Province/Territory: Yukon Territory

Northern Days, Northern Lights

  • 18 hours of nighttime to see the Aurora Borealis
  • 01 million mile-per-hour solar winds
  • 60 miles above the earth is where the Northern Lights dance

Head 20 minutes into the wilderness outside Whitehorse in the northwest Canadian territory of the Yukon to watch the Northern Lights at their brightest in winter’s complete darkness. Northern Tales and Travel’s unique viewing site is their Northern Lights Trading Post, a comfortable prospector-style wall tent once used by gold seekers and trappers. Bundle up and head outside to marvel as the night sky billows with mysterious curtains of rainbow colours from green and yellow to pink and blue. Step inside where it’s toasty, heated by a wood-fired barrel stove, and warm your hands around a mug of hot chocolate. Hear stories of Northern life from local guides who make maple taffy right in front of your eyes. Dazzled but sleepy in the wee hours of morning, head back to your hotel in the lively Northern town of Whitehorse, your base, to explore historical buildings from the gold rush era. Then bundle up again the next evening for an encore performance of nature’s Technicolor fireworks, fingers crossed for a cloud-free sky.

Why you should visit
  • See the Aurora Borealis away from city lights where they are at their brightest.
  • Spend several nights to increase your chances to catch the spectacular displays.
  • Experience winter outdoor activities like snowmobiling, ice fishing, dog sledding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing while watching the Northern Lights at night.
  • Visit the colourful city of Whitehorse with its historic buildings – including a log “skyscraper” - and gold rush history.

Weather

Visitor information
  • Aurora tours are available from one to five nights from September through mid-April.
  • Rates and dates.
When to go
  • September is the warmest month for Aurora viewing when you can also catch a peek at the colourful fall foliage.
  • Fall colours will be in full brilliance during a September visit.
  • Plan your trip during the Sourdough Rendezvous festival in February.
  • Time your Aurora Viewing at the time of the February Frost Bite Music Festival.
  • Days are shortest from November through January when skies are darkest. This is when the Northern Lights are also at their brightest and best.
  • During February through April days are quickly becoming longer and warmer, perfect for daytime winter activities.
Need to know
  • A winter clothing package can be rented and is highly recommended for guests who don’t have their own gear for a northern winter climate.
  • The package includes pants and a parka with fleece liners, winter boots, mitts and head gear.
  • Bring a camera: a tripod helps capture sharper, long time exposure photos of the Aurora.
Getting Here
  • Whitehorse is located in the northern territory of Yukon in Canada’s Western Arctic. There are regular flights from southern Canada, the Northwest Territories and Alaska (as well as seasonal flights from Germany) to the Whitehorse Airport (YXY).
  • By road, arrive via the Alaska Highway or Stewart-Cassiar Highway from British Columbia.
  • View current Yukon highway information.