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Northern Lights

Level Contributor
15 posts
Northern Lights

We will be arriving in Jasper this coming Sunday, July 1st. We will be staying at Fairmont Jasper Lodge. A friend who went to Jasper last August said he was able to do a night hike and see the Northern Lights. Any recommendations where I we can see them?

9 replies to this topic
Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7,103 posts
34 reviews
1. Re: Northern Lights

The Aurora is dependent upon a few things all coming together. They are the result of a solar storm, so that has to happen first. Then it must be a clear cloudless night, and you have to be away from ambient light.

There is no guarantee they will happen. We are coming to the end of the 11 year cycle.


Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
270 posts
2. Re: Northern Lights

You also have working against you that you are arriving not long after the longest day of the year, so sunset isn't until 10:20 p.m. in Jasper on July 1, and it will be another hour or more after that before the sky is dark enough to spot any northern lights. But don't let that discourage you from taking a look, as I saw some good photos of northern lights taken in central Alberta last week.

Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
20,290 posts
112 reviews
3. Re: Northern Lights

you may be interested in going to the Jasper Planetarium which holds a program at the Marmot Hotel. They have high powered telescopes and are quite interesting. If you can see them they would know.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
57 posts
4. Re: Northern Lights

We arrive at JPL two days after you. Long-range forecasts I've been looking at show 75% chance of rain at that time, around 50% when you're arriving. Although these forecasts are often inaccurate, I'm guessing cloud cover will most likely ruin our chances of seeing the NLs.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32,736 posts
62 reviews
5. Re: Northern Lights

For today, the forecast is high and they are predicted for Edmonton.


As noted, you'll have to get up at three in the morning and you'll need clear skies, but check that website again closer to your arrival and just see how its looking.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
2,053 posts
168 reviews
6. Re: Northern Lights

Aurora can happen at any time of the year, 'It's not cold enough' is a myth!

The problem with summer aurora is the short length of darkness at those latitudes at this time of year. In fact, it does not get 'astronomically dark' at all. Astronomical twighlight doesn't even begin until 12:30 am, with true midnight occurring just before 2am!

Best to stay up all night!

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
32,736 posts
62 reviews
7. Re: Northern Lights

I always SAY I'm going to get up and look for them when the forecast shows we have a good chance of seeing them down in Vancouver... but I never manage it.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Canadian Rockies
Level Contributor
8,259 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Northern Lights

This is the website for alerts for Alberta: https://www.aurorawatch.ca/

However, between the rainy weather and LONG days, I'd say the chances of seeing them currently are slim to none. Even when they do occur and the sky is clear, they're often not the bright, massively colorful events you see in pictures. So easy to be washed out by light -and this time of year - as mentioned - we have little true darkness.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
27,164 posts
94 reviews
9. Re: Northern Lights

As Ksneds points out, colourful aurora are very rare at our latitudes. Normally, what we see here is a pale green aurora. often I have to watch the sky for a few minutes to make sure that what I'm seeing are aurora and just wispy clouds illuminated by city lights or moonlight.

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