Flying In To Fairbanks To See The Northern Lights

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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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When Is Aurora Season in Fairbanks, Alaska?

Northern lights in remote alaskaIf you’re wondering when to see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, you’re in luck – the answer is easy. Aurora Season in Fairbanks, Alaska runs from August 21 through April 21. You can see this spectacular light display nine months of the year, and experience it through all four seasons. Your best bet, however, is to plan your trip during late August and the first half of September so that you can enjoy all the summer activities and attractions Fairbanks has to offer by day while chasing the Northern Lights at night.

Of course, each viewing season offers opportunities to see the Northern Lights in a unique way. Fall offers breathtaking autumnal colors and moderate weather by day, while winter viewing expeditions offer long nights and dazzling snowy backdrops against which you can watch the Northern Lights dance. Spring offers late winter landscapes paired with warming temperatures – ideal for those who don’t want to brave arctic conditions for their aurora viewing adventures!

Where To See Northern Lights In Fairbanks, Alaska?

At 65 degrees north latitude, Fairbanks is famous for its Aurora sightings. It is a perfect place to see the lights because the city sits under the Auroral Oval – a location where auroral activity is high! Your chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Fairbanks are good, if not great – in fact, many locals claim you just need to step outside and look up to see the show in the nighttime sky. That being said, many visitors want to know where to see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska! Keep reading to learn more about our favorite aurora viewing spots, as well as where to stay in Fairbanks, Alaska to see Northern Lights.

  • Chena Hot Springs Resort – located an hour outside of Fairbanks, Chena Hot Springs Resort is one of the more luxurious places to see the Northern Lights. Take advantage of the natural springs at the resort and schedule your soak to coincide with the late-night appearance of the aurora. The resort also features an indoor heated pool and hot tub, and is surrounded by forests that nature lovers can explore during the day.
  • Chena River State Recreation Area – if a spa-like ambiance does not excite you, the Chena River State Recreation Area (located near the resort) has three campgrounds for tent campers and RVs. There are also eight public-use cabins located throughout the park with advance reservations, as well as multiple picnic areas, boat launches, and hiking trails. If you want to explore Alaska’s great outdoors and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, this might be a good option for you! Fun daytime activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and dog mushing.
  • Aurora Borealis Lodge – located just 20 miles north of Fairbanks near Cleary Summit, this lodge is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights near Fairbanks! You can choose to stay overnight (or longer) to explore the facilities and scan the night skies for the Northern Lights, or you can simply visit the lodge for an evening aurora tour – even if you are staying in a hotel downtown!
  • Pike’s Waterfront Lodge – located between the Fairbanks International Airport and the Chena River, this lodge features an Aurora Conservatory enclosed within glass walls so that you can enjoy the Northern Lights without leaving the facility. Or, you can visit the lodge’s riverfront deck for an aurora viewing session while keeping warm near the fire pit!
  • Northern Sky Lodge – just 30 miles from downtown Fairbanks, this timber lodge is located in a remote area to provide guests with an unspoiled view of the night skies. Guests can wait for the Northern lights on a furnished observation deck or head outside on their own to catch a glimpse of the Aurora. As an added bonus, the lodge loans winter gear to guests at no additional cost!
  • Borealis Basecamp – this unique facility is just 25 miles from Fairbanks. Located on 100 acres of pristine, boreal forest, guests can watch the Northern Lights from a modern geodesic igloo. If you’re wondering where to stay in Fairbanks, Alaska to see the Northern Lights, this unique location should be at the top of your list!
Shades of northern lights in alaska tundra

Book A Northern Lights Tour To See The Aurora

If you want the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, it’s a good idea to spend a chunk of time in the city! The more time you spend, the better your chances of seeing the aurora in the night sky. You can always take your chances on a sighting the old-fashioned way – setting an alarm and heading outside to wait for the Northern Lights – or you can strategically plan your nocturnal activities based on the Aurora Tracker developed by the scientists at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Of course, if you are not sure when to see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, you can always book a tour package with expert Aurora hunters. Increase your odds by reserving a spot on a multi-day, overnight northern light tour during Aurora Season for the best chance at seeing the Northern Lights. Tour operators for these overnight excursions will make sure you are far away from ambient city light and provide an interesting experience getting to the best Northern Lights viewing locations in Alaska – sometimes traveling by snowmachine or dog sled, while other times you may travel by plane!

Sighting The Aurora On Your Own

If you’ve already made your travel reservations and don’t want to reserve a multi-day tour, don’t worry! Fairbanks has plenty of tour operators that can take you on a one-night Aurora Adventure! These tour operators know where to see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska. Some of the more popular tours can be combined with the following activities:

  • Dog Mushing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Fly-ins to the Arctic Circle
  • Photo Tours
  • Trips to nearby towns, like Coldfoot

Even better, many of these specialty operators provide guests with the proper winter gear needed for their Aurora adventure at no extra charge!

Once you decide when to see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska, you simply need to plan your trip. Figuring out where to stay in Fairbanks, Alaska to see the Northern Lights is half the fun of creating an itinerary – from there, you can pick your activities and plan your adventures around your Northern Lights nighttime viewing schedule!

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