There are many different regions that are able to see the Northern lights during different times of the year. In the United States the best time to see the lights would be September through February. Those are in the northern United States such as Alaska and Canada are the usual areas that one would expect when thinking about where to see the Northern Lights. However, there are several areas that people may not think about when they think about when wanting to see the Northern Lights such as Norway, Finland, Sweden, and parts of the northern United States other than Alaska. Some may not expect the other places in the United States that one can see the Northern Lights.
Northern United States
Of course, one of the best places that one can see them in Alaska but where? That would be Fairbanks but to be honest there are around 21 total places in Alaska that you can catch a glimpse of them in that state. The reason Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights would be because it is one of the furthest north if you are wanting to view them in the United States. The Borealis Base Camp in Fairbanks which is one of the ideal places to see the lights there.
Idaho is one of those overlooked places to see the Northern Lights. If you go to the Panhandle National Forests in Idaho, there is less light pollution where you can also rent cabins in advance to see the Northern lights.
At the Acadia National Park in Maine, you can see the Northern lights. It is a protected National Park that allows for less light pollution in order to see the Northern Lights. Being so densely populated, Maine and states surrounding, will be lit up like beacons which means there will be some light to contend with when looking for the Northern Lights.
One of the first of 10 Parks that were coined Dark Sky Parks resides in Michigan. That Dark Sky Park is the Headlands International Dark Sky Park that was established in 2011. There are areas within the park that can help to maximize your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. Those areas in the park would be McGulpin Point and Johnson Point. Both these areas are perfect viewing areas for those that would like to see the lights.
It may not be a National Park or Dark Sky Park but Cook County, Minnesota is a great place to see the Northern Lights, just ask the locals in the county. It is a county filled with undeveloped forests and untouched lakes with the perfect conditions for seeing the lights. Another area in Minnesota would be Voyageurs National Park. It’s on the Canadian Border.
Glacier National Park is another great place to visit in order to see the Northern Lights. Glacier National Park is located in Montana which is one of the least populated areas which means its great for Northern Lights gazing. There are other areas of Montana that are good for seeing the Northern Lights, but the Glacier National Park is probably going to be the best area to see them in the state. There are parts of the park that are closed during the winter, and it is best to refer to the National Park Service website for winter tips. That is where you will get the most up to date information for the Glacier National Park.
If you ask the locals, Mount Washington Valley is where you would go to see the Northern lights in New Hampshire. With the density of the population, many areas are hard to find that are dark enough to see the Aurora Borealis. However, this Valley of Mount Washington, has several locations that surround it such as Route 112, southern areas such as Tamworth, Fryeburg and an area in the Bretton woods.
The best places to see the Northern Lights in New York would be Columbia and Greene counties which is Northwest. They are not always visible here but there are opportunities to see them in this state.
North Dakota is a vast land of Wilderness, desert and the night sky being the one of states that is least populated in the United States. Being that it is less populated, the light pollution throughout the state is much less as well. This makes its much more possible to see the Aurora Borealis better than other places in the United States.
In the Olympic National Park would be the best place in Washington state, though the state is known to be very cloudy and rainy. Definitely not a state that is known to have clear skies very often. During the Northern Lights viewing season, if you are in Washington State, the Olympic National Park would be the place to go and one of the best places in the state to see the lights on a clear night. There are towns such as Port Angeles or Sequim that are within the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula. If the weather cooperates, these would be the place to see it when it Washington State.
Another unlikely place would be the state of Wisconsin. At the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, the Northern Lights are visible on the mainland and the island itself. The tours do not happen in the winter, but the lights are still able to be seen if you are on the mainland. There are several spots within 30 minutes of the island that you can stay at to enjoy a restful sleep and a pleasant stay in Wisconsin.
In Mallets Bay, Vermont, which is on Lake Champlain, is a great place to view the Northern Lights which may be unexpected. It’s only a short drive from Burlington, Vermont. If the lights are visible that night, you should have no problem seeing them with there not being a lot of light pollution in this area.