Where to See the Northern Lights in Vancouver in 2024

SNG-ON Main Blog BannerSNG-ON Main Blog Banner

The world-famous Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights, is a sight that beckons adventurers from far and wide.

It’s a phenomenon many go to great lengths to see, even for a moment, so if you have the chance to tie a Northern Lights experience into your next trip to Canada, we’d highly recommend it!

When it comes to maximising your chances of catching a glimpse of these mesmerising lights in all their colourful glory, you need to make sure you choose the right location. Thankfully, Canada has an abundance of sites that are renowned for being Northern Lights hotspots, with the greater Vancouver area standing out as one of the most popular among natives and tourists alike.

In this guide, we show you where to see the Northern Lights in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island in 2024, covering the best places to visit, travel tips for your trip and expert hacks for boosting the likelihood of seeing the Aurora in person! 

What Are the Northern Lights?

Before we dive into the details of where to see them, let's unravel the mystery behind this celestial marvel. The Northern Lights, scientifically known as aurora borealis, is a natural light display that occurs predominantly in high-latitude regions around the Arctic and Antarctic.

These breathtaking curtains of light are formed when charged particles from the sun collide with gases in the Earth's atmosphere, creating luminous hues that dance across the night sky. While the science behind it is fascinating, experiencing the Northern Lights is more about the ethereal beauty and the sense of wonder they evoke.

Top Tips for Maximizing Your Northern Lights Experience

Many intrepid explorers have tried and failed to see the Northern Lights, so making sure you’re well prepared before setting off in search of them is essential. Here are our top tips for setting yourself up for success.

  1. Timing is key: Plan your trip during the optimal viewing season, which typically runs from late August to early April. Keep an eye on solar activity forecasts and aim for nights with clear skies and minimal light pollution for the best visibility.
  2. Choose the right location: Find a spot away from city lights and with a clear, unobstructed view of the northern horizon. Parks, beaches, and lookout points are ideal locations for Northern Lights viewing.
  3. Stay patient and flexible: Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so be prepared to wait patiently for the lights to appear. Sometimes, they might make a sudden appearance when you least expect it, so stay alert and ready to capture the moment.
  4. Dress for the occasion: Bundle up in warm layers, as viewing the Northern Lights often involves spending extended periods outdoors in chilly temperatures. Don't forget to pack snacks, hot beverages, and a cosy blanket to keep yourself comfortable while you wait.
  5. Capture the moment: Bring along a camera with manual settings or a smartphone equipped with a night mode feature to capture stunning photos of the aurora. Experiment with different exposure settings and compositions to immortalise this magical experience.

Best Places to See the Northern Lights in Vancouver and Surrounding Areas

British Colombia is a big place…but we’ve got it covered. Here’s our list of the best places to see the Northern Lights in the greater Vancouver area in 2024.

Planning an extended trip to Van City? We’ve got that covered, too! Check out our other travel guides on Vancouver for insider tips and inspiration for how to make your visit unforgettable.


Just a scenic drive away from Vancouver, Whistler offers pristine mountain landscapes and minimal light pollution, making it an ideal spot for Northern Lights viewing. Consider booking a guided tour or staying at a resort with panoramic views of the night sky.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler and Nita Lake Lodge are popular choices for accommodation.

Cypress Mountain

Located just outside Vancouver, Cypress Mountain provides easy access to dark skies and stunning vistas. Pack a thermos of hot cocoa, bundle up in your warmest attire, and head to the mountain's highest points for an unforgettable aurora viewing experience.

Consider staying at the nearby Four Seasons Resort and Residences or booking a cosy cabin for a rustic getaway.

Grouse Mountain

Another popular spot for stargazing and Northern Lights viewing, Grouse Mountain offers breathtaking panoramas of the city below and the starry night sky above. Consider taking a guided tour or joining a photography workshop to enhance your experience.

Afterwards, warm up with a visit to the Grouse Mountain Lodge or treat yourself to a luxurious stay at the nearby Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver.

Bowen Island

For a more secluded and intimate Northern Lights experience, consider venturing to Bowen Island, a tranquil oasis just a short ferry ride from Vancouver. Pack a picnic basket, cosy up on the beach, and marvel at the celestial display unfolding above.

The Bowen Island Lodge and Artisan Suites offer charming accommodations with stunning waterfront views.

Alouette Lake

Located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, Alouette Lake offers a serene setting for Northern Lights viewing away from the city lights. Set up camp along the lakeshore or enjoy a peaceful evening picnic as you gaze up at the star-studded sky.

For a comfortable stay, consider booking a cabin at the nearby Alouette Lake Resort or pitching a tent at one of the park's designated campsites.


Known as the "Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada," Squamish offers plenty of opportunities for adventure, including Northern Lights viewing. Head to Shannon Falls Provincial Park or explore the expansive wilderness of Garibaldi Provincial Park for unobstructed views of the night sky.

For accommodations, consider staying at the Sea to Sky Hotel or booking a cosy Airbnb rental in town.

The Best Places To See The Northern Lights on Vancouver Island


Known for its rugged coastline and stunning natural beauty, Tofino offers unparalleled views of the Northern Lights dancing over the Pacific Ocean. Head to Chesterman Beach or Cox Bay Beach for unobstructed vistas, and consider booking a cosy beachfront cabin or luxury resort for an unforgettable Northern Lights getaway.


The charming capital city of British Columbia, Victoria, also serves as an excellent base for Northern Lights viewing on Vancouver Island. Visit Mount Tolmie Park or Gonzales Hill Regional Park for panoramic views of the night sky, and explore the city's vibrant dining and cultural scene during your stay.


Nestled between lush forests and the rugged coastline, Ucluelet offers a serene setting for Northern Lights viewing away from the city lights. Visit the Wild Pacific Trail or Amphitrite Lighthouse for stunning vistas, and unwind at a cosy bed and breakfast or waterfront resort after a night of aurora hunting.

Strathcona Provincial Park

For a truly immersive Northern Lights experience, venture into the heart of Vancouver Island's wilderness at Strathcona Provincial Park. Set up camp at Buttle Lake Campground or hike to Love Lake for secluded stargazing opportunities amidst pristine nature.


Located on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo offers convenient access to Northern Lights viewing spots and a range of outdoor activities. Visit Neck Point Park or Piper's Lagoon Park for breathtaking coastal views, and explore the city's quaint shops and waterfront restaurants during your stay.

Campbell River

Known as the "Salmon Capital of the World," Campbell River also boasts dark skies ideal for Northern Lights viewing. Head to Elk Falls Provincial Park or Miracle Beach Provincial Park for panoramic vistas, and consider booking a guided tour for an expert-led aurora hunting experience.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Just a short drive from Vancouver, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is a hidden gem for stargazing and Northern Lights viewing. Set up camp at one of the park's waterfront campsites, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beach as you marvel at the celestial display above. For added convenience, consider renting a camper van or RV for the ultimate Northern Lights adventure.

Give Your Northern Lights Adventure Some Sparkle With Spin Genie

Ready to embark on your Northern Lights adventure? Spin Genie has the best online casino games and online slots, so get playing and look forward to making memories that will last a lifetime!

Whether you want to indulge in the finest foods and accommodations or splurge on a top-of-the-range digital camera to capture the lights in all their splendour, don't miss out on your chance to win spending money for your trip away.

Want more travel guides? You're in the right place. Ask Genie has all of the inspiration you need, including:

Discover Spin Genie

Your Magical Online Casino Destination

Spin Genie is a regulated online casino and the destination of choice for the most entertaining online slots, nostalgic game shows and live table games.


Best Wellness Retreats Canada 2024

The 11 Best Wellness Retreats in Canada for 2024

Unwind and rejuvenate at the best wellness retreats in Canada. Find serenity amidst stunning landscapes and embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Best Spa Resorts British Columbia 2024

9 Best Spa Resorts in British Columbia for 2024

Discover ultimate relaxation at the best spa resorts in BC. From tranquil coastal escapes to mountain retreats, indulge in rejuvenating experiences.

Best Luxury Resorts Canada 2024

The 10 Best Luxury Resorts in Canada to Visit in 2024

Discover the best luxury hotels in Canada, from majestic mountain retreats to seaside havens. Indulge in opulent accommodations and world-class amenities.

V: 1.50.0 All rights reserved. January 2020