Most think of Alaska or somewhere else far north when you mention the northern lights. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though. You don’t necessarily have to leave Idaho to see the aurora borealis! However, it’s a little like hunting for an elusive animal, so here are a few things that might help.

5 Tips for Seeing the Northern Lights in Idaho

  1. The best time of year for the lights happens to be between September and March. Hmm, November might be a good month for it!
  2. Seek dark skies away from city lights. The week before and after the new moon also helps. Plus, even if the lights don’t show up, seeing a clear night ski is an amazing experience in and of itself. It’s well worth the time!
  3. Keep an eye out for a higher Kp index. This is a measure of geomagnetic activity in the Earth’s atmosphere. (See link below)
  4. Two hours after sunset is a good time to be looking.
  5. Check before heading out for clear skies.

As with predicting the weather, it can be a hit or miss thing on predicting when the aurora borealis will be visible, but we promise it does show it’s swirly, amazing colors in Northern Idaho from time to time. 

For far more detailed insights such as where in Idaho tends to be the best locations to see the lights and what kind of camera settings work best to capture the moment, check out Craig Goodwin’s article over at Visit Idaho

And here are a couple links for checking the Kp index or making sure the upcoming skies are going to be clear. 

Geophysical Institute

Clear Sky Chart

We wish you good hunting for a spectacular aurora show! And if you’d rather rent a boat instead, hop on over to see our fleet of beautiful boats.

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