Yellowknife is located at 62 degrees latitude North just 400 km shy of the Arctic Circle meaning that fall comes earlier in this unique part of the world and along with that comes the start of our Yellowknife northern lights tours. By mid September the fall colours begin to peak making it a photographers dream when combined with the world famous northern lights displays so common to this area.


The City of Yellowknife has just over 20,000 people and was established in 1934 around the gold mining opportunities in the region (Giant Mine and Con Mine being the largest and longest standing mines in the area). Now it has transformed with diamonds being the focus of mining efforts with Yellowknife operating as their service hub. These are located nearby to the North and are accessed via ice roads. Indigenous history stretches back long before mineral extraction became a focus with a long standing connection to the natural environment established by the Dene which continues to thrive and enrich the city today. Tourism and Government industries also contribute to the prospering local economy. The initial mining boom was hard on the landscape with ongoing remediation efforts still in effect today after the gold mines were shut down for good in 2004. However, the opportunities for nature photography, especially along the Ingraham Trail are excellent. There are countless lakes and striking Canadian shield rock, pink in places, punctuated by birch trees and covered in lichen as well as spectacular waterfalls which you can get right up close to like Cameron Falls and Cameron River Ramparts.

Book a Yellowknife Aurora Photo Tour with us to be guided to all of the best fall photography spots while chasing aurora during the nights! Check out some of the photographs that we have taken in the area at this time of year below. 


The name Yellowknife comes from the indigenous Dene group, ‘the Yellowknives’, who traditionally inhabited this land and permanently established the nearby town of Dettah in the early 1900’s. It was the copper infused knives that they had that gave them their name. They travelled all the way to the Arctic coast for this copper and other implements while also following the caribou migration and harvesting the land, staying in optimal locations to do so. Fish, berries and plants around the Yellowknife area were the focus during the summer months for the Yellowknives.

The aurora has always been a an important part of indigenous culture & mythology in Yellowknife where the Dene believe it is a fire built by the world’s creator who is always watching over us. All indigenous groups across the world living in northern latitudes have their own take on what it signifies with some believing that it is the spirits of the dead trying to communicate with us. This spiritual connection is undeniable after you have experienced a vibrant dancing northern lights show in the Yellowknife area which occurs on average 240 nights of the year!

Recommended Photography Spots
  • Cameron River Ramparts – The most amazing waterfall which you can access up close without getting wet!
  • Cameron Falls – A different location to the one above requiring a longer hike, but a bigger waterfall!
  • The Sandpits – A cool location on the edge of Yellowknife with sand, pink rock in places and small pools for reflections.
  • Giant Mine Dock – Close to the city but just far enough outside means less light pollution affecting your vision. Great place to assess and plan the night ahead as it is close to the start of the Ingraham Trail.
  • Bush Pilots Monument – Right in the city. 360 degree views from Old Town Yellowknife overlooking Great Slave Lake.

There are many locations to visit that work beautifully for capturing the aurora, especially along Ingraham Trail. Make sure to book one of our Yellowknife northern lights tours to find all of the best spots or go with a friend for safety and practice safe aurora viewing when out at night – park in designated pull outs, stay off the roads when outside of your vehicle, and be mindful of others.

Recommended Places to Eat
  • Bullock’s Bistro – hole in the wall atmosphere, fresh seafood focused fare. Large portions. A must visit. Reserve in advance.
  • NWT Brewing Company – Great atmosphere. Large selection of food and beer. Visit ‘Ragged Ass Rd’ just around the corner when eating here. Reserve in advance.
  • The Wildcat Cafe – Eat in a historical miners log cabin, one of the oldest structures in Yellowknife. Reserve in advance.
  • Zehabesha – A traditional Ethiopian restuarant. Great selection. You can order to-go meals, great if you are pressed for time and want to eat while out on an aurora chase.
  • Birchwood Cafe / Javaroma –  Fuel up or recover from aurora chasing adventures at these local cafes which also serve snacks and lighter fare.
Recommended Places to Stay
  • The Aurora Bayside Inn – One of the coolest places to stay on the edge of Great Slave Lake in Old Town Yellowknife. Walking distance to all the touristy attractions and a great on site restaurant.
  • Chateau Nova – Great option. Newer hotel. Free airport transfer available.
  • The Explorer Hotel – Great option. Free airport transfer available.
  • Air BnB – Find some unique options at different price points.

Yellowknife is a bucket list photography destination especially in fall when the leaves are changing colours and you can get photos of aurora reflected in the surrounding lakes. We are a licensed NWT tourism operator and have the know how to help you in capturing the photos you’ve always dreamed of of the northern lights. Contact us for more information or book at the link here.

We also offer Yellowknife northern lights tours in winter! We chose March for these tours as it has slightly warmer temperatures than mid winter, it has more clear nights on average than at other times of the year, it has even less humidity for optimal seeing at night, and Snowking Festival is on for the entire month meaning we can take advantage of experiencing that as well. Book here for the winter wonderland + aurora experience and select the March dates.

We look forward to seeing you in Yellowknife! Sign up to our mailing list to hear about future Yellowknife northern lights tours below:

A person photographing the aurora borealis at the docks near Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.