Traveling to see the glorious beauty of nature is one of life’s most magical experiences; witnessing the Northern Lights ranks among the most remarkable visual spectacles a person can experience. The aurora borealis, known to many as “the Northern Lights,” is created from collisions between magnetic particles from the sun and our planet.
Depending on where you live in the United States, your chance for a glimpse of the Northern Lights will vary — but with some planning and dedication, there are plenty of excellent locations across America that sky-watchers can visit to take full advantage of this remarkable phenomenon. We will go over some of the best places in the United States where you can view and experience this dazzling natural lights show.
Table of Contents
Our Top 10 Places In the United States To See The Magnificent Northern Lights
- Things To Consider About Viewing The Northern Lights In The USA
- The Best Place In The United States To See The Northern Lights Is In Alaska
- Michigan’s Upper Peninsula And The Northern Lights
- Northeastern Minnesota And The Nothern Lights
- Northern Wisconsin And The Northern Lights
- North Dakota And The Northern Lights
- Nebraska And The Northern Lights
- Washington And The Northern Lights
- Oregon And The Northern Lights
- Idaho And The Northern Lights
- Montana And The Northern Lights
- Related Questions
Our Top 10 Places In the United States To See The Magnificent Northern Lights
One phenomenon which consistently leaves its viewers mesmerized is the Northern Lights. Also known as Aurora Borealis, this captivating light show has been dazzling stargazers across the Arctic circle for centuries. If you want to try your luck at spotting these majestic colored lights, we explore some top places in the United States where one can catch a glimpse of this natural wonder!
Things To Consider About Viewing The Northern Lights In The USA
Here are something’s to remember about viewing the Northern Lights:
- Season To View Northern Lights – The season to view the northern lights is from the end of August to mid-April each year.
- More Activity In The North – The further north you are, the better your chance to see the Northern Lights’ natural phenomena. That is why Alaska is the most famous place in the United States for seeing the Northern lights.
- Must Be A Clear Dark Sky – To see the northern lights, you must be in a location that offers you a dark, clear sky; you should view them in an area that has few city or other lights.
- Better Chance To See Around Midnight – You have a much better chance to see the Northern Lights around midnight, but this can change according to solar activity. 10 pm to 2 am is usually the better time as there is usually more solar activity.
- Equinox Is One Of The Best Times – One of the best times to see the Northern Lights is during the Equinox or the last two weeks in September and the second and third week of March.
- No Guarantee You Will See Them – Even with all these factors, there is no guarantee that you will see the Northern Lights.
- Weather And Storms Can Cause Northern Lights To Disappear – Weather, storms, and other natural phenomena can quickly change the northern lights.
- More Southern, Harder To See The Northern Lights – Most of the good sightings of the northern lights are in places that are locations which are near the arctic circle. That is why if you want to see the northern lights, you have a better chance to see them in Alaska than in other parts of the United States.
- Check The Space Weather Prediction Center National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration – A US Government website will show you where the aurora is in real-time, so if you are in a location where you can see the northern lights, you can check this website by clicking here.
Read on to discover our top 10 locations in the United States, you may see the Northern Lights.
The Best Place In The United States To See The Northern Lights Is In Alaska
Alaska is one of the best places to see the northern lights in the United States and the world. From late August to mid-April, the northern light’s auroras dance through the night sky.
There are many locations outside Fairbanks, Alaska, where you can see the northern lights. Also, if you want to have a better chance to see the northern lights, you can go to the area as Coldfoot or Wiseman, Alaska; in Wiseman, you can see the northern lights about 250 days out of the year.
If you want the best chance of seeing the northern lights in the United States, your best choice would be heading to Alaska. Alaska is ideal for viewing the northern lights from August until April.
To learn more about Alaska and each of these areas, you can read our blog Guide To Seeing The Northern Lights In The USA by clicking here.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula And The Northern Lights
You may also catch glimpses of the note of northern lights on a clear, dark day in Michigan’s upper peninsula. In this area, the skies are clear, and the air is crisp and dark.
Some remote areas around Lake Superior, are considered ideal for sighting the northern lights, especially from October to March.
Northeastern Minnesota And The Nothern Lights
You may also see the northern lights in Minnesota’s northern and eastern parts. You can head over to Cook County or Ely in St Louis County. In this area, you may be able to see the northern lights.
Northern Wisconsin And The Northern Lights
The north woods of Wisconsin may also be some of the best places to see the northern lights in the United States, especially from September to April. Head to Bayfield or Ashland and may have a good chance at catching an aurora borealis display.
North Dakota And The Northern Lights
In North Dakota, you may also have the chance to see some of the northern lights at the Theodore National Park or an area that is not heavily populated and has a clear dark sky.
In fact, North Dakota is one of the places where you see the Northern lights in the wintertime.
Nebraska And The Northern Lights
In Nebraska, you can also see the northern lights, especially in areas of the state that are not heavily populated and have a clear and dark sky. Try to head to Scottsbluff and surrounding areas from September to March.
Washington And The Northern Lights
Washington State is also a great place to see the northern lights. Try to head to its northwest corner to see if you can see the aurora borealis shows. You may even see some shows over the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound.
Oregon And The Northern Lights
If you are in Oregon, you can go to the Crater Lake National Park or other areas along the Oregon coast and you may have a chance to see some of the northern lights.
Idaho And The Northern Lights
Head over to the Idaho Panhandle or the Northern part of Idaho from September to March for a chance for you to see the northern lights aurora display in this part of the United States.
Montana And The Northern Lights
Montana, the Big Sky Country, is also a great place to see the northern lights. You can head to Glacier National Park and other Montana locations with dark, clear skies.
Your best chance of seeing the northern lights in any of these places, you will need to have a dark sky with clear visibility. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to check forecasts before heading out and plan your timing around new moons for maximal darkness and minimal light pollution.
If you are determined to see the northern lights in the United States, you can choose from plenty of places to see the Northern lights.
At A Bus On A Dusty Road, we talk about travel, life, and ex-pat living. We are all about “Living Life As A Global Citizen.” We explore social, cultural, and economic issues and travel.
We would love to have you be part of our community. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date by clicking here. If you have any questions, you can contact me, Anita, by clicking here.
Listen to our Podcast called Dusty Roads. You can find it on all major podcast platforms. Try out listening to one of our podcasts by clicking here.
Subscribe to our A Bus On A Dusty Road YouTube Channel with great videos and information by clicking here.
4 Tips For Preparing Your Own Family History Trip And Travel
Before you decide to travel to your Ancestor’s hometown, there are some things you should do to make sure your family history tour is successful. First, you must research as much genealogy as possible before you travel. You should then do local research on the areas you are traveling to; map out what places you should visit. Also, take some time to study the maps of where you are traveling.
To learn more, you can read our blog on 4 Tips To Preparing Your Own Family History Trip and Travel by clicking here.
Is It Always Dark In Sweden? About The Midnight Sun
It is not always dark in Sweden; it is only dark in winter. Southern Sweden and Northern Sweden can have a very different amount of darkness in the winter. Some parts of northern Sweden do not see any light for many months during winter. Southern Sweden will have more sunlight than northern Sweden in the winter month.
You can discover more by reading our blog, Is It Always Dark In Sweden? About The Midnight Sun, by clicking here.
Lapland Or Sapmi – In Norway, Sweden, Finland, And Russia
The Sami are indigenous people who live in northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, known as Lapland or Sapmi. Most Sami people live in Norway and Sweden, some in Northern Finland and a few in Russia.
By clicking here, you can discover Lapland Or Sapmi – In Norway, Sweden, Finland, And Russia.