Photo Credit: Aurora Pointe

Fairbanks Northern Lights Tours

Fairbanks is arguably the most popular destination for visitors who want to see the Northern Lights.

Peak viewing season is in the dead of winter, when the weather is the coldest and when it is the darkest. There are opportunities to see the northern lights at the tail end of the summer season in early September, but if this experience is a priority for you, hold out for winter and bundle up. Either way, you don't miss out on the opportunity to experience this rare and mystical event.

If you are not quite sure where to begin, there are great tours that will increase your chances of seeing the northern lights by putting bringing you to prime locations for aurora activity. Sightings are never guaranteed, but you can do yourself a favor by taking a multi-day trip in case one night has higher aurora activity than another.

Not sure what to wear?

Here's our packing list. Or, rent your aurora viewing gear from Alaska Outdoor Gear Outfitter & Rentals.

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Day Tours & Attractions

Season: Mid-August to mid-April $40 per person 4 hrs

Just a short 15-minute dri­ve from down­town 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.

Season: November–March $199+ 4+ hours

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!

Season: November–March (depending on snow conditions) $79+ per person 1/2 - 8 hrs

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.

Season: Nov 01 to Mar 28 $115+ 4 hrs - multi-day packages

Won­der­ing how folks up here deal with Alaska’s long win­ter days? It’s easy when the inky night sky comes alive with an amaz­ing light show like the auro­ra bore­alis. Brav­ing the cold is noth­ing if you get a chance to see the lights danc­ing and wav­ing over­head. Com­bine your auro­ra view­ing trip with a few oth­er high­lights planned out by Salmon Berry Tours, and you’ll expe­ri­ence the best of win­ter in Alaska.

Season: Sep 21 to May 08 $199 10 hours

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.

Season: Aug 22 to Apr 03 $175 per person 10 hours

Join Alas­ka Wildlife Guide in explor­ing 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 view­ing the breath­tak­ing North­ern Lights dance across the sky, this tour will be a high­light of your Alaskan experience.

Season: December - March $139+ 1 hr to full day

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.

Season: Aug 21 to Apr 21 $699+ per person

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  ...more

Season: Sep 19 to May 09 $63+

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.

Season: November to March $120+ per person 1 - 2 hours

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.

Season: Aug 21 to Apr 10 $389 shoulder, $449+ Peak & Holiday 2+ Nights

Locat­ed on a qui­et ridge­line out­side of Fair­banks, the Bore­alis Base­camp offers 15 ele­gant clear-roofed igloos that have been cus­tom designed and specif­i­cal­ly posi­tioned to max­i­mize your view­ing of the North­ern Lights. You’ll also have the chance to take advan­tage of the camps many win­ter activ­i­ties like dogsled­ding, snow­ma­chin­ing, snow­shoe­ing, and fat-tire biking. 

Season: Aug 21 - April 21 $509+ 14 - 15 hrs

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  ...more

Season: Year Round $75+ Dogsled Tours 1-3 hrs

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!

Season: Winter: November - March | Summer: June - August $139+ ice fishing, $315+ fly-in fishing 4+ hrs

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.

Recre­ation­al and com­pet­i­tive cross-coun­try skiers alike are pas­sion­ate about Birch Hill Recre­ation Area; a favorite among locals with its exten­sive and chal­leng­ing trails that are always well-groomed, for both clas­si­cal and skate skiers.

This pub­lic use area rough­ly 2,000 acres is sand­wiched between Sheep Creek, Gold­stream and Bal­laine roads. The area is criss-crossed with dog mush­ing, ski­ing, ski­jor­ing and snow­ma­chine trails. This is also is a pop­u­lar blue­ber­ry-pick­ing spot.

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.

Difficulty: Moderate

This is a mod­er­ate­ly dif­fi­cult 5 mile long trail that begins and ends at the Wick­er­sham Dome Trail­head at Mile 28 Elliot High­way. This trail offers beau­ti­ful views of the Alas­ka Range and Denali (Mt. McKinley).

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).

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