Why do the viewing times change in August, September, and November?

As we head in to - and out of - winter, each day we get a different amount of sunlight. In order to maximize your aurora-viewing, our schedule changes so that you will be at Aurora Village when you will have the best opportunity to see the aurora.

Are there bathrooms we can use during aurora-viewing and other activities?

Yes. We have outdoor traditional (non-flush) bathrooms that are in warm, clean shelters so you will not be cold when you have to use the bathroom. When dining at the Lodge, you can use their indoor modern bathrooms. The Lodge bathrooms are for restaurant guests’ use only.

Where is Aurora Village?

Aurora Village is located approximately 30 minutes outside of the City of Yellowknife, which is in the Northwest Territories of Canada. 

Directions to Aurora Village

Turn off of Highway 3 onto Ingraham trail, heading north.

When you see the sign for Cassidy Point, turn left (around km 16) as if you were going to Cassidy Point. Turn left when you see the Aurora Village Sign (after approximately 1 km) Keep going until you see signs that say customer parking.

It is very important that you do not drive in any farther as cars are not allowed in Aurora Village. From the customer parking area, it is a very short walk to the Lodge and the Village.

To enter Aurora Village property, you must have a pre-booked reservation.

What is a teepee?

A teepee (also known as tipi or tepee) is a traditional Aboriginal tent. It is conical in shape and ours uses 15 poles (representing each of the 12 calendar months, the moon, the sun, and the heart) that each have their base at the canvas’ radius and are tied together at the top. Modern teepees are often made of canvas, although traditionally they were made of animal skins.

Can I eat at Aurora Village?

Of course. Before aurora-viewing you can have a full course meal at the Dining Hall, and during aurora-viewing you can come in and order items off of their menu like soup and bannock. We have hot beverages and during aurora-viewing.Due to animal control est and drink is permitted only inside of building and Teepee.

Can I get souvenirs at Aurora Village?

Yes. Come on in to our gift shop and pick out something special!

I didn’t go on a dog sled ride, but I really want to pet the puppies. Can I?

Absolutely! Everyone can stop by the kennel to see our dog team and play with the puppies.

Do I have to book a teepee when I go aurora-viewing?

No. We’ll assign you to a general teepee that you can use throughout the entire evening. If you want to reserve a teepee for exclusive use, then there is a rental cost.

I have a new camera. How do I use it?

We’ll give you some tips on the best settings for capturing the aurora, but we strongly encourage you to go through your camera’s manual and learn how to handle it beforehand.

When is Aurora Village open?

We are open 7 days a week from August 12-Oct 13 for our summer/fall season and from November 20-April 13 for our winter season.

When is the Dining Hall open?(Restaurant)

The Dining Hall is open every day of the aurora-viewing season.

I want to book a dinner reservation and aurora-viewing. Who do I call?

Call Aurora Village at 1-867-669-0006.

What languages do you do tours in?

English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese. 

What hotels do you do shuttle pick-ups from?

The Coast Fraser, Quality Inn, Discovery Inn, Days Inn, Explorer Hotel and Chateau Nova.

I’m not staying at one of those hotels. What should I do?

You will have to come to one of those hotels in order to take the shuttle to Aurora Village. If you don’t know which one is the closest to where you are staying, let us know and we will give you directions.

Where is Yellowknife?

Yellowknife if located in the Northwest Territories (NWT) in Canada and is nestled in along the north shores of Great Slave Lake. The NWT is located primarily above the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and part of British Columbia, in the more northern latitudes of Canada. To the east of the NWT is Nunavut and the Yukon is to the west. 

What hotel should I stay at?

We recommend staying at the Coast Fraser, the Yellowknife Inn, the Days Inn, the Explorer Hotel, or the Discovery Inn as these are the hotels that our shuttle picks up from.

If you are not staying at one of these, you don’t have to worry. You will still get on the shuttle, you will just have to come to one of these hotels for pick-up. 

How far is Yellowknife from ______________?

Wondering how far of a drive it might be? Here is a sample of how far some of these drives are.

Edmonton to Yellowknife = 1,496 km

Vancouver to Yellowknife = 2,355 km

Toronto to Yellowknife = 4,853 - 4,962 km (depending on route)

San Francisco to Yellowknife = 2,340-2,607 miles (depending on route)

Kansas City = 2,515-2,733 miles (depending on route)

Austin = 3,112 -3248 miles (depending on route)

Las Vegas = 2,410 miles

New York = 3,348 miles

How do you get to Yellowknife?

There are many airlines that fly into Yellowknife; however, there is only one road. The Mackenzie Highway begins in the small town of Grimshaw, Alberta and you follow it until just after Fort Providence. The road splits and you will take Highway 3 all the way for the remainder of the drive to Yellowknife.

You can get to the Mackenzie Highway in Grimshaw from Edmonton, Alberta by taking the Yellowhead Highway and turning onto Highway 43 North.

What kind of wildlife is there?

We have an abundance of wildlife in the north due to our varied landscape across the territory. You can regularly see large herds of bison along the highway between Fort Providence and Yellowknife and farther north is the massive caribou migration. There are also wolves, black bears, grizzly bears, lynx, wolverines, muskox, beaver, and more.

We have many different species of birds and fish as well, including the tasty arctic char, arctic grayling and of course, lake trout, whitefish and trophy sized northern pike. Within the city you’ll often see ravens and foxes.

Both are smart animals – the raven has even been known to turn on sensor activated streetlights in the winter for the warmth of the light’s glow! Where the NWT reaches the Arctic Ocean, we even have polar bears – which is the design of our license plates for our vehicles.

What sort of landscape is there?

Yellowknife rests on the Canadian Shield and is comprised primarily of ancient rocks from billions of years ago, along with an exorbitant amount of lakes as well as trees such as birch, jack pine and spruce. But let’s not forget that it’s on the northern shore of Great Slave Lake – the deepest lake in North America and the tenth largest in the world! 

What kind of weather does Yellowknife have?

The weather in Yellowknife ranges from extreme cold in the winter to temperatures bordering on hot in the summer. Our winter lasts into May, but by June things will have warmed up significantly - by the end of the month, even the waters will be warm enough for swimming.

Things start to cool off again in September and October and you’ll notice a significant cold by November. Since we are located along the Great Slave Lake, winds are a big factor in making our cold temperatures even colder.

Why is Yellowknife the best place to see the aurora?

An aurora oval is basically a ring around our geomagnetic Poles (not to be confused with our Geographical Poles) and Yellowknife happens to situate directly beneath the northern rim of this aurora oval.

This means we see the aurora better and more often, as do other places within the aurora oval. However, Yellowknife has relatively few geological obstructions and a flat topography, which means we have a better view and more clear skies than many other places, particularly in the winter when there are less weather transformations. 

What is the difference between a Geomagnetic Pole and a Geographical Pole?

Our geographical poles are where the axis of rotation for the earth is and is why we have night and day. The geomagnetic pole is where the magnetic field is most concentrated, making it somewhat fluid, rather than a fixed, place. It is the geomagnetic pole that attracts the particles into the earth’s atmosphere that collide with the gas atoms to create the aurora.

If I can’t see the aurora in Yellowknife, does that mean I can’t see it at Aurora Village?

No. Although Aurora Village is only 30 minutes from town, the viewing conditions can be entirely different. If it is cloudy in the city, it does not necessarily mean it is cloudy at Aurora Village, and vice versa. We are also far enough away from the lights of the city that you will have a much better chance to see a level one or two aurora.

What about clouds?

In Yellowknife, our clouds tend to come and go easily. When there are clouds early in the evening, it does not necessarily mean there will be clouds later on as well. We have many nights of clear skies and many nights that begin with cloud cover only to end up crisp and clear with a brilliant aurora display!