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Powwow Country: Aurora Viewing Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Author: 
Compiled by Shari Narine
Volume: 
30
Issue: 
3
Year: 
2012

Aurora Viewing
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Aurora viewing is a major attraction in the Northwest Territories between late August and mid-April. The Aurora is at its best between December and March. Most Aurora viewers spend an average of three nights in Yellowknife, which provides an over 80 per cent chance of catching the natural Northern Lights show. Yellowknife is a popular destination choice for Aurora viewers as the city is located directly under the Aurora Oval, a narrow band encircling the polar reaches of the earth and provides the most brilliant colours from the  Aurora Borealis. Yellowknife also provides other attractions, such as culture and shopping. Many Aurora viewers choose Yellowknife because the costs of tours and the variety of the tours are advantageous. Tours can be done on dogsleds, traveling over frozen lakes and trails, or in the comfort of an outdoor hot tub in a wilderness lodge or on a heated and enclosed deck chair, all under the colourful night skies. The Northwest Territories has two important advantages over other locations. The landscape is relatively flat, so the full auroral display can be seen from most vantage points. Weather is also a factor - the NWT has more clear nights than mountainous or oceanside locations at the same latitude and boasts more than 240 potential aurora viewing nights per year.

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