Northern Lights Viewing Locations

The Northern Lights can be seen from both the northern and southern hemisphere. Scientists have learned that most of the time the auroras are mirror-like rings occurring over the poles at the same time. But where are the best places to see them? We have discovered some of the best Northern Lights viewing locations.

Where and How to find the Lights

Because this spectacle happens over the magnetic poles, the southern auroras are not often seen.  This is because they are concentrated mostly over Antarctica. But, lucky for us, the Northern Lights can be seen in northern Canada, Sweden, southern Greenland and Iceland, the northern coast of Norway, Finland, Russia, and best of all, Alaska.

Cold weather, clear skies, and dark nights make Alaska one of the best spots on earth to see the aurora. Almost the entire state is great for aurora spotting. Fairbanks is one of the more popular spots because it lies within the aurora oval (3,000km from the pole) and is an easy base to travel from. Other fantastic areas to view from include Denali National Park, Nome, Anchorage, Juneau, Coldfoot, and Barrow.

Scientists have discovered that the aurora seems to peak around every 11 years. So, our next peak period arrives in 2024. This spectacle can still be seen at night, whenever the midnight sun is not around. The best time to spot the Northern lights in Alaska is at local midnight, during the winter months. Because nights are longer and colder, you have a better shot at a clear night. Your view will be even better if you can get away from any light pollution from cities.

When to spot the Aurora

Northern light season is between mid-September to late April, peaking in March. Aurora spotting is a great winter activity. To see the lights you can drive, camp, stay at lodges, or even go on a flightseeing tour. No matter how you decide to see them, Alaska is the perfect Northern Lights viewing location.