12 Epic Locations in North America to See the Northern Lights in 2024

by Reyna
Epic Locations to See the Northern Lights in North America
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Dreaming of experiencing the Northern Lights in North America? You don’t have to fly all the way to Iceland or Lapland to see the Aurora Borealis this fall or winter. There are plenty of incredible spots in our own backyard— throughout the US and Canada— where you can catch this midnight spectacle!

From the Great Lakes to the imposing peaks of Denali, these locations offer unforgettable views. No matter if you’re from the East Coast or West Coast, you’ll find that there are northern lights locations within driving distance.

Ready for an epic sky show? Hit up the best spots in North America to catch the Northern Lights. Whether you’re chilling by a quiet lake or trekking up a mountain, these places are all about those magical vibes.

Note: The Northern Lights are most visible from September to April, so plan your visit and book early to capture the full spectacle.

1. Glacier National Park, Montana

Discover the enchanting Northern Lights in Glacier National Park, Montana. Located in the Rockies, the park’s expansive, dark skies offer an ideal backdrop for this spectacle. Picture standing in the crisp night air, with mountains silhouetted against a sky ablaze with auroras in one of the most breathtaking places in Montana.

Explore the park’s various activities during the day. The Highline Trail is a highlight, stretching 11.8 miles from Logan Pass to Granite Park Chalet. This moderate to difficult hike offers stunning views of the Continental Divide. Another must-see is the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile scenic drive with wonderful views of mountains, valleys, and glaciers. Wildlife enthusiasts will find the park a haven, spotting grizzly bears, mountain goats, and elk in their natural habitat. For a different perspective, paddle on Lake McDonald or Two Medicine Lake, where the mountain reflections are as mesmerizing as the Northern Lights themselves.

Whether lodging at the historic Many Glacier Hotel or camping at Apgar Campground, look up to observe the Northern Lights. Apgar Campground, near the west entrance, is the park’s largest with over 190 sites. Open year-round, its proximity to Lake McDonald makes it perfect for boating, fishing, and hiking. The dance of the auroras against the dark sky, seen from the campground, is a sight to be seen!

Glacier National Park combines wild beauty with outstanding night skies, making it a top spot to see the Northern Lights in North America in 2024. It’s an adventure you’ll never forget.

Montana magic: Northern Lights dance above Glacier National Park’s peaks
Montana magic: Northern Lights dance above Glacier National Park’s peaks | Source: NPS

2. Fairbanks, Alaska

Craving an extraordinary aurora encounter? Make your way to Fairbanks, Alaska, where the Northern Lights put on their dazzling exhibition. This northern hotspot sits under the “Auroral Oval,” a prime spot for catching those dazzling green and purple lights. Enjoy the chill of the crisp, cold air as the sky above explodes with vibrant colors—pure magic.

Fairbanks is brimming with activities. Immerse yourself in Alaskan culture at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center or chill at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Soak in hot springs, visit the Ice Museum, and, if you’re lucky, catch the Northern Lights from a warm outdoor pool.

For adrenaline junkies, try dog sledding with Black Spruce Dog Sledding, snowmobiling with Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service, or cross-country skiing. Visit the University of Alaska Museum of the North for exhibits on Alaskan wildlife and art, or explore historic buildings and shops at Pioneer Park.

At night, discover the perfect aurora viewing spots. The Aurora Borealis Lodge offers a secluded setting far from city lights, ideal for those memorable photos. Alternatively, Chena Hot Springs Resort combines cozy accommodations with spectacular views from its hot springs.

Watching the Northern Lights blaze across the Alaskan sky is next-level awesome. Fairbanks rolls out wild landscapes and killer night skies, making it the top spot in North America for Northern Lights in 2024. Grab your friends, fly to Alaska, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Hiker's paradise: Watching the Northern Lights light up Fairbanks, Alaska
Hiker’s paradise: Watching the Northern Lights light up Fairbanks, Alaska

3. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Seeking an epic adventure? Visit Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada, renowned for its spectacular Northern Lights displays. Yellowknife is one of the best places in the world to see this natural wonder, thanks to its clear skies and prime location under the “Auroral Oval.” Envision standing under a sky ablaze with greens and purples—it’s pure magic.

Yellowknife combines cultural encounters with outdoor excitement. Visit the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre to dive into the local history and indigenous cultures. For a distinctive adventure, take a tour of the historic Old Town and enjoy panoramic views from Pilot’s Monument. Get your adrenaline pumping with ice fishing, snowmobiling, or a thrilling dog sledding adventure with Beck’s Kennels.

Yellowknife offers spectacular opportunities to witness the Northern Lights. Stay at the Aurora Village, where you can watch the Northern Lights from a cozy teepee or heated viewing seat. For a more engaging encounter, join a guided aurora tour with North Star Adventures that takes you to remote, optimal viewing spots. If you prefer something more rustic, Blachford Lake Lodge offers a remote setting with incredible views and comfortable lodgings.

Yellowknife combines stunning natural beauty with some of the best aurora displays on Earth, making it a top destination for Northern Lights in North America in 2024.

Nature's spectacle: Northern Lights shimmer over the forests of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Nature’s spectacle: Northern Lights shimmer over the forests of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

4. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Get ready to be amazed in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, where the Northern Lights paint the night sky with vibrant colors. Known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” Churchill also offers some of the most stunning aurora displays.

Daytime in Churchill is just as thrilling. Visit the Itsanitaq Museum to learn about the region’s indigenous cultures and history. For an up-close encounter with wildlife, join a polar bear tour with Frontiers North Adventures. You can also explore the Churchill Northern Studies Centre for fascinating insights into Arctic research and the environment.

For a comfortable stay with easy access to prime viewing spots, lodge at the Tundra Inn, where you can enjoy comfortable accommodations and easy access to prime viewing spots. Or, for an even more memorable experience, find accommodation at one of the best Airbnbs in Canada to view the Northern Lights. Opt for a secluded cabin, where you can enjoy the incredible beauty of the Northern Lights from the comfort of a cozy, rustic retreat.

For a unique encounter, join a guided aurora tour with Natural Habitat Adventures, which takes you to remote locations for the best views. Alternatively, stay at the Lazy Bear Lodge, which offers cozy lodging and fantastic Northern Lights viewing opportunities.

Churchill stands out as one of North America’s premier spots for spotting the Northern Lights, thanks to its stunning natural surroundings and vibrant auroral displays. Enjoy the thrill of wildlife sightings combined with the tranquil beauty of the auroras—a truly unforgettable encounter.

Polar paradise: Northern Lights dance above Churchill, Manitoba's icy landscape
Polar paradise: Northern Lights dance above Churchill, Manitoba’s icy landscape

5. Yukon, Canada

Embark on an unforgettable trip to Yukon, Canada, part of the Arctic Circle, where the Northern Lights illuminate the night sky in a stunning display. This remote wilderness offers some of the most unbelievable aurora views you’ll ever see. Feel yourself become part of the untouched wilderness as the sky explodes in a kaleidoscope of color.

Yukon offers exciting daytime activities. Visit the MacBride Museum of Yukon History in Whitehorse to dive into the region’s rich history and culture. For a taste of adventure, explore the Takhini Hot Springs where you can soak in natural hot springs surrounded by snow.

When the sun sets, the Yukon transforms into a paradise for those chasing the aurora borealis. Stay at the Northern Lights Resort & Spa, where you can watch the Northern Lights from a cozy cabin or outdoor hot tub. For a more immersive experience, join a guided aurora tour with Arctic Range Adventure, which takes you to remote, optimal viewing spots. Alternatively, stay at the Inn on the Lake, which offers luxurious accommodations and amazing Northern Lights viewing opportunities.

Setting off for Yukon sets the stage for an unforgettable blend of day-long explorations and night-time marvels. The beauty and serenity of the Northern Lights in Yukon await you.

Luxury in Yukon: Northern Lights shine above Northern Lights Resort & Spa
Luxury in Yukon: Northern Lights shine above Northern Lights Resort & Spa

6. Anchorage, Alaska

Discover the magic of Anchorage, Alaska, where the Northern Lights paint the sky with bright colors. This bustling city offers a unique blend of urban amenities and wild, natural beauty. Experience the auroras weaving through the sky as you take in the extraordinary landscapes around you.

During the day, Anchorage has plenty to offer. Visit the Anchorage Museum to explore Alaskan history and art. For a taste of adventure, take a hike on Flattop Mountain Trail, which provides panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. If you’re into wildlife, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center offers close encounters with native animals.

Stay at the Hotel Alyeska, where you can enjoy luxury accommodations and prime aurora viewing spots. For a more adventurous experience, join a guided Northern Lights tour with Salmon Berry Travel and Tours, which takes you to the best viewing locations. Alternatively, book a night at the Eagle River Nature Center, offering rustic charm and excellent aurora views.

From city explorations and wildlife adventures to extraordinary Northern Lights displays, Anchorage offers a rich and varied experience. Embrace the thrill of daytime activities and the serene beauty of the nighttime auroras. Plus, the city is a budget-friendly hub, making Anchorage an ideal location to fly for your Alaskan adventures without breaking the bank.

Anchorage adventure: Auroras paint the mountains with magic
Anchorage adventure: Auroras paint the mountains with magic

7. Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Watch the Northern Lights illuminate Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. This stunning national park, a designated Dark Sky Preserve, offers some of the best stargazing and aurora viewing opportunities. Picture the auroras dancing above as you stand surrounded by pristine wilderness.

Jasper National Park comes alive with excitement during the day. Hike the Maligne Canyon Trail, a 2.7-mile (4.4 km) trail that is moderate in difficulty, where you can explore deep gorges and frozen waterfalls. For a scenic drive, take the Icefields Parkway, which offers extraordinary views of glaciers and mountain peaks. If you enjoy wildlife, the park is home to elk, moose, and even grizzly bears.

At night, Jasper offers some of the best opportunities to witness the Northern Lights. Stay at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, which offers luxury accommodations and excellent Northern Lights viewing areas.

For a more rustic experience, try Whistlers Campground, known for its dark skies, over 700 campsites, and amenities like showers and a theater. Alternatively, join a guided tour with Jasper Hikes and Tours to find the best aurora viewing spots.

As night falls, see the skies in Jasper come alive with dazzling lights of the aurora borealis!

Jasper's wonder: Northern Lights mirrored in the tranquil lake, pure beauty
Jasper’s wonder: Northern Lights mirrored in the tranquil lake, pure beauty

8. Denali National Park, Alaska

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Denali National Park in Alaska, where the Northern Lights illuminate the vast wilderness. Home to North America’s tallest peak, this park offers unparalleled opportunities for aurora viewing. Picture the sky ablaze with vibrant colors as you stand in awe of nature’s spectacle.

Daytime in Denali National Park is packed with thrilling activities. Explore the Denali Park Road, a 92-mile route offering stunning views of Denali and chances to see wildlife like grizzly bears, moose, and wolves. For hikers, the Savage River Loop Trail provides a moderate, 4-mile round trip through beautiful alpine scenery. In winter, try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to fully embrace the park’s snowy landscapes.

Stay at the Denali Backcountry Lodge, where you can enjoy comfortable accommodations and prime aurora viewing spots. For a more rustic experience, camp at Wonder Lake Campground, which offers dark skies, 28 campsites, and breathtaking views of Denali itself. Alternatively, join a guided Northern Lights tour with Northern Alaska Tour Company to explore the best viewing locations.

Experience the raw beauty and dazzling auroras of Denali National Park, a must-visit for anyone enchanted by the Northern Lights. It’s the ultimate destination for adventure lovers!

Denali magic: Bright green auroras light up the forest roads
Denali magic: Bright green auroras light up the forest roads

9. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

Journey to Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, where the Northern Lights create an unbelievable spectacle in the night sky. Known for its vast waterways and remote wilderness, this beautiful park is perfect for aurora viewing. Picture yourself by a serene lake, the sky above lit up with vibrant colors.

Daytime in Voyageurs National Park is full of exciting activities. Explore the park’s extensive network of lakes and waterways by kayak or canoe, with rentals available from Voyageurs Outfitters. Hike the Echo Bay Trail, a moderate 2.5-mile loop that winds through forests and wetlands, offering opportunities to spot wildlife like deer and bald eagles. In winter, try ice fishing on one of the park’s frozen lakes for a unique experience.

Lodge at the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center, which offers information on the best aurora viewing spots. For a more immersive experience, camp at one of the park’s many backcountry sites, such as Locator Lake, Mukooda Lake, or Agnes Lake, accessible only by boat, ensuring dark skies and peaceful surroundings.

As you paddle quietly across its reflective waters or gaze up at the star-studded sky, the park invites you to disconnect from the world and immerse yourself in the wonder of the wild. It’s definitely a must-visit in the Midwest!

Voyageurs' marvel: Northern Lights dancing over the pristine waters | Source: NPS
Voyageurs’ marvel: Northern Lights dancing over the pristine waters | Source: NPS

10. Lake Superior, Minnesota

Enjoy a memorable adventure in Lake Superior, Minnesota, where the Northern Lights spectacularly illuminate the night sky. This region, known for its vast waters and rugged terrain, offers some of the best opportunities to view the auroras. Stand along the shore of the world’s largest freshwater lake and watch as the sky above transforms with vibrant, shimmering colors.

Explore the scenic trails of Gooseberry Falls State Park, and visit the spectacular Middle Falls, a short walk from the main parking area. Take a drive along the North Shore Scenic Drive, which offers stunning vistas of the lake and surrounding forests. In winter, try your hand at ice climbing on the frozen cliffs with Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply for an adrenaline-pumping adventure.

Lodge at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, which provides cozy accommodations and excellent views of the Northern Lights. For a more secluded experience, camp at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, specifically at Cart-in Campsite #3, which offers dark skies and a stunning view of the historic lighthouse. Alternatively, join a guided tour with Superior Hiking Trail Association to find the best spots for aurora viewing and learn more about the natural phenomenon.

From exploring scenic trails and historic sites by day to watching the Northern Lights dance across the sky by night, the magic of Lake Superior awaits you.

Lake Superior glow: Northern Lights dance above the rocky shoreline and water
Lake Superior glow: Northern Lights dance above the rocky shoreline and water

11. Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

Travel to Iqaluit in Nunavut, Canada, and experience the mesmerizing display of the Northern Lights casting their glow across the night sky. In this remote Arctic setting, prime viewing opportunities abound among stunning landscapes. Stand beneath a broad canopy of stars, illuminated by the surreal lights of the auroras.

Visit the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum to explore Inuit history and art. For adventure seekers, a guided snowmobiling tour with Inukpak Outfitting offers an exhilarating way to explore the Arctic terrain. In the warmer months, try kayaking on Frobisher Bay with Inukpak Outfitting to witness the pristine beauty of the Arctic waters.

Spend the night at the Frobisher Inn, which offers comfortable accommodations and excellent views of the night sky. For a more immersive experience, join a guided aurora tour with Arctic Kingdom to find the best viewing spots and learn about the auroras. Alternatively, camp at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, where the dark skies and peaceful surroundings enhance the aurora experience.

Iqaluit’s combination of rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty makes it a top destination for Northern Lights enthusiasts. Whether exploring Inuit culture, adventuring through the Arctic landscape, or gazing at the Northern Lights, Iqaluit offers an experience like no other.

Iqaluit enchantment as the Northern Lights paint the Arctic skies with a full rainbow of colors
Iqaluit enchantment as the Northern Lights paint the Arctic skies with a full rainbow of colors: Source | Travel Nunavut

12. Baxter State Park, Maine

Discover the serene beauty of Baxter State Park in Maine, where the Northern Lights cast an enchanting glow in the night sky. This pristine wilderness, with its vast forests and towering peaks, provides a perfect backdrop for aurora viewing. Imagine the sky above lit with shimmering lights, reflecting off crystal-clear lakes.

Baxter State Park brilliance as the auroras dance above the rugged wilderness
Baxter State Park brilliance as the auroras dance above the rugged wilderness | Source: Mark Picard Wildlife Photography

Baxter State Park is an outdoor lover’s dream. Hike the famous Knife Edge Trail on Mount Katahdin, a challenging 8.1-mile trek offering incredible views. For a more relaxed adventure, paddle along the tranquil waters of Katahdin Lake with rentals from Katahdin Lake Wilderness Camps. In winter, enjoy snowshoeing or ice climbing to fully embrace the park’s snowy landscapes.

Stay at Katahdin Stream Campground, which offers rustic cabins and prime aurora viewing spots. For a more remote experience, camp at South Branch Pond Campground, known for its dark skies and peaceful setting. Alternatively, join a guided stargazing and rafting tour with Maine Rafting Expeditions to find the best aurora viewing locations.

From the adventurous hikes and peaceful paddles to the magical nights under glowing skies, Baxter promises an experience that will capture your heart and soul.

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