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Missed The Recent Northern Lights? Here Are 6 National Parks Where You Have A Chance To Spot Them

So, you missed the big Northern Lights show last weekend, huh? No worries, we’ve got your back! There are still plenty of opportunities to catch this elusive spectacle.

Because, while everyone else was busy commenting on their socials about their epic light show selfies, we were busy compiling a list of the top national parks where you can spot the aurora borealis.

And believe it or not, one of the places on this very list was glowing with colors during our visit a couple of years ago. So, if you’re committed to seeing those magical lights dance across the sky, these top-notch locations are your golden ticket.


1. Denali National Park, USA

mount mckinley in denali national park fills the frame with its snowy covered top along with a green valley below with a road traveling along the side of the image
© Depositphotos

Denali National Park in Alaska is the kind of place that makes you rethink all your life choices—especially those that involve staying indoors. Spanning over six million acres of pure, untamed wilderness, it’s a playground for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.

For starters, it’s home to North America’s tallest peak, Denali, standing a casual 20,310 feet tall. Surrounded by glaciers, rivers, and forests, you’ll find an endless supply of breathtaking landscapes and, of course, prime aurora-viewing spots. Speaking of which, Denali’s remote location ensures minimal light pollution, making it an aurora chaser’s dream.

And let’s not forget the wildlife; this park boasts an impressive roster, including grizzly bears, wolves, and moose, who will remind you who the boss is around here.  So, next time you’re contemplating life’s existential questions, maybe it’s time to head north—way north.

  • Best Time Of Year To Spot The Northern Lights: Late August Through Late April

2. Abisko National Park, Sweden

the greens of the northern lights fill the night sky above a long snowy stretch of road near abisko national park in sweden
© Depositphotos

Located in the Swedish Lapland, Abisko National Park is like the VIP lounge for Aurora-watching. First up, there’s the Aurora Sky Station—a dedicated spot for Northern Lights enthusiasts. Here, you can almost guarantee a light show thanks to the park’s unique microclimate that keeps clouds away most of the time.

Speaking of uniqueness, Abisko also boasts the stunning Tornetrask Lake, Sweden’s seventh-largest lake, which offers an epic reflective surface when the lights come out to play. And let’s not forget the Kungsleden, or “The King’s Trail,” one of Sweden’s most famous hiking routes, slicing right through the park.

So whether you’re a seasoned aurora chaser or just a newbie hoping to catch it for the first time, Abisko’s got everything you need for a sky-gazing experience that’s nothing short of royal.

  • Best Time Of Year To Spot The Northern Lights: Early November Through Late March

3. Voyageurs National Park, USA

the northern lights of purple and green fill the entire frame on a starry night in canada
© Discover Parks & Wildlife

Voyageurs National Park is like that hidden gem your cool, outdoorsy friend keeps raving about. Located in Minnesota, it’s a labyrinth of interconnected waterways dotted with over 500 islands. You’ll find yourself paddling through serene waters, feeling like an explorer discovering uncharted territories.

What makes Voyageurs a prime spot for aurora-spotting? Well, the park’s remote location means you’ll have minimal light pollution, giving you that perfect dark sky. Plus, it offers boat-in campsites, so you can pretty much make your own private island getaway. Just imagine lounging on a secluded shore while the Northern Lights do their mystical dance overhead.

Fun fact: the park’s name honors the French-Canadian fur trappers, known as “voyageurs,” who navigated these waters way back in the day.

  • Best Time Of Year To Spot The Northern Lights: Late September Through Early April

4. Jasper National Park, Canada

the northern lights of green and purple reflect on the lake water in jasper national park
© Discover Parks & Wildlife

Jasper National Park is not just any park—it’s the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, and it’s got that aurora action on lock. Picture this: sprawling landscapes spanning over 4,200 square miles, all begging to be explored.

And speaking of begging, the wildlife at the park is like a roll call of your favorite animal emojis—elk, caribou, and black bears roam freely, reminding you who’s boss. Plus, we saw multiple moose during our visit! But let’s get back to the sky, shall we? Jasper is part of the world’s second-largest Dark Sky Preserve, which means stargazing here is like winning the celestial lottery. Forget your fancy apps—just look up and be wowed.

But even if the Northern Lights decide to play hard to get, you’ve still got the rugged beauty of the Athabasca Falls and the majestic peaks of the Canadian Rockies to keep your jaw firmly on the floor.

And just so you know, it was right here in Jasper where we first caught sight of the Northern Lights in September a few years ago. Let us tell you, watching those lights dance across the sky was unforgettable!

  • Best Time Of Year To Spot The Northern Lights: Late August Through Mid-May

5. Glacier National Park, USA 

saint may lake in glacier national park with mountains and green trees surrounding the blue lake
© Depositphotos

Glacier National Park is nature’s version of a mind-blowing Instagram filter but without the annoying hashtags. This Montana park boasts over 700 miles of hiking trails, so if you’re the type who loves to wander (or just get lost), you’re in for a real treat.

Don’t forget that it’s home to more than 130 named lakes, offering plenty of opportunities to flex that canoeing muscle you’ve been working on. Got your eyes on some wildlife? Good news: the park is packed with critters, from mountain goats to grizzly bears, who basically own the place.

And when it comes to catching the Northern Lights, the park’s minimal light pollution makes it a prime location. But hey, if the auroras decide to ghost you, the breathtaking scenery and epic wildlife are pretty stellar consolation prizes.

  • Best Time Of Year To Spot The Northern Lights: Late September Through Mid-April

6. Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland 

northern lights over jokulsarlon lagoon in iceland with some ice floating in the water under the green and pink lights
© Depositphotos

Vatnajokull National Park is the type of place that makes you wonder why you ever bothered with city life. This massive park covers 14% of the country, making it the largest national park in Europe. It’s also home to Vatnajokull, the largest glacier outside of the polar regions.

Think ice caves, glacial lagoons, and waterfalls…if that interests you, then you can’t afford to miss this park. Because standing on the glacier’s ice cap, while the Northern Lights swirl above, is like starring in your own sci-fi epic.

Did you know the park also houses the deepest lake in Iceland, Jokulsarlon? The floating icebergs there pull double duty: they’re perfect for your photo ops and also serve as a dramatic stage for the auroras. So, when you’re done gawking at the sky, take a moment to explore the otherworldly landscapes that define Iceland’s natural beauty.

  • Best Time Of Year To Spot The Northern Lights: Late August Through Mid-April

  • Discover More: Trying to spot camouflaged animals in the wild is like trying to find your keys in the morning—utterly priceless when you do! Have you ever seen any of these creatures on your adventure?

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