When you envision your approaching vacation, do you conjure up images of tropical Polynesian beaches, a fresh cocktail in your hand, and a warm breeze caressing your cheeks? As alluring as that view may be, perhaps it’s time to give another bucket-list-worthy idea a chance – the fierce cold of The Last Frontier.
Both Alaska and Canada have become more prevalent on many a traveler’s itinerary precisely because of this natural phenomenon by the name of Aurora Borealis, the one we know as the northern lights. This bewildering dance of colorful rays has drawn many eager globetrotters to this part of the world. Here are a few suggestions as to where you can go for Aurora-hunting in the vibrant, untamed north.
The Arctic Circle
At the farthest north of Alaska, where majestic tundra landscapes and snow-capped mountain tops meet, this part of the Arctic Circle is home to so much natural beauty, you’ll forget you’re there for a single phenomenon. You’ll be able to admire the frozen Yukon River, the Coldfoot’s vast, empty roads, and the Wiseman’s Aurora-riddled skies.
The entire Yukon Region is indeed a sight for sore eyes, and in addition to adventure-packed itineraries you can build there, you can also enjoy the immersive silence and solitude of their untamed nature.
The capital of Canada’s Northwestern Territories is famed for being a prime spot for the northern lights. In fact, they have a designated village on the outskirts of the town itself, where people gather to watch as the Aurora bathes the night skies in its dazzling dance of lights. Considering the purpose of your trip there, you can expect snow-covered forest trails, starry skies, and very short days.
The journey to the far north, such as this destination in Canada, is a truly cleansing experience to give you a glimpse of Mother Nature’s infinite diversity.
Have you seen those ridiculously breathtaking postcards of Canada with crystal clear lakes and majestic mountain ranges? Well, some of those are actually taken in Banff and its National Park in Alberta, Canada. A single glance at the backdrop of the Rockies and their prominent Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade peaks will give you shivers.
Known as a resort town, this is a more developed region where you can head for Aurora-hunting, while you enrich your itinerary with other adventures.
The remarkable northern lights – Among many travel packages in Canada and Alaska, the ones that include Aurora Borealis inspire so many people go to these winter-clad countries during the cold season. Caused by solar winds that clash into our planet’s atmosphere, this spectacle of lights is indeed a life-altering experience for any nature-loving traveler.
Lake Louise in Banff National Park – One of Canada’s most beloved natural gems, a tour of this particular lake is a must. It’s as magical as a view can get, with a majestic chateau in the background, its turquoise waters reflecting the clouds, and the towering mountain tops in the back.
Yellowknife’s stunning Cameron Falls – The best way to see this pearl of the NWT in Canada is to take a hike that will take you over a suspension bridge, and provide you with a meditative, unspoiled spot under the cool Canadian sun for a picnic (if the weather permits, of course).
Coldfoot Camp in Fairbanks – Those who want an up-close experience of the northern lights and spend some time exploring the wilderness of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, Fairbanks makes for a perfect choice of stay. The camp itself is the best choice for hunting for the northern lights, and you have easy access to other adventure activities in the region.
Capital Suits in Yellowknife – Located in the very heart of the city, close to anything your heart desires, and a sustainable choice of stay for eco-conscious travelers.
Baker Creek Mountain Resort in Banff – Nestled in the actual National Park and merely minutes away from Lake Louise and other attractions, this dreamy accommodation is an ideal choice both for couples as well as families.
Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream in Fairbanks – Who knew that such a cold region could possibly make an icy treat so alluring in the dead of winter? Try their homemade Alaskan blueberry, or their Prudhoe, which packs quite a double chocolate punch.
Bullocks Bistro in Yellowknife – Local seafood, the finest fish and chips you can imagine, and local servers with all the hospitality you can conjure up. This is the place where you should try local delicacies and mingle with the local crowd.
Maple Leaf Grille and Lounge in Banff – Considering that you’ll be in the very epicenter of the Rockies, you deserve a truly hearty, local meal. Think: grilled Atlantic salmon, Quebec Brome Lake duck, and Alberta beef, all mouthwateringly delicious.