aurora that breathes healing cures on a spiritual journey while the Eskimos living in the southern Yukon River equate the boreal spectacle with a dance of animal spirits…
Of course, for those who have a rather Cartesian mind, the aurora Borealis have a fairly simple scientific explanation: the phenomenon occurs when the electron-charged particles contained in the solar wind penetrate the upper atmosphere and Collide with the Earth’s magnetic field, creating in the firmament and for a few minutes, an incredible luminous spectacle which, though one says, is undoubtedly akin to magic…
Hunting for the Aurora Borealis: an expedition ready!
At what time of year to organize your trip? How can I be sure to see them? Where to go to see them? So many questions that need to be answered if you do not want to return handed of your stay in Canada to hunt for the Aurora Borealis…
Although it is possible to see the aurora Borealis throughout the year, it is advisable to go to their discovery between 21 September and 21 March, especially around the equinoxes (September-October and February-March) and ideally between 6pm and 1 o’clock Morning. This overall corresponds to the autumn and winter seasons, although winter is much more popular due to the longer nights.
- Where to go?
The first rule of gold when we track the aurora borealis is to go as far north as possible, i.e. closest to the magnetic pole, to at least 60 degrees of latitude. According to the scientists, the pole exerts a strong magnetism on the solar particles and the chances of the aurora Borealis showing up are optimal.
- How to take full advantage?
Be careful, organizing your hunting party at the aurora Borealis “at the right time and in the right place” is not enough. To make sure you take full advantage of the show, the sky must be completely clear and the darkness will be total… In other words, you will have to avoid the full moon nights and get away from the urban light pollution!
Finally, you will have to be patient, because the aurora borealis is a scene that deserves. For some, it will be a matter of time, for others, a matter of days. The most sensible is to consult the forecasts of Aurora Borealis…
6 spots where you have the best chance of seeing an aurora borealis
If seeing an authentic aurora Borealis with your own eyes is your ultimate goal, here are the places where you will need to be:
Iqaluit in Nunavut
Nothing like the northernmost province in Canada, Nunavut. Iqaluit is undoubtedly the place par excellence to honour an “exclusive” Rendezvous with the aurora borealis. Here, the words of order are silence and peace. Very little traffic, very little infrastructure, no light pollution and practically no tourist. You have guessed, all conditions are met so that your encounter with the colorful clouds is absolutely transcendent!
The Northwest Territories
Located on the shores of the Great Slave Lake in the Arctic Circle, Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, is exemplified by its pristine environment and wilderness just a few kilometres from the city. In winter, the landscape is completely metamorphosed: the green vegetation leaves room for white areas as far as the eye could see, creating a conducive environment for escape. At this time, you will have 90% to achieve your goal: see a Aurora borealis!
Rising further north, above the Arctic Circle, you will reach the town of Inuvik. In addition to its ideal location to be in the front row of an authentic aurora borealis, the village reserves its visitors happy festivals as well as a lot of curiosities including the famous Igloo Church (Notre Dame of Victory). Especially known for its eternal nights in winter (nights that last 24 hours in December), Inuvik also attracts by its midnight sun in the summer.
Whitehorse to Yukon
The Yukon capital, Whitehorse, is considered to be the Northern Lights paradise in Canada. This city, reputed for its contrasting landscapes between taiga and tundra, and its polar bears has excellent tourist facilities. Getting, staying, eating, entertaining or spending in Whitehorse will be an easy task. The most beautiful advantage being the installations and events specially dedicated to observing the famous celestial shows…
La Ronge, Saskatchewan
If you are looking for immersion in an authentic Amerindian community, feel free to go to La Ronge. Located in the north of the province of Saskatchewan, in western Canada, La Ronge is a village set on the shores of a lake with the same name. Spared by mass tourism, the city is seduced by a picturesque landscape and a clear sky… The twinkling of the colorful lights of the aurora on the surface of the lake will be simply unforgettable!
Easily accessible from all major cities in Canada, thanks to its vibrant Airport network, the northern village of Kuujjuaq in Nunavik, Quebec has become an essential spot for observing Northern lights in low latitude. They occur 1 to 3 nights a month in the area, when the solar flares are intense. Moreover, your stay in Kuujjuaq will be an opportunity to discover the fascinating history of the region, spending a few moments in the company of elders who do not dry out beautiful anecdotes of ancient times and visiting the archaeological remains of Old Fort-Chimo and its surroundings…
Punctuate the journey with snowmobile adventures!
Of all the means of transportation that can be used in winter in Canada, snowmobiling is by far the best way to access the most remote auroral viewing spots. You can also go around it by opting for a large loop of snowmobile raids across the immense Canadian territory!
The snow scooter or Skidoo, as Canadians call it, is a very easy to handle vehicle, whose driving is within reach of any conscientious adult and ready to scrupulously follow a few safety instructions! Even beginners will be able to enjoy this essential activity, both recreational and sporty.
In addition to providing exceptional driving and speed sensations while making you discover Canadian landscapes from a different angle, it allows you to cover very large distances in a short time. From north to south, from east to West, you will discover Canada differently…
Do you like it?