Province/Territory: Northwest Territories

Watching the Northern Lights in Rustic Wilderness Luxury

  • 25 minute scenic float plane flight
  • 1,000,000 mile per hour solar winds create the Northern Lights
  • 02 Aurora Borealis viewing decks

Fly on a bush plane – equipped with floats in fall and skis in winter– and land alongside Blachford Lake Lodge, an oasis of rustic luxury in the Northwest Territories’ wilderness near Yellowknife. In fall, watch the Aurora turn the night sky green, red and blue. During the day, hike, paddle and go fishing amid autumn foliage. In winter, skate on the frozen lake, mush huskies, stomp off on snowshoes or hop on a snowmobile and experience the wide-open Northern backcountry. Sit down to local northern cuisine like bison and pike. Then slip into the hot tub and watch curtains of Northern Lights shimmer and loop across the horizon– fireworks on a cosmic scale. Once you dive under your down duvet for the night, drift to sleep knowing you’ve signed up for the “Aurorawatch” service – to be awakened should the Aurora Borealis come to life while you’re dreaming.

Why you should visit

• Flying on a bush plane and landing on a lake.
• Watching the Northern Lights from a hot tub.
• Sleeping in an eco-award winning, solar-powered log lodge.
• Gourmet dining on Northern pike, bison and fresh veggies from their own greenhouse.
• Hiking through autumn-tinted boreal forest on the lookout for grazing moose.
• Snowshoeing and spotting a white Arctic hare or ptarmigan.
• Playing pond-hockey on the lake in front of your lodge.
• Spying on migratory birds close up through a telescope.

Weather

• The Yellowknife region has a subarctic climate which means summers with long warm days and cold winters with plenty of snow. In autumn, from late August through mid-October, days become short and brisk. In winter temperatures hover around -20°C, but by February days are becoming longer and warmer as spring approaches.
• Discover local weather information.  Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.

Visitor information

• Rates, dates and reservations.
• Don’t forget a bathing suit for the sauna and hot tub.
• For autumn, bring layers including a hat, gloves and long pants for changes in temperatures that might be balmy during the day or dive into the chilly range at night.
• In winter, bring warmer layers like long underwear, wool or fleece trousers, a sweater, insulated wind pants and a down parka. Pack boots to keep your feet warm.

When to go

• The lodge is open for two aurora-viewing seasons — in fall from mid-August through October and in winter from mid-December through April.
• Autumn, when the night skies are becoming darker, is a great time for Aurora watchers and stargazers. During the daytime there's hiking amid fall foliage, fishing, paddling, mountain biking or just relaxing to the sound of loons calling.
• Winter, when skies are pitch black, is the best time for Northern Lights watching and daytime activities like dog-sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.

Need to know

• Winter temperatures may sound threateningly chilly, but dress correctly and the dry-cold will be comfortable for playing outside in the snow and on the frozen lake. If you don’t have adequate winter gear, the lodge can help out with parkas, pants, hats, mitts and boots.
• In fall, pack insect repellent and sunscreen.
• Bring a pair of binoculars and slippers to wear in the Lodge.

Getting Here

• Regular flights from Southern Canada arrive in Yellowknife Airport (YZF).
• Driving to Yellowknife is easy with 3 highways linking the Northwest Territories to the Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta.
• From Yellowknife, it’s a short bush plane flight to land on Blachford Lake – on water in fall and lake ice in winter.