Some nights they look like a green arc sweeping from east to west. Other times, they appear to be like jelly fish, or curtains, dancing in the dark sky in splashes of pink, purple, red or green. Fall and winter are the best times to see one of the Yukon's spectacular natural attractions: the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights. "It's hard to put in words. Photos and videos don't do it justice," says Torsten Eder, president and founder of Whitehorse-based Northern Tales Travel Services Inc., which offers tours to see the famous light show. "It's just breathtaking."
When it comes to seeing the Northern Lights, there are no rules, as they show up based on solar activity rather than seasons and weather, says Eder. When they appear, they can last minutes, or even hours. Visitors can sign up for tours that will take them outside of the city where it is dark and there are no obstructions to see the lights. Northern Tales Travel Services provides such tours that take them to a secluded field about 25 kilometres north of Whitehorse, where they sit around a campfire for four to five hours roasting marshmallows and drinking hot tea to watch the lights late in the night. As the weather can dip below freezing, guests can also watch the show from a heated viewing facility that resembles a cross between a tent and a cabin. It surely beats watching the Canada Day fireworks.