Welcome to the province that’s dubbed “The Land of Living Skies.” In line with that slogan, the city of Saskatoon is no stranger to epic sunrises, sunsets and an occasional visit from the northern lights. If you’re lucky enough, you might just be able to watch lady aurora dance across the sky from the middle of the city.
Northern Lights Saskatoon
Here are several locations to see the northern lights in Saskatoon.
1. River Landing + Riversdale Neighbourhood
On a night when the northern lights in Saskatoon are really vibrant, you can see them from downtown. While many people head outside the city on these evenings, I like to cruise around River Landing and see what unique angles I can catch the lights dancing. The views are great close to the river as there are fewer buildings to block the view of the northern skies. I captured the image above of the northern lights behind the Spirit of Alliance statue, just down the street from Drift Cafe and Escape Sports.
2. Across from the Delta Bessborough
To catch a show of northern lights in Saskatoon can be a rare treat. But to capture a photo of them dancing over the Delta Bessborough is even rarer. Because the hotel faces east-west rather than north, it can be more challenging to capture on camera. But arguably, this is one of the most iconic places to see the northern lights from. Across the river from the hotel, you can park along Saskatoon Crescent East. Here, there’s easy access to the Meewasin Valley Trails and its paved upper sidewalk. There’s a bench to sit on nearby and it’s where I set up my tripod to capture this photo.
3. Penner Road near Wanuskewin
While Wanuskewin is closed during the evenings, Penner Road which heads past the heritage site is a great location to drive out to watch the northern lights near Saskatoon. It’s harder to see the northern lights in the city due to light pollution but the skies are a bit darker out here. Plus, you can park safely on several approaches while you sit back and enjoy the views from your vehicle. (Make sure to never park on the side of the road, it’s unsafe.)
4. Under the Broadway Bridge
It’s a classic place to hang out in the hot summer months – on the rocks or on the small beach under the Broadway Bridge. It’s also a popular spot for photographers. At night, this has become one of my favourite places to head down and watch the northern lights dance. There is limited lighting plus you’lll have to navigate the pile of painted rocks, so I recommend carrying a headlamp when you head down.
5. 33rd Street Ponds
If you have access to a car and a sense of adventure, head west from the city limits to the 33rd Street Ponds on Township 370 Road and Range Road 3063. This spot isn’t an official place to go, there’s nothing more than an intersection here. But you can pull over on an approach to safely watch the skies. It’s also a great opportunity to see the northern lights reflected in the water without heading to one of the province’s lakes. Note: as the city has expanded in recent years, there’s more light pollution in this area than there once was.
Other Destinations to See the Northern Lights in Saskatoon
This article is a brief listing of locations to view the northern lights in Saskatoon – there are limitless spots depending on your location, your creativity when getting outside and how bright the aurora show is.
A few other locations to see the northern lights in Saskatoon
- From one of the city’s 200 parks and greenspaces like Lakewood Park, Donna Birkemaier Park, Sutherland Park Dog Run or Silverwood Dog Park
- On top of the Train Bridge
- Beaver Creek Conservation Area on specific nights they host stargazing programs
- A restaurant patio like O’Shea’s, the Yard & Flagon, the Hose and Hydrant and Shelter Brewing. (Note: it will be harder to see on a patio due to direct light pollution, but not impossible),
If you’re looking for more tips on seeing and capturing the northern lights, check out the Saskatchewan Aurora Hunters Facebook group. It’s a great online place to meet others and learn more about the northern lights.
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