Is there such a thing as a best time of yr to see the northern lights in Quetico?
The longer between sunset and sunrise the more opportunity (less light). Therefore, spring and fall are better. Winter best. Summer means getting up at 2 in the AM (or so). Mostly it depends the sun activity and on the year. They go in cycles. If I remember correctly, it is an 11 year cycle of sunspot and solar flare activity. So, some years are better than others. I don’t know where we are in the cycle right now.
Dark of the moon
Time your trip between last quarter, new moon, or first quarter so there won’t be bright moonlight in the evening sky. Even without a lot of solar flare activity you can sometimes have some minor northern lights activity that you can see in a dark sky due north on the horizon. Besides, just seeing the milky way in its full splendor in a dark sky from Quetico is awesome. Can’t do that when the moon is bright.
From my understanding the rate of aurora activity is highest around the autumn equinox. Read somewhere it has to do with the angle of the earth being more likely to be facing into the solar wind.
We see more in the fall and winter around here than any other time of the year. They been out several times this fall so far with only one night that I would call outstanding. The whole sky was dancing in mostly green, but with some red.
Here are some websites that you can use to monitor the chances for Northern Lights: