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Polar bears and auroras late September ?

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Escondido...
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Polar bears and auroras late September ?

My wife and I are planning a trip to Churchill in late September 2012. What are the chances of seeing polar bears at this time ? How about the weather? Do you frequently see auroras at this time of year?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Polar bears and auroras late September ?

September is a bit early for the polar bear season in Churchill. I believe most tour operators start taking their tundra buggies out in October. As the winter approaches, and the cold sets in, the bears will come towards Churchill and the Hudson Bay in order to go out on the ice floes fishing to eat.

I am not recommending this company, but their website will give you an idea of the timing for tours: http://www.tundrabuggy.com/polar-bear-tours/ . As you will see the more prime dates (late October and November) are already sold out.

Even this smaller company that does summer bear viewing, does not have anything to offer in September: lazybearlodge.com/polar-bear-tours/tours-res… .

As for the aurora, I will say that from what I've read and studied, viewing in Churchill is not as good as say Tormso (where you just were) or Fairbanks (my preferred aurora viewing destination). While far enough north to in theory see the northern lights in September with the right solar conditions, I believe there are more cloudy nights due to being on the water.

Unfortunately this forum hasn't had a local resident participating in a few years, so all information is provided based on the travel experiences of those who come back here and are willing to share with others. As often as people to come back, it is a rare report of aurora viewing . . . even in October or November. Admittedly, the past couple of years have been during the solar minimum, however, so maybe things will look up for future aurora outings in Churchill, skies permitting.

Good luck with your planning. Please do come back to share with us as that is how we all learn about what's happening up there.

Winnipeg, Canada
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2. Re: Polar bears and auroras late September ?

If you are travelling to Churchill to see bears I suggest you go mid October to later November (Bear Season). The town is exciting this time of year as well with many tour companies, restaurants, hotels and B&B's to choose from.

The best northern lights I have seen while living there for the past 2.5 years are Jan-Mar and some really good ones in July and August as well. The past couple summers there have been lots of bears around town. All through summer and fall. If you want to see bears for sure - go during bear season, you may see northern lights at this time as well. Its hard to say. Northern lights are hit and miss it seems.

When people ask me when to go I tell them the first couple weeks of August. The Beluga whales are still around and there are great tours to swim and kayak with them, or just ride in a boat with them surrounding you! The past few Augusts I have seen great northern lights and many bears too. If your main goal is to see bears though - go in bear season!

3. Re: Polar bears and auroras late September ?

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West Grey, Ontario
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4. Re: Polar bears and auroras late September ?

Hi Paul;

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5. Re: Polar bears and auroras late September ?

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