Did you know that when the conditions are just right, you can see the Aurora Borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) in Whistler? Seeing this natural phenomenon is something many want to experience in their lifetime. The green and purple hues that blaze across the sky demonstrate the wonder of nature and create a spectacular show. Having the mountains as the stage for the sky’s production could be the key to the ultimate aurora experience. But this stunning display is rarely caught without some planning. We’ve got the step by step instructions on how to see the Aurora Borealis in Whistler for an easy and guaranteed sighting of the bright, dancing lights!
Step One: Get yourself to the Northern Hemisphere
Because the phenomena occurs near the north and south magnetic poles, you will need to be as close to one as possible. Whistler is located in the Northern Hemisphere, sitting nicely in the oval shape of the geomagnetic activity, otherwise known as the aurora.
Step Two: Determine if there is a aurora activity
The lights we see of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. These collisions happen more frequently during geomagnetic storms. Now, based on that information, we’re sure you can imagine how hard it actually is to predict the Aurora Borealis. However, just like the weather, there are dedicated services in place to do just that. Monitor websites to determine if there is strong aurora activity prior to venturing out.
Step Three: Check the weather
There is conflicting evidence on what season is the best time to see the northern lights. Some research suggests winter while others suggest spring and summer. From our own experience, the Northern Lights seem to make themselves visible more frequently during the spring and summer months (April to August). Also, a clear night is required to fully see the display.
Step Four: Find a suitable location
In order for this display of lights to be seen, you will need to be in an area that is as free as possible of light pollution and very dark. Due to Whistler’s small size and it’s location in the mountains, these conditions are not hard to meet.
Popular Whistler Locations To View The Aurora:
- Green Lake
- Alta Lake
- Rainbow Park
- Lakeside Park
Step Five: Pack properly
Since the peak time period to witness the aurora is generally between the hours of 9pm and 4am, you will want to pack accordingly. Bring layers, blankets, snacks and chairs. You will also want to remember to pack a camera. Don’t forget to research how to capture the aurora through your lens- special settings are often required.
Now that you know how to see the Aurora Borealis while in Whistler, you just have to get here. Book your Whistler vacation today!