Alaska’s northern lights, also called the aurora borealis, draws visitors to the Last Frontier each year for the chance to see this natural phenomenon. The aurora can be seen all over the state of Alaska, however Interior Alaska is well known for its frequent northern lights viewing opportunities during aurora season (Aug. 21 through April 21). If visitors spend three nights actively searching the night sky for the aurora while in the Fairbanks area, they have a 90 percent chance of seeing the lights. Below are just a few ways to view this bucket-list item.
- Welcoming its first guests in December 2017, the luxury Sheldon Chalet sits on private property on Denali National Park & Preserve’s Ruth Glacier in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater. This property has a three-night minimum for up to 10 people. The stay can be customized to include an overnight in an igloo, learning about local and natural history, relaxing in a sauna or trekking across Ruth Glacier. If visitors are lucky, they can view the aurora from the chalet’s deck with Denali as a backdrop. (sheldonmountainhouse.com)
- Fairbanks Snow Sleighers offers snowmobile tours and rentals in Alaska’s Golden Heart City. The company guides different trips to the White Mountains, Chena Hot Springs and Goldstream Valley. Visitors can also go along for an Aurora Chasers excursion in search of the northern lights. (snowsleighers.com)
- Newly opened in 2018, Borealis Basecamp offers a convenient way to experience one of Alaska’s top draws – viewing the northern lights. With Fairbanks-based Borealis Basecamp, view this phenomenon from inside of a custom-built igloo with modern amenities for an adventurous getaway. (borealisbasecamp.net)
- Northern Alaska Tour Company launched a new overnight aurora adventure along the Yukon River. Take in the northern lights in the comfort of one of the company’s tour vehicles, hear the story of Alaska’s Arctic and see the Trans Alaska Pipeline. (northern alaska.com)
A big part of aurora chasing is ensuring the conditions are ideal for viewing the northern lights. Explore Fairbanks has recently unveiled its one-of-a-kind Aurora and Midnight Sun Tracker. The Aurora Tracker offers real-time and three-day forecasts of the northern lights data correlated to six different locations in Interior Alaska. (explorefairbanks.com/aurora-tracker)
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