Northern Wonders: Chasing the Northern Lights With Air North, Yukon’s Airline

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The northern lights from a plane window © Courtesy of Fly Air North

Never have so many people’s eyes been turned skyward as during the recent solar eclipse. While not everyone was lucky enough to be in the path of totality to witness the eclipse in full force, there is a natural phenomenon that can be equally powerful and mesmerizing—the aurora borealis. And you don’t need to wait another 40 years to witness them.

As northern latitudes shift from spring to summer, long days of midnight sun offer the north a different type of majesty. In the Yukon, it’s not uncommon to see people canoeing, golfing, mountain biking, celebrating during one of the summer’s many festivals and events—or simply trying their best not to gape at the view at midnight.

In Dawson City, home of the Klondike Gold Rush and part of the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, stands the Midnight Dome. Given this name during Dawson’s boom days of the gold rush, this hill quickly became a popular vantage point to enjoy both the midnight sun and the aurora as the seasons changed. It’s a remarkable location to witness the captivating brilliance of late-night illumination.

By mid-August, civil twilight is beginning to return, and the sun’s grasp of the sky is weakened, allowing the ephemeral aurora to shine once again with vibrant hues of green, pink, and purple. Local Facebook groups come alive with photos and sightings, with residents peering out of their windows in case they might catch a glimpse of the aurora before bed.

August and September hold a special allure for those embarking on a journey to the Yukon. The days are still warm, the foliage adorned in hues of red and gold, and the nights come alive with the dance of the aurora. It’s a symphony of colours that leaves spectators spellbound, a reminder of the majesty of our planet.

northern lights
© Courtesy of Fly Air North
© Courtesy of Fly Air North

By day, visitors to Whitehorse—the Yukon’s capital—can indulge in a wealth of amenities and attractions. Take a stroll along the scenic waterfront of the Yukon River, explore the vibrant arts scene and works by local artists, visit the MacBride Museum and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre to learn about the region’s rich heritage, or explore the incredible range of trails and outdoor activities.

As night falls, numerous local tour operators and facilities can host you just a short distance from Whitehorse—yet you will feel transported worlds away as you gaze up in wonder at the spectacle of the aurora by the warmth of a fire. Numerous lodge options are available, both near Whitehorse and further afield, offering opportunities for a secluded experience.

To get to the Yukon, fly with the airline ranked best in Canada by Tripadvisor: Air North, Yukon’s Airline. Thanks to their year-round scheduled flights from British Columbia and Alberta and seasonal summer service from Ontario, it’s comfortable, quick, and affordable.

Air North flights come with added benefits. With its own kitchen in Whitehorse, the airline provides complimentary light meals during flights, including hot meals on longer routes between Toronto or Ottawa and Yellowknife. Passengers also enjoy the perk of two complimentary pieces of checked baggage.

Air North offers enticing packages for travellers seeking well-organized adventures through its Air North Getaways website (airnorth.vacations). From simple air and accommodation bundles to elaborate adventure or spa packages, there’s something to suit every taste. Awe-inspiring wonders await.

Visit flyairnorth.com for an up-to-date schedule and details.

Air North, Yukon’s Airline seasonal service between Toronto, Yellowknife, and Whitehorse, operates twice weekly between May and mid-October. Between June and September, Air North operates weekly service between Ottawa, Yellowknife, and Whitehorse.

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Enjoy the full range of Air North, Yukon’s Airline air pass benefits, plus exclusive corporate perks such as complimentary standard seat selection.

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