Accommodation in Yellowknife
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 25, 2012 5:10 PM Last Post By: amyfkp
Nov 18, 2012 3:12 AM
Accommodation in YellowknifeWe're arriving in Yellowknife on the 7th March, leaving 11th March (4 nights). Our main purpose is to see the "Northern Lights". For this reason I thought it would be better to stay near the Old Town, so that we'd have a chance of seeing them from our accommodation on the nights we don't take a tour. We know it'll be more inconvenient to go downtown for food etc, but we're hoping to do that on the bus during the day (we won't have our own transport). Our first choice was Bayside Bed and Breakfast, which seemed to satisfy all our criteria, but unfortunately they are booked out for the middle two of those four nights.
I was then looking at Blue Haven B & B, which I thought was also in Old Town, but when I looked it up on google maps, it shows it as being on Latham Island, at the top of a hill - good for viewing, but I'm wondering if it isn't too far from everything else. I'm not sure if the bus goes by it or not. We're from Sydney, Australia, and not used to really cold weather, so not sure how we'll handle having to walk very far in the cold.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for B & B's that will satisfy our criteria, and do you think Blue Haven B & B would be OK for what we want?
Nov 18, 2012 6:09 PM
1I love these questions - there is NO guarantee that you will see Northern lights from any location in Yellowknife, or Whitehorse or Churchill or... A delay shutter option on your camera might help you see what the naked eye cannot! Last year while I was in Whitehorse there were NO visible northern lights, meanwhile in southern Manitoba there were the very special red lights visible in the city where I live from the driveway. My husband got to see a beautiful show - he called me up north & I could see NOTHING!! :(
And if you're coming from Sydney - be prepared to buy clothing in Canada - there is no way that anything you find (other than maybe at a thrift shop close to a backpackers) will be appropriate for our climate. We lived in Oz & the denim is much lighter thus not warm enough for Canadian winter. (Vancouver wont really have what you need for the north either!)
Nov 18, 2012 7:27 PM
Nov 18, 2012 8:08 PM
3Disclaimer: I am not a resident of Yellowknife (though I am Canadian) and I have never been there.
Schedules and maps for public transit in Yellowknife are available at
There are only two bus routes listed (which isn't surprising, given the small size of the community); buses run from approximately 7 in the morning to 7 in the evening, typically every 30 to 40 minutes. (The web site has full schedules with specific arrival times for each stop.) Adult fare is $2.50.
Bus Route 2 has a loop serving Latham Island; as near as I can tell, there isn't any place on the island that's more than a couple of hundred metres from the bus line, and most places are much closer. If you have a late night out, though, you'll have to take a taxi home.
Regardless of where you are, the most important part of aurora viewing is getting to someplace dark. If you can't get away from city lights entirely, then try to find someplace where you can put a fence, building, or large tree between you and any local light sources. Try to find a view toward the northern horizon, though aurorae are often overhead in Yellowknife. The new Moon is on March 11, so you won't have to worry about a bright Moon ruining your dark sky (I'm going to assume that you've planned your dates for that, but a lot of travellers don't realize how much light the Moon delivers).
Nov 22, 2012 2:52 PM
Nov 22, 2012 3:27 PM
I've seen many stunning dis[plays at Marsh Lake and near Lake Laberge.
Nov 23, 2012 8:02 AM
6It's actually called the Blue Raven. Also try the Narwal b & b in old town or Embelton house in the downtown. I wouldn't worry about transport, Old town to downtown is no more than a 10 to 15 minute walk max. It won't be super cold that time of year either. I live a 5 minute walk from downtown and I can see the northern lights off my balcony with no problem. You should see them fine in old town, there's not much light pollution there. If you have any other questions let me know (I live in YK).
Nov 25, 2012 5:10 PM
7If you mean the Blue Raven, it's a great place. I'd have said it was in Old Town -- if not, it certainly isn't very far out of Old Town. I've only been there during the day, but has a nice view and seems like a good bet.I think it's worth the minimal extra walk unless you are really, really worried about the cold.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$195.21 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$254.07 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$195.21 per night