Can You See The Northern Lights in Alaska in April?

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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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Chasing The Aurora Borealis In The Night Sky

The Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is a natural display that you can see in the night sky, most often in high-latitude regions. And Alaska is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights! Each year, thousands of aurora seekers flock to the frozen north in the hopes of catching a glimpse of this amazing phenomenon. But when do the Northern Lights happen in Alaska? What month is the best time for you to visit in order to see this colorful display dancing across the sky?

under the northern lights in Alaska

Three Key Tips For Seeing The Northern Lights

What factors influence a Northern Lights sighting? Can a tour guide guarantee that you will see the Aurora Borealis on your trip to Alaska? Keep reading for all the information you need to learn when the aurora borealis is visible in Alaska:

  • In order to see the Northern Lights, you need clear weather. It’s easiest to see the Northern Lights in a dark sky, but remember – you need clear skies both overhead and to the north! The further north you go (from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle), the better your chances are to see the Northern Lights. Fairbanks and all points north sit under the Auroral Oval, which explains why it’s so common to see the Northern Lights in this region.
  • The Northern Lights are active all year long, and can appear at any time of the day! However, they are only visible in the nighttime sky. You need darkness to see this natural light show. And, as a good rule of thumb, remember that the lights are most active around midnight. This will help you create a plan for keeping watch during your aurora adventure!
  • Finally, you need patience. The Northern Lights are capricious and may not appear even under perfect conditions. Giving yourself several nights to keep vigil is a good idea. Perseverance generally pays off, and you will be rewarded with one of the most spectacular displays that nature has to offer.

Can I See The Northern Lights In Alaska In April?

If you want to go to Alaska in April, you’re in luck – you can still see the Northern Lights in Alaska in April.  Alaska’s Aurora Season takes place between August and April when the shorter hours of daylight result in a darker nighttime sky! In fact, the chances are good that you’ll see the Northern Lights in Alaska in April. During the early spring months, Alaska sees 9.2 hours of darkness each night. In addition, aurora activity during this time is usually very high and the weather conditions often allow for clear skies.

During the month of April, the temperatures in Alaska are also much warmer than the winter months! This makes aurora viewing much more pleasant for tourists. Although the nighttime lows can still drop to the low 20s, the temperatures are much more tolerable for aurora watchers waiting outside in the dark. April is also the driest month of the year in Alaska, which means that the nighttime sky is generally clear for aurora viewing.

The Best Places To See The Northern Lights In Alaska In April

bright green display of northern lights in AlaskaNow that you know when the aurora borealis is visible in Alaska, you will need to figure out where you will have the best chance of seeing this phenomenon. Three of the most popular destinations for a Northern Lights sighting include Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Denali National Park.

  • Fairbanks is one of the best places in Alaska to see the Northern Lights because it sits on the edge of the Auroral Oval. The Auroral Oval is a ring-shaped zone over the far north of Alaska, where aurora activity is concentrated along the earth’s magnetic poles. Fairbanks is also an easy destination for travelers to reach, so many Northern Lights tours begin here. It also boasts relatively low light pollution, which means you don’t have to travel too far outside the city limits for an aurora sighting!
  • Anchorage is a bucket list destination for many travelers, with many activities to enjoy during the day! But it is also a Northern Lights viewing hot spot. Some of the more popular places to see the lights from include Glen Alps, Point Woronzof, Eklutna Tailrace, The Knik River Valley, and Eagle River Nature Center.
  • Denali National Park is virtually free from light pollution. This means you should be able to see the Northern Lights virtually anywhere in the park if the conditions are right! To see the Northern Lights in Alaska in April, look toward the Northern horizon of the park. This view is free of buildings, trees, or mountains, so you should have no trouble seeing the aurora in the sky!

Your April Trip To Alaska

While one of the most popular things to do in Alaska in April is to see the Northern lights, there are plenty of other activities to keep travelers entertained. April marks the transition from winter to spring in Alaska, so you can take part in some traditional winter activities at the beginning of the moth while seeing signs of new life start unfolding near the end of the month! April is a great month to take a guided glacier tour, go whale watching, book a flightseeing tour, check out the state’s amazing museums, get outside to hike, or go dogsledding! You can also count on seeing moose, ravens, bears, bald eagles, ducks, and geese beginning to enjoy the warmer weather as the month goes on.

There’s no easy way to know when the Northern Lights will happen in Alaska – it depends on so many factors that no one can control. But if you plan your trip during Alaska’s Aurora Season and make sure you are scanning the night skies when they are cloud-free, the chances are very strong that you will see the Northern Lights in Alaska in April. So, bundle up against the springtime chill and grab a strong cup of coffee. It’s going to be a long night!

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