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Sensi Magazine

A Northern Lights Experience Like No Other

Apr 09, 2019 01:57PM
I’ve had the good fortune of seeing it twice.

After being teased by a faint sighting of the Aurora Borealis a couple years ago while on a trip to Iceland, I was pretty excited to have a second opportunity to potentially see the lights in Canada’s Yukon Territory. And because Canada had recently legalized cannabis, I was looking forward to an extra special light show this time around.

The evening temperature dropped to a frigid -36° Fahrenheit, so I bundled up in every layer I brought with me and carried along two critical items to maximize the experience: my headphones and my vape pen. As soon as we arrived at the site, we were blessed with an immediate light show. With no time to set myself up the way I had planned, I looked up and enjoyed the show until the lights flickered away.

About an hour passed before the magic returned, and this time I was ready to experience the lights as I had always dreamed of seeing them high and with a carefully curated soundtrack. I was inside a heated yurt, eating cookies, totally lost in my own headspace when I heard what sounded like an orchestrated collective gasp. I quickly zipped up my coat, pressed play on my iPhone, and waddled outside in my heavy winter gear. I had been hitting my vape pen pretty regularly up until this moment, so I was in the perfect mindset. As I exited the yurt, I looked for a spot away from the others where I could have some alone time with the lights, even though I probably could have been standing in a sea of people and would have been clueless as to their presence. Ariana Grande’s “God is a Woman” came on. I looked up, and I was suddenly in another world.

The lights on this particular evening were extraordinary. The entire sky was shimmering with waves of lights flashing from one side to the other. I would be completely hypnotized by one light display only to realize that if I looked the other way, another, just as brilliant display was also taking place. I had a few moments of panic because I didn’t know where to look. My senses were happily overwhelmed. At moments, I could feel the actual energy from the lights going through me. It was all very dreamlike, and I questioned myself a few times because of, well, the weed, but thankfully, the photos I would later see of that moment matched up to my memories and just like that, this Aurora sighting would top the list of the most incredible experiences of my lifetime.

The following Yukon venues offer opportunities to experience the Aurora Borealis for yourself. Please note that cannabis is not required but is highly encouraged if it’s your thing.

THE TRADITIONAL WAY
It’s important to note that all the incredible photos of the Northern Lights within this article were taken by my tour guide on the actual night I witnessed them, with Arctic Range Adventure. There are multiple options for viewing the Aurora Borealis with the simplest being a late-evening tour. Guests are picked up from Whitehorse and driven about 20 minutes outside of the city center to the Aurora Center Yukon, a private viewing space that has heated yurts to help stay warm while waiting for the lights to make an appearance. The tours come with expert guides and photographers who are more than happy to help explain the phenomenon as well as take your photos with the lights. ARCTICRANGE.COM

FROM THE COMFORT OF A GLASS CHALET
One of the Yukon’s best resorts just got better. The Northern Lights Resort & Spa recently introduced three new glass-fronted chalets built with the perfect Aurora viewing in mind, offering a new opportunity to experience the Yukon and ever-changing nature by bringing it closer to you than ever. The resort’s new Aurora Glass Chalets are a magical way to experience the wintry star-filled sky and the Northern Lights, all while lying comfortably in your warm bed. The large floor to ceiling wraparound windows open up into the northern sky, directly in front of the bed. NORTHERNLIGHTSYUKON.COM

THE AURORA FROM THE SKY
True Aurora chasers will want to grab a seat on this flight. This once-in-a-lifetime experience takes guests on a private charter jet, where they will have the best access possible for seeing the Northern Lights. This new experience is extremely limited but more flights will be added each season. The 737 aircraft, provided by Air North, will sell 80 seats and fly at 36,000 feet sky high to give guests a spectacular light show. Special multi-night packages are also available. When booking this option, it’s best to have multiple days on the ground as the Northern Lights are never guaranteed. Your flight will take you above the clouds so you can enjoy the view.
AURORA-360.CA

A STORYTELLING EXPERIENCE
For a unique take on the Northern Lights, this three-night winter program allows guests to experience the magic of the lights through the eyes of the First Nations. Listen to stories passed along by their ancestors and learn about living on the land during the winter months. Guests will experience this unique cultural opportunity surrounded by the magnificent landscapes of Kluane National Park while staying in the comfort at Mount Logan Lodge, which also has a private yurt and cabin option for that next-level experience. The multi-day trip combines hands-on cultural immersion into Yukon’s First Nations Culture, breathtaking natural wonders, and exhilarating winter activities such as dogsledding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.
YUKONTOURS.CA