This path was constructed to provide a place for hikers to view the plantlife around interior Alaska. This is a unique trail that allows hikers to view things that would be impossible to hike without a trail. There are all types of wildlife and small plants. Waterboots are recommended in spring.
Come visit and you might see up to 15 different kinds of mammals—from beavers to red foxes, flying squirrels, snowshoe hares, and even moose—and several species of birds. Throughout the Sanctuary’s trail system there are 14 interpretive signs, so you can learn how the birds, fish, frogs, and mammals survive in interior Alaska’s tough climate.
mid-May to mid-September
You’ll spend three hours, round-trip, in the air with a one-hour walking tour of the community, led by a local Alaskan guide. Learn of the local Nunamiut Eskimo culture and get a firsthand glimpse at village lifestyle as it exists today in rural Alaska.
From Elton John to Motley Crue, from the Lord of the Dance to Disney on Ice, from the Harlem Globetrotters to Jeff Dunham, the Carlson Center is Fairbanks’—and Interior Alaska’s—premier entertainment and sports facility. With its 35,000 square foot arena, the Carlson Center is host to concerts, conventions, tradeshows, and sporting events. It is home to the More...
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.
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.
The White Mountains National Recreation Area is home to 200+-miles of trail traversing a million acres of wilderness and a mountain range named for the dominant color of its limestone foundation. To get there, drive 28 miles on the Elliott Highway from Fox (where it splits with the Steese) and look for signs marking the trailhead. The trailhead is the starting point for both the Summit Trail, and the Ski Loop Trail, a 5-mile loop and a nice option for a shorter hike with less elevation gain than the 7-mile out-and-back to Wickersham Dome.
Take a deep breath and explore Fairbanks! With the midnight summer sun shining nearly 24 hours a day, Fairbanks is bursting with energy and things to do. Explore Fairbanks is headquartered at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center which is also the hub of year-round staffed visitor information and services.
May - September
Northern Alaska Tour Company offers several tours that transport visitors to the Arctic Circle. You can fly, drive, or do a combination of the two, depending on your travel preference and how much time you have. The most popular tour is the fly-and-drive excursion, which gives you incredible views from the air and a tour of the town of Coldfoot, followed by a drive back to Fairbanks.
Mid-May – September
Join Alaska Wildlife Guide in experiencing one of Alaska’s most desired attractions, Chena Hot Springs Resort. From visiting the most northern Ice Museum, soaking in the all-natural hot springs to learning more about geothermal energy and visiting reindeers, this tour will be a highlight of your Alaska experience.
Hop aboard a narrow-gauge train and get ready to stake your claim to gold on this two-hour tour of Gold Dredge 8. Learn all about how 100,000 gold rushers fought the permafrost in their quest to get rich. Then grab some gold of your own!
May 21 - Sept 18
Fly or take a guided van tour from Fairbanks to the remote village of Coldfoot, a remote town located in the Brooks Mountain Range that’s perfectly situated under the "auroral oval," where you’ll find the best displays of northern lights.
Watch craftsmen turn birch logs into heirloom bowls, browse some 1,500 Made in Alaska products or custom design your own laser engraved bowl while at the Great Alaskan Bowl Company. Started over 20 years ago, this family-run business is one of the last operational bowl mills in America, and it thrives because of the quality products and large selection. Not only will you find unique More...
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.
Memorial Day - Labor Day
Experience the Alaska of 100 years ago! Pioneer Park is an historic village that features original buildings moved from downtown Fairbanks, as well as museums and a Gold Rush town street. But it’s also a theme park with a carousel and train that runs the perimeter, shops, and restaurants. Stay a few hours or spend a full day; Pioneer Park offers fun for the whole family.
Take a guided van tour from Fairbanks to the beautiful Chena Hot Springs Resort. Tour the Ice Museum, soak in the hot springs, and look for the northern lights. The drive back to Fairbanks provides another opportunity to view the lights.
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.
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.
Gold Daughters provides a fun, hands-on way to learn about Fairbanks’ gold rush history, and get a glimpse of the same thrill that brought so many people to Alaska in the first place. Your entrance fee provides you with a poke of paydirt with guaranteed gold and lets you pan all day.
Fly from Fairbanks and travel 80 miles above the across the Arctic Circle on a scenic and historic adventure. Departing in the evening, you’ll pass over the stark terrain of northern Alaska and land at the Athabascan village of Fort Yukon. Then, with your guide, you’ll spend an hour learning all about this fascinating area—the history, how people take care of themselves in a punishing environment, and some of the characters who have called this area home. Then, as the midnight sun sets, you’ll board your plane and fly back to Fairbanks.
Easily one of the most scenic drives in the Interior, the trip out to Table Top Mountain from Fairbanks winds deep into the center of White Mountains National Recreation Area, rising up hillsides and dipping down into valleys for a rolling picture show of spruce forest and snaking riverbeds. The hike to Table Top Mountain is just as spectacular, providing panoramic views of the White Mountains from the center of the range, and is a short “must do” jaunt if you’re spending any time in the area.
You may think of reindeer as flying creatures of the imagination, but here in Alaska they’re very real. And this unique tour gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent animals. Walk among them and pet them—it’s truly a moment made for Instagram.
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.
Climb on board an authentic Alaskan sternwheeler, the Riverboat Discovery, and take a journey back in time along the Chena and Tanana rivers. Sternwheeler boats transport you out into the Alaskan wilderness, and also back to a time when Gold Rush fever was sweeping across the state. The Discovery II and Discovery III offer fully narrated three-and-a-half-hour tour. But all your time isn't spent on the boat. You'll make an unforgettable one-hour stop at Chena Indian Village.
Alaska’s road to modernization a century ago was a dramatic journey, and the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum explores that journey in fun, vivid detail. On the grounds of Wedgewood Resort—a member of the city’s premier, locally owned hotel group—the museum showcases dozens of historically significant pre-World War II automobiles, and offers visitors a trip back to Alaska’s rugged and exciting formative years.
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!
November – March
Join Alaska Wildlife Guide on a once in a lifetime adventure as you snowmobile through forests, over frozen lakes, view various wildlife, listen to fascinating stories and meet the world-famous Bison, Cowie.
Fly from Fairbanks to the remote village of Coldfoot for a 3 day / 2 night or 4 day / 3 night trip to view the northern lights beyond the Arctic Circle. Optional daytime excursions include dog sledding and a trip to the famous Attigun Pass. You’ll return to Fairbanks via the Dalton Highway.
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.
Outside of Fairbanks in the Goldstream Valley (20 minutes), is this classic Italian Place. It's been around since the 1970s and serves traditional Italian dishes from parmesans to diablos to oreganattos. But, they also have great steaks, seafood and pizza—it's the closest to New York style you'll find in town. The atmosphere is old world, with live piano on the weekends and a comfortable, laid-back sophistication. If you're looking for a long casual meal, this is the place.
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.
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.
It's the second best Italian in Fairbanks, but if you want to avoid the drive out of town to Vallata and have a hankering for Italian, Gambardella is your pick. Conveniently located right down town, it's a family-run joint that's been in business since the 1980s. They serve traditional Italian fare, with good home made pizzas and pastas. They also have an interactive wine list, where More...
Casual, fun and happening, this bar and restaurant inside the Fairbanks Princess Lodge is a great spot to grab a late-afternoon drink and appetizer or to settle in for a full meal. With a huge deck overlooking the Chena River and a trail down to the water’s edge, locals arrive for happy hour via boats—canoes, kayaks, or skiffs. A full bar, featuring Alaska Distillery More...
Located in the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel, the Red Lantern restaurant serves one of the best steaks in town. And while you’ll find great lunch and dinner menus, don’t overlook the house-made pastries that come with the continental breakfast.
The light-filled dining room has a dog-mushing motif, with prints of sled dogs, a copper sculpture of a musher and dog team, More...
This trail starts at Quartz Lake campground and skirts the western edge of the lake for .5 miles before climbimg the hill to Glatfelder Cabin. It continues around the front of the cabin, crests the hill, then enters the Lost Lake Trail and follows this back to the the Quartz Lake campground.
A short or long day hike awaits at Angel Rocks, a scenic drive out Chena Hot Springs Road and within easy range of the rejuvenating waters that have drawn travelers for over a century. The best option for a short day trip in this area is the 3.5-mile loop that begins on even ground along the north fork of the Chena River and then sharply climbs up 900ft. For a longer hike to end with a refreshing dip in natural hot springs, park at the same trailhead and follow the signs to the 8.3-mile (one-way) Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Spring Trail.
Skiing or snowshoeing to this remote natural hot springs is one of the classic winter wilderness adventures in Alaska. You can also arrange a snowmachine to take you back to the hot springs. The most popular trail to Tolovana Hot Springs is 100 miles from Fairbanks on the More...
You can’t miss it—the museum looks like a round golden airplane hangar with a model aircraft from Air North mounted on beams outside in a simulated take-off. Inside, you’ll find a few of the earliest aircraft in the state from the 1930s and 1940s used in military, commercial, and bush flights. All this is interpreted for visitors by local experts, who have lived and breathed the aviation industry for decades in Fairbanks, and shared it here since the museum opened its doors in 1992.