Yellowknife has quickly become one of the most popular places in the world to see the northern lights. Easily accessible to the city of Yellowknife, yet far enough from its sounds and lights, Blachford Lake Lodge sparkles like diamonds in winter and is the perfect spot for Aurora watching. Here, you don’t need to head out on a bus or shuttle, the aurora dance right above the lodge, located in the perfect wilderness setting.
We have two prime Aurora viewing seasons – Summer/Autumn and Winter/Spring
Summer/Autumn is mid August – mid October
Winter/Spring is Christmastime – mid April
There is the lodge itself, imposing, yet welcoming, atop a rolling hill. Inside the main lodge, or in one of our cabins, a cozy wood fire offers warm comfort. We keep you as busy as you’d like during the daytime, experiencing true Canadian seasons. In the winter we have skis, kick sleds, fat tire bikes, ice fishing, skates, hiking trails, snowshoes, igloo building workshops, handicraft workshops and snowmobile adventures.
In the summer and fall months try kayaking, canoeing, hiking, trophy fishing, enjoy handicraft workshops, or take your time bird watching. Relax with your favourite beverage in the early evening before sitting down to a wonderful dinner. Later, on clear nights, the aurora may dance overhead. Marvel up at the sky from one of our decks, from our hot tub, or snuggled under a duvet in your room. We even offer an over night wake up service to catch the Northern Lights at their best.
Here are some reasons why Blachford Lake Lodge is a great location to see the aurora and to experience a Northern outdoor adventure:
- Blachford Lake Lodge (BLL) is located directly underneath the auroral oval, the best place on earth to be for aurora watching.
- We are only accessible by bush plane on skis in the winter and floats in the summer; there are no roads to BLL. Due to our remote location there is no light pollution from nearby towns, cities, cabins, or road traffic.
- There is no need to bus or car from a town based hotel to an aurora viewing location and back to a hotel, and no limit to the amount of time that you can spend lost in the magic of the northern lights.
- We have it all in one location – aurora watching, outdoor activities, and true Canadian wilderness adventures just a few steps away from your room or cabin.
- At BLL you can view the aurora from the comfort of your own room, from the dining room and lounge areas, from two aurora viewing decks, the hot tub or sauna deck, from the tipi, or anywhere outside close to your lodge room or cabin. In the winter, walk onto the lake for a 360° view of the sky. On a calm summer night, watch the aurora reflected in the water.
- We are true wilderness – you won’t seen anyone other than fellow lodge guests and staff while you are a guest with us.
Fireworks on a Cosmic Scale
The Aurora borealis is listed among the planet’s greatest natural wonders. Blachford Lake Lodge unveils it for you on a night you will never forget. People visit Blachford from all over the world to catch the show. At Blachford you are front row centre as an ever-changing dance of light – yellow, green, lavender, and red – ebbs and flows across a clear night sky.
Our lodge lies below the Auroral oval, the enermous band of energy that circles the north magnetic pole. Here you are as close to the Aurora as any earthbound spectator ever gets.
Each show is unique. The Aurora often occurs as curtains, parallel rays that fold and ripple as they swirl across the sky. Sometimes the lights move with incredible speed, and sometimes they hover lazily in great arcs. They might appear as ghostly wisps of green that suddenly burst into a crown of giant spokes. Once in a while all these patterns are displays in a variety of colours at one time – a truly mind-blowing experience.
What is the Aurora?
The Aurora is ultimately caused by eruptions of gas on our sun. High energy particles are blown into space at enormous speed, rushing past the earth. Particles in this solar wind interact with the ionosphere, a layer of gases 60 to 600 kilometres above the earth’s surface. When the sun’s particles collide with the gases, the gases glow. The most common colour is a ghostly green, given off by oxygen. Oxygen is also responsible for a reddish brown. The mauve or purple edges of very bright displays are caused by a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen atoms.
When is the best time to see the Aurora?
Best Phase of the Moon Blachford’s special position, away from artificial light and beneath the Auroral oval, means that the light of the moon generally makes little or even no noticeable difference to the brightness of the lights. Indeed, some of our guests prefer to be out on a moonlit night, when a flashlight is not needed and the juxtaposition of moon and Aurora gives exciting and creative photo opportunities. Conversely, many Aurora watchers prefer to see the lights during a New Moon. The sky is at its darkest and the lights (and stars too) can appear brighter in contrast. During our 2015/16 season there is a new moon on 13th September, 9th January and 7th February, 8th March, and 6th April. These are times of very heavy demand and (with the exception of New Year) our prices are adjusted accordingly.
Best Time The Aurora can appear anytime between from 6 pm to 5 am. It may display for a brief or extended period; it often comes once, twice or several times in one night. The best way to be sure of seeing it is to keep watching the sky, checking at frequent intervals. Our staff are generally up until around 1 am and if you wish, will be happy to wake you if they see the Aurora. A few of our guests make a point of staying up all night!
Best Months Although the Aurora is active year-round, it is not visible during the long, bright days of the northern summer. A combination of clear, darker skies provides maximum viewing from mid-August to end September and December to mid-April.
Best Years Solar eruptions occur in 11 year cycles and 2023-2025 is predicted to be a period of Solar Maximum, when activity is increased by 30-50%. Even at quiet times of the cycle, Blachford is an exceptional place to view the northern lights as it lies directly beneath the Auroral oval.
Listen to Dr. Windridge’s interview with Russell Scott in the video below.
The Canadian Space Agency has detailed information about the Northern Lights, as well as access to the Aurora Max HD “Aurora Cam”.
Tell me more about the moon, the new moon, and it’s positions in the sky! We recommend taking a look here at TimeAndDate.Com for more information in regards to the moon and it’s different phases.
Stories and folklore surrounding the amazing Northern Lights are available all over the internet. Take a few minutes to look at Google, and you’ll find yourself drawn into a world of legend, folk tales and mystery. Here’s a great starting point from The Telegraph.