Let Edmonton be your gateway to the magic of Aurora Borealis in Alberta’s spectacular North.
Suggested Months: September to April
Spend memorable, mesmerizing evenings under the undulating Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis. Guided tours take guests to prime viewing spots outside the city limits where the colourful sky dance unfolds. Here, near Fort McMurray, Alberta’s northernmost city, learn the mysteries of constellations that continue to spellbind residents and visitors alike in the crisp night sky.
Arrive in Edmonton Festival City, your gateway to the Northern Lights. Visit the TELUS World of Science – Edmonton to learn about the Aurora Borealis. Be sure to schedule a stop at Edmonton’s iconic West Edmonton Mall, The Greatest Indoor Show on Earth!
Arrive in Fort McMurray, transfer to hotel for orientation and learn about unique options included with this tour. Take an optional tour of Alberta’s famous Oil Sands. In the evening, transfer to Aurora viewing area (15-20 minutes from hotel). Experience the Northern Lights: Aurora viewing with Astronomer and Constellation identification, use of mobile telescope, assistance in photography. Transfer back to hotel.
DAY 3 & 4 — Daytime options*
Dog Sledding and Snowshoeing Tour — Dog sledding (10 min. rides); opportunity to ride two per sled, with a kennel tour, snowshoeing, warm-up hut, hot drinks, campfire, photo opportunities with dogs capped off with some marshmallow roasting by the fire. (approx. 2.5 hrs)
Kennel/City/Shopping Tour — Tour the home of our four-legged friends who love to dog-sled, followed by a drive through downtown Fort McMurray. Stop at the Meeting of the Rivers where the mighty Athabasca River meets the Clearwater River (if road conditions allow). Drive through a neighbourhood for lifestyle impressions, spend some time shopping. (approx. 2.5 hrs)
Aboriginal Experience Tour — Learn the Aboriginal way-of-life via “show-and-tell”: discover the culture, learn about herbs and the use of natural products for medicine, handicrafts (learn to prepare your own Dream Catcher), enjoy an aboriginal meal with bannock (aboriginal bread), aboriginal stew and dessert, followed by photo opportunities with aboriginal clothing and peace pipe, Sweetgrass Ceremony. The best part? Receive your own blessing before leaving. (about 3.5 hrs)
Wilderness Experience Tour — Explore northern trails; learn about the beavers, the flora and fauna. Identify animal footprints, learn how to build a survival shelter and make a fire. Then relax and enjoy your bonfire, as you make tea and roast marshmallows. This two-hour tour introduces guests to winter-survival skills in Northern Alberta. (about 2.5 hrs)
Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding (self-guided) — Enjoy a half- or full-day of downhill skiing at Vista Ridge Ski Resort with its ski lodge, restaurant, lounge, four well-groomed runs and ski lift. (Skis or snowboard, poles, boots and transfers included.)
Nature Trail Walk (self-guided) — Enjoy walking/hiking on nature trails (shared by cross-country skiers in the winter); perfect for nature lovers. (Trail maps and transfers included)
*All Options are subject to change and availability.
Each evening: transfer to viewing area; marvel at the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights); skygaze through a telescope (an astronomer will be on hand to advise on photography of the Aurora and galaxy viewing). Transfer back to hotel.
Morning departure from Fort McMurray to Edmonton for return home. (Option: Additional days in Edmonton)
SEPTEMBER TO APRIL
• 3 Nights Aurora Viewing
• Alberta Legislature Building
• Muttart Conservatory
• North Saskatchewan River
• Oil Sands Discovery Centre
• Old Strathcona Historic Area
• Royal Alberta Museum
• Shopping and dining areas
• TELUS World of Science — Edmonton
• University of Alberta
• West Edmonton Mall