Photo Credit: Lois Settlemeyer

Fairbanks Winter Activities

Dog Mushing View All

$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: 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!

Sled dogs are an his­toric and fas­ci­nat­ing part of Alaska’s his­to­ry, and a vibrant part of today’s cul­ture. 1987 Yukon Quest Cham­pi­on and 20 time Idi­tar­od fin­ish­er Bill Cot­ter, run­ning dogs turned out to be a life­time pas­sion, one he read­i­ly shares with vis­i­tors to his Fair­banks area ken­nel. For an authen­tic Alaskan expe­ri­ence with some of its most exu­ber­ant res­i­dents, come meet the Alaskan huskies at Cotter’s Sled Dog Kennel.

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Snowmobiling Tours View All

Safe snowmobiling tours for first-timers • Winter wildlife viewing

$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.

$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.

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Northern Lights Tours View All

Warm up by a fire and look at stars as you wait for the Northern Lights

$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: 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: 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 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: 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.

$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

$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.

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Ice Fishing View All

$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: Year Round $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.

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Winter Sightseeing Tours View All

Northern lights tours • Aurora Winter Train • Snowshoeing

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: 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: 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.

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Wildlife Parks View All

Meet some reindeer • See birds, foxes, moose at wildlife sanctuary

Season: Year Round Free

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. 

Season: Year Round $70+

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.

Dai­ly tours at the Robert G. White Large Ani­mal Research Sta­tion (LARS) at Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Fair­banks pro­vide vis­i­tors with the chance to view muskox­en and rein­deer while learn­ing about ongo­ing research study­ing the adap­ta­tions enabling these arc­tic ani­mals to sur­vive and thrive in extreme­ly cold temperatures.

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Cross Country Skiing View All

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.

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).

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.

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.

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Ice Skating View All

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.

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