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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
When To See The Northern Lights In Alaska
The Northern Lights are one of the main reasons many people visit Alaska! If you want to see this celestial show, Alaska is the best North American hotspot for this phenomenon. Typically, the lights appear in a swirling array of green, while the most intense Auroras take on a purple hue. The dancing lights are shapeshifters, appearing as curtains, bands, rays, and even coronas.
If you’re planning your Alaska vacation around the Northern Lights, you’ll need to know when to see the Aurora Borealis in Alaska. Typically, Aurora Season runs from August 21 to April 21. Displays of Northern Lights will become stronger around the equinox months of September and March, however, because Earth’s tilt in relation to the sun means that the magnetic field of Earth and the solar winds are in sync. So, if you want to see the Aurora, plan your trip during the fall, winter, or early spring!
How To See The Northern Lights In Alaska
You’ve already figured out step one in your Aurora Adventure – when to go to Alaska to see the Northern Lights. Now, you just need to follow a few guidelines to guarantee an Aurora Sighting during your vacation:
- Make sure you are at a Northern Latitude. Fairbanks, for example, sits at a latitude of 65 degrees. This is a perfect spot to see the Northern Lights! Anything at this latitude, or even further north, increases your chances of an Aurora sighting.
- Choose a location with little to no light pollution for your Aurora Borealis viewing in Alaska.
- Make sure you plan your Aurora adventure on a night with clear skies and no precipitation.
- To see the Northern Lights, it must be dark outside!
Where Can I See The Northern Lights In Alaska?
If you want to see the Aurora Borealis in Alaska, location is everything. Many people wonder where in Alaska are the best places to see Northern Lights. While you can see the Aurora almost anywhere in Alaska, the best place for Aurora Borealis viewing in Alaska is Fairbanks and anywhere above the Arctic Circle! Your chances of seeing the lights go up as you move northward. Here are a few top spots for Northern Lights viewing in Alaska:
- Fairbanks – located under the “Auroral Oval,” Fairbanks is an ideal location for Northern Lights viewing. Add in less-than-average rainfall and relatively low light pollution, and the city is a hotspot for Aurora chasers. Tour operators have built an entire industry on Northern Lights viewing, and Fairbanks boasts a variety of tours, accommodations, and other amenities for those who start their Aurora journey there. If you’re still not convinced this is the place to go, old-timers say that anyone who spends a minimum of three nights in town has a 90 percent chance of seeing an Aurora!
- Talkeetna – this historic town sits 115 miles north of Anchorage in south-central Alaska at the base of Mt. Denali. In addition to being a prime Aurora viewing location, the town offers a lot of outdoor fun for winter sports enthusiasts, as well as galleries, shops, restaurants, and a brewery to explore during daylight hours.
- Coldfoot Camp – this remote destination is located above the Arctic Circle in the Brooks Mountain Range. Although it is little more than a truck stop on the Dalton Highway, it is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Alaska. It’s also the perfect location for backcountry snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, and dog mushing. If you book your Aurora-viewing trip with a tour company, you can even combine a visit to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Nome – most famous as the home for the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race, Nome is also a great place to see the Northern Lights. This small town is home to many of the race's top dog kennels, which means you can combine your Aurora adventures with a trip to a sled dog kennel.
- Utquiagvik – travel to the banks of the Arctic Ocean to visit the northernmost city in the United States and see the Northern Lights dance over the ocean waters! In Utquiagvik, you can explore the cultural heritage of the Inupiaq people by day and spot the Northern Lights in the sky by night.
Picking A Tour Company For Your Northern Lights Adventure
While many people plan their own Northern Lights adventure, others prefer to let a local tour company do the heavy lifting for them. It is beneficial to use a tour company for Aurora Borealis Viewing in Alaska if you would like to take a trip to the Far North of the state. It’s easy enough to get to Fairbanks, but Coldfoot and Utquiagvik require a little more in the way of planning and logistics. For a stress-free trip, hiring a professional is the way to go. Tour companies like Gondwana Ecotours will know when to see the Aurora Borealis in Alaska and where to go for a one-of-a-kind viewing experience! Leave the planning to the pros and get ready to make a lifetime of memories in Alaska’s Far North.