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A photographer stands with his tripod while photographing the northern lights over Lake Laberge in Yukon.Viewed from mid-August through to mid-April, there has never been a better time to plan a northern lights viewing trip to the Yukon, in Canada’s north-west, with the current solar cycle set to reach its zenith in 2024.

Previously tipped to peak in 2025, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued a revised prediction for solar activity, concluding that it will increase more quickly and peak at a higher level than predicted in 2019, when Solar Cycle 25 began.

The updated forecast indicates that Solar Cycle 25 is expected to reach its pinnacle between January and October, 2024. This increase in solar activity results in more aurora activity here on Earth, creating an exceptional window for aurora viewing.

“Although this peak period will slowly ebb from 2025, the dynamic aurora activity will persist for years, providing remarkable northern lights viewing opportunities throughout the entire cycle,” says Yas Yamamoto, Market Development Manager, Yukon Tourism.

“The clear, star-filled skies of the Yukon provide the perfect backdrop for this enchanting natural phenomenon.”

The solar cycle is a periodic 11-year change in the sun’s activity. This pattern has been observed for centuries but wasn’t clearly identified and recorded until 1843. During the cycle, the levels of solar radiation and ejection of solar material, the number of sunspots, solar flares and coronal loops ebb and flow from a stage of minimal activity to a period of maximum activity (known as the ‘solar max’) and back again.

Your first look at the beautiful ribbons of dancing lights might occur during your flight into the Yukon or from the window of your hotel room. But there are many different ways to weave aurora viewing into an exciting winter experience.

Northern Lights Resort & Spa - credit WolfGang Bublitz

Aurora viewing from Whitehorse and Dawson City

When staying in the Yukon’s capital city of Whitehorse, book with a northern lights tour operator, such as Up North Adventures, who will pick you up in the evening and take you to the vast expanse of Fish Lake, 20 minutes from Whitehorse, free from artificial light. Stay warm in an authentic yurt, enjoy a hot chocolate and listen to the fascinating folklore surrounding the aurora.

Experience this magical phenomenon beside a cozy wood stove or roaring campfire, with Arctic Range Adventures, who offer northern lights viewing at the Aurora Centre, an idyllic location just outside the city of Whitehorse.

Alternatively, an adventure with Northern Tales will take you 30 minutes into the wilderness outside Whitehorse to watch the Northern Lights at their brightest in winter’s complete darkness. Relax in a 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 hear stories of northern life from local guides who make maple syrup taffy right in front of your eyes.

Travellers to Dawson City can take a front row seat to the aurora borealis with Klondike Experience in Dawson City (open February – October). You’ll be escorted from their hotel to an aurora viewing area outside the city where you’ll witness the breathtaking northern lights in all of their glory. Knowledgeable tour guides entrance you with cultural and historical stories about the region as you nibble on snacks and enjoy hot drinks around the campfire in this enchanting winter wonderland.

During the day, Klondike Experience offers guided tours to Tombstone Territorial Park along the Dempster Highway, including a gentle snowshoe hike along the frozen North Klondike River. Back in Dawson City, take a guided tour of the famous Yukon gold rush sites, including the Midnight Dome and Dredge No. 4 historical site.

Wilderness lodge adventures

Stay in a glass-fronted chalet at the Northern Lights Resort & Spa, purposely built for optimum aurora viewing, with large floor-to-ceiling glass offering a magical way to bring the enchanting outdoors inside. Just 20 minutes from Whitehorse, far from any light pollution, this unique winter wonderland is framed by picturesque pine forests and snow-drenched mountains, with cabins created from Douglas fir trees, and unobstructed views of the soaring aurora borealis.

Watch the sun rise over Tagish Lake from the balcony of your cabin at Southern Lakes Resort, situated within the traditional territory of the Carcross / Tagish First Nation. During autumn and winter, you’ll enjoy front row seats to the mystical northern lights and fill your days with dog sledding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or even a ski-plane flightseeing tour.

Check into the enchanting Inn on the Lake, overlooking Marsh Lake, and revel in a magical winter wonderland. Witness the blazing northern lights, drive a dog sled, cut through metre-thick ice to fish for trout, take a ski-plane flightseeing tour, take in the wintry views from the outdoor hot tub, and enjoy world-class cuisine from the in-house chef. As the sun sets, gather with the other guests for a unforgettable dining experience of culinary magnificence and great conversation.


Air Canada offers daily direct flights to Vancouver from Sydney and direct flights between Brisbane and Vancouver four times per week. Direct flights from Sydney to Vancouver are also available on Qantas. Internal flights to Whitehorse and Dawson City are available on Air North and Air Canada.

For more information about Yukon visit www.travelyukon.com.