Chasing down the northern lights? You may be assuming that you need to make the journey to a country like Iceland, Finland or Norway to enjoy nature's phenomenal light show. However, there are actually several spots in the United States that offer prime viewing for the northern lights. Check them out!
Alaska is really your best bet for seeing the northern lights in the United States. In fact, many tour companies offer packages that make it easy to chase down the best viewing locations. Some tour agencies will even take you just outside the Arctic Circle to see the lights! A trip to Alaska isn't realistic for everyone. The good news is that there are several potential viewing spots located within the contiguous states.
Michigan's Headlands International Dark Sky Park is a stargazing reserve with exceptionally dark conditions. Many visitors are able to see glimpses of the northern lights in the sky over the park's extensive woodland coverage. However, good timing and tempered expectations are necessary!
Northern Idaho offers some great views of the northern lights. A spot called Priest Lake within the Idaho Panhandle National Forest is a popular spot for star seekers. You will be just 30 miles away from the border with Canada if you make this your viewing spot. Fall is typically the best time for viewing the lights in Idaho.
Ohio offers glimpses of the northern lights when all of the right conditions fall into place. The big thing to know is that you'll need to be in a dark, remote spot if you want to see the lights in Ohio. You can use a resource like Night Sky Alerts to know when the right time is to leave the city in search of some celestial magic.
You might be surprised to learn that Pennsylvania is actually a prime spot for spotting the northern lights. That's because the state is home to a place called Cherry Springs State Park. Cherry Springs is actually a reserve that is used for stargazing due to its extraordinarily dark conditions. You can stay overnight and participate in tours and lessons when you visit.