Here’s Where You Can See the Northern Lights in the U.S.

Northern lights
Photo by Vincent Guth on Unsplash

The northern lights are a mesmerizing phenomenon that millions of people from around the globe travel to witness every year, typically in Nordic countries such as Finland and Iceland. True to their name, the lights are easiest to spot in more northern locations, but once in a while, the stars align and aurora borealis makes an appearance as far south as the United States. Here are a few locations where you’re most likely to catch them.

Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Along the Great Lakes, the expansive skies of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula make it one of the best places to see the northern lights in the entire US. Although the Upper Peninsula covers almost one-third of the state, it only contains about 3% of the total population, meaning the region has next to no light pollution to obscure celestial activity. The further north you go, the more frequently the lights appear, though October through April is considered peak season.

Aroostook County, Maine

Moving east, Maine’s northernmost county also happens to be one of its least densely populated, providing the necessary clear conditions for successful stargazing. During winter, pitch-black skies over all 3.5 million acres of Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge provide a perfect blank canvas for the ethereal colors of aurora borealis.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Where else to observe the beauty of aurora borealis than Big Sky Country? Montana’s geographical position and dark winter skies allow the northern lights to make occasional appearances in the northern regions of the state. Glacier National Park, in particular, offers clear views of the lights as they dance over the mountains.