20 Incredible Campsites Illuminated by the Glow of the Aurora Borealis


Tibbit Lake, Canada, Northern Lights - SteveSchwarzPhotography
Image: Steve Schwarz
Another Northwest Territories camping spot illuminated by the dazzling majesty of the Northern Lights

This shot by photographer Steve Schwarz perfectly captures the spellbinding power of the Northern Lights, a phenomenon capable of turning any adult into a wide-eyed child. Scientific explanations for the aurora are fascinating, but as with any great magic trick, it’s the sense of wonder the lights evoke that makes them so captivating. Schwarz took his surreal-looking photograph beside Tibbitt Lake, northeast of Yellowknife.

Mount Baker, Washington, Northern Lights - Chuck Hilliard
Image: Chuck Hilliard/Light of the Moon Photography
Photographer Chuck Hilliard couldn’t have asked for better conditions than this clear, dark-skied Washington night.

Washington’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is another spot popular with North American aurora chasers. This gorgeous shot by Chuck Hilliard makes it look as though he set up camp on the edge of a distant world, as opposed to within driving distance of Seattle. Situated on the western edge of the mighty Cascade Range, the aforementioned forest is well known for its Northern Lights displays – and for the best shows, website Drive the Nation recommends visiting Artist Point before the onset of late winter.


Artist Point Snowshoeing
Image: Ding Ying Xu
Reach out and touch me: Photographer Ding Ying Xu offers “heaven’s light show” a big hand

This exquisitely composed shot by Ding Ying Xu was taken in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest as well. His 30-second exposure image perfectly captures the dual tones of this aurora. The greenish yellow glow is caused by solar particles reacting with oxygen, while the purple illumination results from higher-altitude particle interactions with helium and hydrogen. Interestingly, red and blue colors – like those of the tents – can also sometimes be seen within the Northern Lights.