There are a lot of famous road trips out there. Route 66, the Incredible 89A and more tempt us into our vehicles and off into the sunset. But if for one reason or another you love hitting the road but haven’t considered heading to see the northern lights, then you’re missing out on one heck of a road trip experience. This is one of the most spectacular tours of a lifetime. Despite the extreme weather conditions that plague most northern lights locations, many travelers all over the world flock to see the aurora borealis each year. If you’re looking for the road trip of a lifetime, forget the US and head north to Canada, where you can drive all the way to one of the world’s few and precious locations in which the aurora borealis is visible.
Tours to see the northern lights are increasingly popular each year, and Canada has several to offer. But why not make a road trip with friends out of getting there? Whether you’re starting out from Seattle on one end or New York on the other, there are lots of things in the area to see along the way. You could pass by the Rockies, the Canadian prairies or hit up the Great Lakes.
This is the kind of road trip that’s ideal for those who love to be outdoors and take advantage of nature, because there are limitless hikes and trails to hit up along the way. The best part? You’ve got the car to sleep in rather than paying for a hotel along the way to the northern lights. Just remember that it’s going to be cold, since the aurora borealis is generally visible between September and March. So outfit your car with plenty of cold weather gear and some sub-thermo sleeping bags if you’re going to use it for camping as well!
Since aurora borealis is only visible late at night, once arriving visitors can keep themselves busy with a variety of activities during the day. Many people here are able to enjoy horse riding as they wait to see the lights at night. Tours to see the northern lights may also include night camping with dinner freshly cooked over a fire. Visitors may even have a chance to go dog sledding, a past time not found in many places.
The northern lights can’t be guaranteed to be seen, since they’re a natural phenomena that can’t be controlled. But
the good news is that this is the perfect time to plan a road trip to see them in Canada. The aurora ebbs and flows in terms of visibility and frequency in cycles of about 11 years, and 2013 is supposed to be a peak year. That means that a couple years before and after will also be years of higher activity. So mitigate your chances of missing the lights and start planning a trip for this winter or one of the couple coming up.
With so much natural beauty, it’s hard to argue in favor of catching a plane to Canada if you can take a road trip instead. And when it comes to the aurora borealis, we’re talking an experience that cannot be missed. A road trip is the perfect way to combine the two, and the time is right. Start planning now!
Photo Credit: Moyan_Brenn