Catching sight of the aurora borealis, be it ever so fleeting or faint, is a surefire way for your Keweenaw vacation to go from unforgettable to life-changing.
- Don't Forget
- Northern Lights tracking site or app, layers, blankets, headlamp, camera with low shutter speed.
- Best Time to Go
Fresh Coast Tip
Popular “theaters” for watching the Northern Lights include Calumet Waterworks Park, beaches in Eagle River or Eagle Harbor, and the peak of Brockway Mountain. Another great spot? The shoreline of Fresh Coast Cabins.
We’re not going to say that a Keweenaw vacation isn’t complete without a glimpse of the Northern Lights. We will say that catching sight of the aurora borealis, be it ever so fleeting or faint, is a surefire way for your Keweenaw vacation to go from unforgettable to life-changing.
So how can you experience this boreal magic for yourself?
Like most Keweenaw adventures, it takes practice, persistence, and plenty of grit. You could rely on hearsay—aurora forecasts are big news in these parts—but your best bet is to find a website or app that shows solar storm activity and can predict northern lights up to 3 days in advance.
If the forecast is strong, your next move is to check the weather. If the night is cloudy, you might as well stay home. But if the night is clear and the moon is on the wane, it’s time to pick a good viewing site, such as a nearby beach or peak.
When darkness falls, prepare to make a night of it.
The Northern Lights don’t follow a schedule—you never know if/when a faint glow on the horizon might pop off into a panoramic spectacle. Bring blankets, beverages, snacks… whatever will help you hang in there until you get the show you came to see.
Even if the night proves underwhelming, you can go home with the satisfaction of being a little more “local.” Chasing the Northern Lights across the peninsula is a time-honored tradition here, and by joining the chase, you’re included in an elite group of Keweenaw adventurers.
Photo: Lynn & Jason Makela / @freshcoastcabins