A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to see the Northern Lights before I died and I went all the way to Norway to do it. I came back to Vancouver and realized, I actually could've done this in my own backyard. Lol.
So to save you the thousand dollar trip, we've come up with this list of the best places to hunt down the Northern lights in BC. Just fill up your tank and drive!
Okay, so yes, some of these locations are pretty far north (ie. a freaking long 20 hour road trip), but some are as close as a 40 minute drive to Squamish. But here's the deal, the farther north you are, the better chances you will have of catching the Aurora Borealis.
The key thing to remember when hunting for the elusive, dancing lights is to stay away from light pollution (ie. big cities...not that there are many in BC) and to stay up to date with Aurora updates.
Disclaimer: This literally is a stake out process. You might be up a these locations for quite some time and not even see the lights because Aurora updates can happen with as little warning as 30 minutes before they occur. But if you're serious about looking for the lights, you can apparently sign up for email updates.
Driving times included are set with Vancouver as a starting point and will differ depending on road conditions.
1. Porteau Cove Provincial Park // Squamish
Just off the Sea To Sky Highway in Squamish, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is a secluded beach area away from the city that's perfect for viewing the Northern Lights. This location does have opening and closing hours however so it isn't always accessible.
2. Muncho Lake Provincial Park // Fort Nelson
20 hrs 30 mins
Way up Northern BC along Alaska Highway is this gem. The more north you go, the better the chances are of see the aurora lights. Visitors have even said that they've seen the aurora borealis year-round. But it is pretty far, so you're definitely going to need to road trip for this one.
3. Pine Le Moray Provincial Park // Chetwynd
Tucked away among the Canadian Rockies, Pine Le Moray is a super low key provincial park really quite far away from city light pollution with good chances of hunting down the aurora lights.
4. Summit Lake Provincial Park // Fort George
9 hrs 20 mins
Definitely another long drive up north from Vancouver but definitely worth the trip. Summit Lake Provincial Park is just off the John Hart Highway.
5. Salmon Valley Church // Prince George
8 hrs 40 mins
So apparently there's church called Salmon Valley Church just about a 20 minute drive north of Prince George on Highway 97 where you'll find Salmon Valley Road. From there drive for another 5-10 minutes and you'll find some awesome Northern Lights activity. Talk about hallelujah!
6. Northern Lights College // Dawson Creek
13 hrs 15 mins
According to Dawson Creek locals, it's quite common to see the aurora borealis and you'll have a good chance of seeing them if the night is especially cold and clear.
7. Sakinaw Lake // Sunshine Coast
Just off the Sunshine Coast on the shores of Sakinaw Lake, 40km north of Sechelt, you can find gorgeous illuminated skies from the Northern Lights.