26 January 2018
Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis at Arctic Haven

Aurora borealis. Already, the words alone evoke some intangible sense of awe and mystique that compels the imagination. As I lay on the tundra with my eyes to the sky, I watch as nature sways, painting graceful strokes of colour across the night’s canvas. In a lavish dance, the ribbons of lights illuminate the sky. Sometimes they swirl and twirl in a fluid waltz, and on other occasions a flurry of movement increases your pulse. The lights erupt into a feverish flamenco, darting and dashing over the celestial dome. 

Aurora borealis dancing over Arctic Haven. 

The scene is choreographed as charged particles are flung out of the sun’s atmosphere by solar wind. These particles then collide with gaseous particles in our own atmosphere, leaving curtains of colour in its wake. But to the observer on the ground, the aurora is so much more than particles colliding somewhere in earth’s thinning atmosphere. The enchantment of the northern lights is visceral. Words nor photo can ever tell half the beauty. And so, people from around the world are drawn to watch the show unfold in front of their eyes. 

A sunset aurora over Ennadai Lake

The magnetic poles of earth are home to these beautiful displays of light and movement. Only here is earth’s magnetic field strong enough to draw solar particles into our atmosphere. For those looking to experience the northern lights, many find themselves drawn to the dark skies of northern Canada or Iceland. However, if you’re patient, the northern lights have been known to splash the skies as far south as New York and Seattle. 

An aurora backlighting clouds in September at Arctic Haven

Northern settlements like Yellowknife or Whitehorse offer numerous sightseeing tours for those interested in the northern lights. But viewing the northern lights is certainly not limited to the inhabited regions of the north. The aurora grace vast stretches of the silent and expansive wilderness of the Yukon, Alaska, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. 

From late August through the month of September, Arctic Haven is a prime location to view the aurora borealis from our lodge on Ennadai Lake. Away from the crowds, the tranquil lodge offers a complete northern experience. By day, guests have the opportunity to experience the unique landscape on foot, bike, or boat. And are likely to encounter iconic Canadian wildlife including member of the Qamanirjuaq caribou herd which migrate from their calving grounds near Baker Lake to the trees south of Arctic Haven. To top it off, this often coincides with the burst of fall colours which blanket the open tundra. Just one more reason to come visit!