A List of the Best Locations to View the Northern Lights in Alberta

The Great White North is as great a (northern) place as any to view the Aurora Borealis. However, like starlight, they are only visible in dark locations without artificial lights. There are many places to watch the Northern Lights in Alberta.

You can view them through our nature photography here or wait for them to show up at these locations.

Wood Buffalo National Park

Fort McMurray is one of the best places in North America to view the Aurora Borealis. The city is quite populous, so you might have to go further to find a dark, quiet spot to view them.

We recommend the Wood Buffalo National Park, which, as a dark sky preserve, is the perfect place to spot the lights. If the journey is too long, you can camp at the OHV Staging Area or Parsons Creek Park instead. The weather has to be just right, so pack for a week, especially around this time of year.

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is the largest park within the confines of the Canadian Rockies. It also has the world’s second-largest dark sky preserve, making it the ideal place to spot the Northern Lights. 

That’s not to say there isn’t anything else to do at the park. Aurora Borealis, notwithstanding, this park is an amazing hangout spot for city people with a spot of burnout. It has many outdoor activities and a Dark Sky Festival, which is exactly what it sounds like: A celebration of the park’s amazing skyscapes. While it falls in October, the views are the stuff of award winning landscape photographer.

Elk Island National Park

Elk Island National Park might be our go-to location for bison photography, but it’s also a well-known spot for the Aurora Borealis and a dark sky preserve.

Forecast permitting, this park might be the only place you need to visit to spot the Northern Lights. Limit wildlife-watching and sleeping to daylight hours because you’ll need it to keep your eyes peeled between 5 pm and 2 am. Can’t wait that long? Pay special attention between 10 pm and 2 am.

Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park shares the title of the world’s first International Dry Sky Parks with the US. The shared park is called the Glacier Sky Parks across the border. As you might have guessed, it’s very much in the southmost end of the province, so your chances of spotting the Aurora Borealis are quite low.

However, the skyscapes are wonderful regardless of the Northern Lights, which you can always view at home anyway, thanks to the nature photography prints for sale at Jardene Photography. They comprise an array of landscape, wildlife, and bison photos printed on fine art paper and available to North America and folks across the pond.

Reach out for inquiries and details.

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