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The World’s Best Auroras Return to the NWT Every August
Fall Aurora - also known locally as Summer Aurora - is the season when the Northern Lights return to the Northwest Territories starting in early August through late September. As the spectacular Midnight Sun fades, fall can be the best time to see the Northern Lights in Canada if your perfect Aurora experience involves more lakeside campfires and fewer fields of snow. See the Northern Lights this summer and discover why some people prefer the equally-powerful fall Aurora to its winter counterpart.
A fall Aurora experience in the North is just as wonderful and awe-inspiring as one under our winter Northern Lights. The Northern Lights never actually leave the skies above the Northwest Territories, but the summer’s Midnight Sun prevents us from seeing them against the bright sky. When the night begins to stay dark come August, you can see the world’s best Aurora dancing above the lakes of the Northwest Territories, filling the sky from horizon to horizon with the most powerful Northern Lights displays.
What makes the fall Aurora so different from an iconic winter Aurora experience are the things to do while you watch the Northern Lights. In the fall, you can see the Northern Lights while taking a boat tour beneath the Aurora as the colours dance on the water. Or imagine fishing, hiking or camping in a territorial or National Park as the brightest Northern Lights in the world wriggle overhead. And of course, nothing beats basking in a sleeping bag on the timeless rocks of the Canadian Shield or kicking back around a crackling campfire to enjoy summer's balmy warmth as the Aurora puts on a show that will leave you in wondrous silence.
Most Aurora tour operators and Aurora lodges begin their tours again for the fall Aurora season. Whether you’re out Aurora hunting for just one night or enjoying everything the territory has to offer at a remote lodge, these packages provide next-level comfort and hospitality for the best Northern Lights viewing experience. Enjoy authentic Northern cuisine cooked over a fire right in front of you, hear shared traditional knowledge from Indigenous storytellers, or take a relaxing hot tub soak on the patio of an all-inclusive Aurora lodge. All this while your gaze scans for the sudden dancing ribbons of the Northern Lights.
Opportunities to see the Northern Lights in the NWT during the summer and fall can happen anywhere ‘north of 60’. The fall Aurora pairs well with late-night campouts, an evening around the campfire, a lengthy recap of the day’s fishing adventure, or the marvellous end to a canoe trip through the territory.
If you’re inspired to see the world’s best Northern Lights during the fall season, below are the operators who offer tours and packages that include Aurora hunting in the fall. Many of these operators also offer day-trip packages for fishing, paddling, hiking, or other activities to fill your day before a night under the Northern Lights.