5 Fun Ways To See The Northern Lights In Alaska

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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
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Special Tours For Northern Lights Viewing In Alaska

Alaska is known for its stunning natural beauty, snowcapped mountains, enormous glaciers, diverse wildlife, and rich cultural heritage. No matter the season, visitors to this amazing state have the opportunity to experience the majesty of a vast and pristine landscape. But there is one thing that tops the bucket list of most travelers, and that is seeing the Northern Lights! In fact, many people who are planning a trip to the Last Frontier wonder what is the best way to see the Aurora Borealis in Alaska. Fortunately for most visitors, seeing the real Northern Lights in Alaska is relatively easy if you follow a few simple guidelines!

northern lights in winter forest

When Is The Best Time To See The Aurora Borealis In Alaska?

Your best chance to see the Northern Lights in Alaska is during the cold, clear winter nights between September and April. This is prime Aurora Season in Alaska. As long as the night sky is dark and clear, the Aurora will be visible. The best time to look for the shimmering lights in the night sky is between midnight and 2 a.m.! Seasoned Aurora chasers will warn you to get outside the city limits and away from light pollution to have the best chance of seeing this natural phenomenon. Many special tours for Northern Lights viewing are available during the busy Aurora Season. Here are a few of our favorites listed below!

  • Fly in for an adventure in the Arctic Circle – if your Alaska vacation includes a stop in Fairbanks, consider booking a flightseeing tour to the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is often referred to as the gateway to the Arctic and is an ideal spot to use as a base camp for your Northern adventures. If you opt to reserve a flight with a tour company, you can often tailor your itinerary to include a fly-over of the tundra landscape and wildlife, as well as the opportunity to explore a native village while waiting for the Northern Lights to appear in the night sky!
  • Get busy at Borealis Basecamp – if you want to enjoy outdoor activities along with Northern Lights viewing, then the best way to see the Aurora Borealis in Alaska is at Borealis Basecamp. Located just outside of Fairbanks, this unique attraction offers 200 overnight igloos for guests and aurora-viewing cubes to maximize your viewing of the Northern Lights in comfort. During your stay at Basecamp, you’ll also have the chance to take advantage of the camp's many winter activities, like dogsledding, snow machining, snowshoeing, and fat tire biking!
  • Cast off for a fishy adventure – if you have a dedicated fisherman in your life, several tour operators offer special tours for Northern Lights viewing that are combined with ice fishing! The tour company will make sure you are set up on the ice with the appropriate fishing gear, warm clothes, and a classic ice-fishing hut so that you can try your hand at catching tomorrow’s breakfast while you wait for the Aurora to appear in the sky.
  • Set your inner shutterbug free – if you want to record the real Northern Lights in Alaska for your friends and family to see, specialty photography tours should be on your bucket list! Learn how to photograph the Northern Lights over snow-capped mountains, with wildlife wandering in the background. Many of these tours have a seasoned photographer on staff to help you learn the tips and tricks you’ll need to capture this amazing phenomenon for your memory book.
  • See the Northern Lights in a national park – Fairbanks is a great jumping-off point for an adventure in Denali National Park. If you want to combine your search for the Aurora with an adventure in this famous park, one of the best ways to see the Northern Lights in Alaska is to book a small group tour that will allow you to do both! The Denali area is an ideal spot for stargazing as well as for catching sight of this natural phenomenon.
  • Bonus trip! Cruise Alaska for Northern Lights viewing adventures – if you are planning to take a cruise in Alaska to see whales or explore glaciers, consider booking your trip during Aurora season. That way, you will have the added bonus of seeing the Northern Lights dance over the open water while you watch from the comfort of your ship.

Small Group Travel For Northern Lights Viewing

group tours to Alaska to view northern lightsSeasoned travelers may be able to plan their own personalized Northern Lights viewing itinerary in Alaska. But if you prefer to have someone else do all the planning for you, consider reserving a spot with a small group tour that includes special tours for Northern Lights viewing opportunities. There are many benefits to reserving a spot in a small group tour, including:

  • Lose the crowd! Small group tours generally limit each tour to 12 people. This keeps the experience very personal, ensuring that you have access to your guide and allowing you to build relationships with the other travelers if you are so inclined.
  • Get off the beaten path. Small group tours often specialize in getting you away from common tourist traps to explore lesser-known areas. If seeing the real Northern Lights in Alaska from an out-of-the-way location with no other tourists around is on your bucket list, consider a small group tour that specializes in this niche experience.
  • Relax and enjoy the ride! Small group tours often move at a more leisurely pace and are able to create specialized itineraries around the group member’s interests.
  • Take advantage of your guide’s knowledge. Local guides often have a unique perspective on the places you visit and are able to share anecdotes about the history and culture of each one.
  • Visit with the locals. Tour operators who specialize in niche trips often have connections to local places that bigger groups do not. This means you may have access to places that a larger group cannot visit. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know Alaska and its locals from a whole new perspective!

So, what is the best way to see the Aurora Borealis in Alaska? If you want to see the real Northern Lights in Alaska, the answer is clear – book a small group tour with a company that offers specialty viewing opportunities based on your interests! That way, you will get the best of both worlds – exciting activities by day and the Northern Lights by night.

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.