Very few natural events are as famous as the Northern Lights. Beautiful, elusive, mindblowing.

Many travel the world for a chance to admire them, as we did. One of the reasons we chose Inuvik as the hub for our Arctic adventure was the opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis, the official name of the Northern Lights.

High within the Arctic Circle, Inuvik is not as known or ideally located as places like Yellowknife or Reykjavik when it comes to Aurora viewing but the chances are fair. Combined with the other great winter opportunities like mushing your own dog team or camping in the tundra, Inuvik is nevertheless a great destination that would deserve more attention and a spot of the map of world travel.

We had a full day of dog sledding to the camp at Jimmy Lake for our overnight trip, and were relaxing after a great dinner. The sunset was gorgeous and probably the slowest I had even seen.

Arctic Sunset over Jimmy Lake

The night had started with little hope as it was the full moon, the sky brightly illuminated to a point we did not need any flashlight. We did not give up and gathered around the hot open fire pit to keep us warm while the temperatures dropped to -30° Celcius (-22° Fahrenheit).

Around 1 am, light stripes of white colors appeared slowly in the sky. We did not initially pay attention to these but gradually the white turned to light green, then to a darker green of the renowned Northern Lights!

Bruno by the Northern Lights

As we were admiring the wonderful colors, one of the dogs started to wimp. Bruno moved to check on the dog and sat with her, to calm her down.

Bruno with the dog under the Aurora Borealis

The full moon was definitely toning down some of the hues with its bright white rays but it offered for a great combination as both flew above the camp.

Northern Lights over Jimmy Lake camp

Unfortunately we did not have a great camera for the occasion (we are upgrading our gear!) but the somewhat blurry photos still capture a bit of the evening even these are far from representing the beauty properly.

Aurora Borealis under the Full Moon

Even if this was not the most striking display ever, the show was more than what we had expected given the unpredictability of the Aurora Borealis. We could go to bed, our eyes filled with wonder.

Sunrise over Jimmy Lake

The morning came quickly with shades of red, yellow and pink, completing the perfect circle of colors.

Find out more about our Arctic winter adventures during our stay in Inuvik. Interested in other sky wonders? Read about the Southern Lights in New Zealand or travel tips for seeing the Northern Lights.

Want to read more about the Arctic in winter? Check our posts about our first day guiding our own dogsled, leading our Husky dogs to snowcamp on the tundra, and learning about traditional Northern Arctic culture at the Muskrat Jamboree.

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