September to May
Winter in Alaska is a magical time, with fewer visitors and a serene, snow-covered landscape. If you’re here from mid-September to mid-May, you can take it in from the comfort of the Aurora Winter Train, which runs between Anchorage and Fairbanks. It’s an easy and memorable way to travel north and experience the aurora borealis, or even do a weekend getaway to Talkeetna.
Winter: November - March | Summer: June - August
Experience Alaska fishing off the grid—whether you want to fish for world-class-trophy pike during the peak summer season or experience the fabulously unique sport of ice fishing in winter. This operator based in North Pole will coach you, based on whatever your skill level, and take you to spots so special that owner, Rod Pangborn, takes his own family there.
December - March
Plunge into a winter wonderland of spruce forests, wide open spaces and wildlife. This snowmobile tour in North Pole (just outside of Fairbanks) offers an unparalleled peek at Alaska’s interior and a serious thrill, whether you take a first-timer’s tour or embark on an overnight adventure.
Spend some time above the Arctic Circle under the mysterious, eerie northern lights. From mid-September to late April, when you have the best chance of witnessing phenomenon of the aurora borealis, you’ll fly from Fairbanks to the remote village of Coldfoot, in the Brooks Mountain Range. After the spectacular flightseeing experience, you’ll have either 3 days/2 nights or 4 days/3 nights to explore this rugged, fascinating landscape, with excursions from town. Then you’ll drive back to Fairbanks along the Dalton Highway, with some unique stops along the way.
A guided day trip out of Fairbanks reveals the quiet winter landscape of the Tanana Valley and Denali National Park. Walk or snowshoe on picturesque trails through the boreal forest, deep in the heart of the Alaska range.
Aug 21 - Apr 21
Stand out on the Arctic tundra under the northern lights, experiencing their eerie glow on a one-day tour you won’t soon forget. From October to April, you’ll depart from Fairbanks on this one-day adventure and get a majestic flightseeing trip to the remote town of Coldfoot, above the Arctic Circle. Explore this fascinating town and look for the mysterious lights overhead. Then drive south and get a close up of all the terrain in between, seeing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and crossing the Arctic Circle in ceremonious fashion.
November–March (depending on snow conditions)
Glide over the snow on a sled that’s being pulled by a team of dogs—many of whom have run the Iditarod, Yukon Quest, or other races. Go with Rod’s Alaskan Guide Service and experience the thrill of dog sledding with dogs that love to run and passionate mushers who will offer a deeper understanding of this unique sport.
Mid-August to mid-April
Just a short drive from Fairbanks, wait for the northern lights to appear in a warm, inviting space. Cozy up to the fire, sip on cocoa and coffee, and step outside when mother nature puts on a show. Although the center is a short distance from town, it is far enough away so that you won’t have to worry about light pollution interrupting your view as you stand gazing under the vast, starlit sky.
Plenty of people come to Fairbanks to look at the sky—for northern lights, or to bask in the midnight sun. But this dog-mushing experience outside of Fairbanks is proof that there’s plenty more of Fairbanks to be seen at eye—or even paw—level. May through October, take a a trail ride with 16 dogs hitched up to an ATV. November through April, take a mushing tour through the snow!
The White Mountain National Recreation Area has over 200 miles of winter trails that are shared by dog mushers, skiiers, skijorers, and snow machiners and several cabins have been built along the White Mountain winter trails to provide visitors with safety and comfort during their adventures.
Named after Hez Houston Ray, a can-do teacher who came to Fairbanks in 1952. His friends called him an “irresistible force,” when advocating for youth sports, and he was well-known for his unusual and concerted efforts to get any job done. One of his most complex—and famous—schemes involved the development of the Big Dipper Ice Arena that now resides at the Hez Ray Sports Complex.
Referred to as “The Big Dipper” by locals, this is a multi-purpose arena that is open year-round. The Big Dipper features an 85’ x 100’ indoor ice rink with spectator seating for 2,200 that offers youth and adult hockey, speed skating, recreational skating, and sheet rentals for private parties.
The Fairbanks Curling Club was founded in 1905 and is one of the oldest sporting organizations in the state. The first curling in Fairbanks was done directly on the Chena River, and the original curling club stood closer to downtown Fairbanks. This facility was built in 1962, which is commemorated in the address (1962 2nd Avenue).
Seeing the Northern Lights is an unforgettable wintertime experience. Of course, you never know quite when (or even if) Mother Nature is going to unleash the display into the night sky. So while you wait, you’ll be trying your hand at another activity that’s unique to the Alaskan winter: ice fishing!
Chena Lake has two distinct personalities: The Lake Park and The River Park. The two parks were created at the same time an earthfill dam was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers in response to devastating Chena River floods in 1967. The dam is 7.1 miles long and controls nearly 1,500 miles of watershed that would otherwise freely flow into Fairbanks.