I want to talk about my trip to Yellowknife, Canada, to see the Northern Lights.
If you want to see the article about the Northern Lights, please skip to the “Northern Lights” section in Part 2! 

Part 2

Where is Yellowknife anyway?

Yellowknife is the capital city of the Northwest Territories, a province in the northern part of Canada. It is home to native Canadians, including the Inuit.

The average temperature is in the 10s℃ (50s °F) in the summer and -20℃ (-4℉) in the winter. (According to records, -50℃ (-58°F) has been observed in the area.)

It is located about 400 km south of the Arctic Circle.

And as some of you may know, Yellowknife is said to be one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights (I didn’t know that).

Yellowknife is located just below the Auroral Zone (60-70 degrees latitude), which has a particularly high incidence of the Northern Lights, and the winter weather is relatively stable, making it a good place to see the Northern Lights.

In fact, it is said that there is a 95% chance of seeing the Northern Lights during a three-day stay.

In fact, I was able to see them on my final day.

What is Northern Lights?

Northern Lights is a luminous phenomenon between plasma from the sun and the earth’s atmosphere.

The Earth’s internal structure generates a large magnetic force, which acts as a barrier around the entire planet and protects it from cosmic rays, but around the North and South Poles, some of it falls along the geomagnetic field as it wraps around.

Therefore, the mechanism of auroras is that plasmas flying by the solar wind fall to the earth at a certain latitude, such as in the Aurora Zone, and collide with the atmosphere, causing luminous phenomena.

Northern Lights also come in several colors.

The most common type of aurora is the green Northern Lights.

These Northern Lights are seen when plasma collides with oxygen atoms at a relatively low altitude of 100 to 200 km.

The next most common type of Northern Lights is the red Northern Lights, which is caused by the collision of plasma with oxygen atoms at high altitudes of 200 km or more.

Blue, purple, and pink Northern Lights can also be seen when they collide with nitrogen atoms at an altitude of about 100 km, although this is rare.

Recently, it was reported that red Northern Lights were seen in Hokkaido (Japan) or Vancouver (Canada), but this is due to what is called a “low latitude Northern Lights,” where only red Northern Lights occur at high altitudes, as described above, can be seen due to the horizon.

Tour Details

The tour’s content is a 4-day/3-night Northern Lights viewing, dog sledding experience, hotel airport transfer, and a tour guide.

And they also lent us winter clothes for the tour.

The environment can exceed -20°C when it is cold, so we borrowed a super warm coat, pants, shoes, and gloves.

I thought all tours generally lend these items, but just in case, please check with your tour operator.

We also needed warm pants to wear under our pants (it was painfully cold in just pants), a knit hat, and a scarf.

The schedule was 4 hours of Northern Lights viewing from 10pm to 2am, and the rest of the time was free time.

On the day we had dog sledding, we did the activity in the morning, and then we broke up and met up again in the evening.

I went with a friend and we ate and looked around, so I was never bored.

I will introduce the place to you in detail because if you go there without any prior information, you may wish you had gone there later… lol.

The tour I joined had disappeared,

I found a similar tour at GetYourGuide, which sells a lot of overseas tours!

Day 1 (airport, restaurant, sledding on the lake)

This is mostly a travel day.

I changed planes in Edmonton from Vancouver and arrived in Yellowknife after several hours of travel.
(At the time, I was living in Vancouver)

A view of Yellowknife from the sky

Polar bears and seals greet you at the airport.

The airport is small and not very big.

There is a souvenir shop right behind it.

There were many tour guides and greeters on the arrival floor.

We found our tour guide and waited for a while until everyone was in place.

After we all gathered, we were picked up and taken to our hotel.

When we arrived at the hotel, we received our rental winter clothes.

After that, we will take a short break and have dinner, and then the bus will pick us up again at about 10:00 a.m. for the Northern Lights viewing.

Then, let me introduce you to the food!

Here is what we visited on the first day.

Bullock’s Bistro

It is a bit of a walk, but I highly recommend it!

Yellowknife’s specialty?

 I saw on the Internet that people were eating buffalo steaks and Arctic char, so I came here.

This is the buffalo steak and fried arctic char!

It was very good!

So, after enjoying the food, it was time to go to the Northern Lights.

On this day, we were told that we would be viewing the lights at a cottage around the lake.

And to my surprise, the way to get there was to ride on a sled across the frozen lake!

(I feel like I’ve already had enough of this event by itself, lol)

Also YouTube!

After a 20-minute drive, we arrived at the cottage and waited for the Northern Lights to appear while chatting with the people we met there, whom we had just met.

The tour group provided snacks, hot water, coffee, etc., so we could all relax together.

I brought whiskey, drank it with hot water, and sipped it under the cold weather with tour members.

However, the sky was cloudy and it never cleared up, so I had to leave that day in tears.

It was completely cloudy, but our guide told us that even on such days, it can suddenly clear up and we could see the Northern Lights.


In the next part, I will report on the “exciting dog sledding race, gourmet tour, souvenirs from Yellowknife, and finally seeing the Northern Lights!

Part 2


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