Photo Credit: Jack Ouellette

Alaska Northern Lights Tours: Witness the Magic of the Aurora Borealis

Alaska Northern Lights Viewing  (:59)

When is the Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Alaska?

The best time to see the northern lights in Alaska is from late August to mid-April, when the nights are long and dark. (You won’t see them during the summer months because of Alaska’s midnight sun.) Plan to look for the spectacular, multi-colored lights from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., when the sky is at its darkest and the auroras are the most active.

Where to Go to See the Aurora Borealis?

Fairbanks and points north are the sweet spots to see the northern lights. This is because the main auroral band, the ring of geomagnetic particles around the Arctic Circle where the Northern Lights are most visible, crosses the state in an arc above the Alaska Range. Fortunately, it’s easy to get there: You can fly into Fairbanks and be at a world-class aurora-viewing venue in under an hour.

Find a Northern Lights Tour

While you can look for the lights on your own, taking a northern lights tour in Alaska is an easier, more efficient way to go. You’ll have a guide who will take you to the best viewing spots and explain the science behind this natural phenomenon. Most tours will also provide warm clothing and hot beverages so you can stay comfortable and enjoy the show! Jump to List of Tours

Aurora + Hot Springs

Soak in the healing waters of Chena Hot Springs, a prime location to view the lights if the forecast is good!

Season: Aug 22 to Apr 03 $195 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.

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Evening Viewing, Short Drive from Fairbanks or Anchorage

Season: October - April $1325 | 1 - 6 people 7 Hr Evening Tour or Custom Multi-Day Adventure

Chase the lights on a pri­vate tour with Wild Alas­ka Jour­neys and you’ll be in the capa­ble hands of local guides who know where to look and under­stand the sci­ence behind them. All trips are pri­vate, so bring your fam­i­ly or group and spend a night on the look­out for the auro­ra or make it part of a mul­ti-day jour­ney. Either way, you’ll leave with unfor­get­table memories.

Season: Mid-August to mid-April $45+ 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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Arctic Circle Fly, Drive and Overnight Adventures

Drive north (or fly) from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle

Season: Aug 21 to Apr 21 $869+ per person 2+ nights

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 - April 21 $799+ 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

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Multi-Day Winter Vacation

Experience Alaska's iconic winter activities + northern lights viewing

Season: Nov 01 to Mar 28 $129+ Day Trip, $2495+ Multi-Day 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.

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Clear-Roofed Igloos

Gaze up at the northern lights from your private Igloo, just north of Fairbanks

Season: August 21 – April 10, June 7 – August 18 $1746+ shoulder 2 nights 2 guests 2+ Nights

Locat­ed on a qui­et ridge­line out­side of Fair­banks, the Bore­alis Base­camp offers 20 ele­gant igloos and a new vil­lage with 5 auro­ra-view­ing cubes, includ­ing a fam­i­ly suite 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. 

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Photography Tours

Tours from Anchorage. Learn how to photograph the northern lights. Non-photographers are welcome to enjoy the show and have their photo taken.

Season: Aug 17 - April 24 $269+ 6 hours

Pho­to­graph alpen­glow on snow capped moun­tains, frosty scenes glow­ing in rich win­ter light, wildlife wan­der­ing snowy paths, city lights reflect­ing on the water at twi­light, and pos­si­bly even the north­ern lights!

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All-Inclusive Wilderness Lodge

View the aurora from the comfort of a wilderness lodge in the Brooks Range near Gates of the Arctic National Park

Season: February 20 - April 10 $9,895+ per person, all-inclusive 3-5 nights

This fam­i­ly-owned, fly-in lux­u­ry wilder­ness lodge is 200 miles north of Fair­banks and 60 miles above the Arc­tic Cir­cle. Stays are all-inclu­sive and exclu­sive — they only accept one group at a time. Go dogsled­ding, snow­shoe­ing, or scan the skies for the north­ern lights. The lodge’s huge pic­ture win­dows make it easy to keep a look­out for the auro­ra from a warm, com­fort­able interior.

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Aurora Ice Fishing

Spend the evening ice fishing from a warm hut, situated in an unobstructed viewing location

Season: November–March $209+ 5 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!

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