5 Day Northern Lights Vacation from Anchorage

5 Days


Nov 15 - April 1



Why This Trip?

Set up basecamp just over an hour north of Anchorage underneath the northern lights. Options for activities include dog mushing, snowmobiling, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and much more!


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Day 1

Arrive in Anchorage | Drive to the Mat-Su Valley

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Pick up your rental car in Anchorage and head north; you can choose between the Palmer / Wasilla area as your base camp or you can head 45 minutes further north to Willow.

The drive to Palmer/Wasilla is about a 45-minute drive from Anchorage and a great area for some iconic winter activities in the Alaskan backcountry, like snowmobiling, dog sledding, or a flightseeing excursion. You could also make a stop at the Musk Ox Farm or Reindeer Farm to see some Alaskan wildlife up close.

Keep an eye on the aurora forecast. You can find the aurora forecast in The Alaska App, under the "Weather" menu item. It's a free download available on Apple and Android devices.

Day 2

Drive to Talkeetna

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Today you are going to make the drive to Talkeetna to experience more of Alaska's winter wonderland. The drive is about an hour and a half from the Palmer / Wasilla area or 45 minutes from Willow.

Many winter activities are available in Talkeetna in the winter including snowshoeing, heli-snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog mushing, flightseeing with glacier landings, trails to cross-country skiing on, or riding a fat bike!

Grab a bite to eat and return to your base camp for the evening to relax. Make sure to check the aurora forecast!

Day 3

Spend the day in Palmer/Wasilla or Willow

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Wake up and get ready for another day. Depending on the aurora for the previous night, your sleep schedule might be out of wack.

The Palmer/Wasilla area is not as remote and offers more dining options if you do not want to do the planning and cooking.

Schedule another activity that you were not able to fit in during the first couple of days and make sure to continue watching the aurora forecast!

Day 4

Return and Overnight in Anchorage

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Make the drive back from Palmer / Wasilla or Willow back to Anchorage and visit the city's world-class museums and great art galleries, or even check out a winter festival if one is going on.

Check into your hotel and head downtown for lots of great dining options offering local cuisine and brews.

In the evening, If you have not had your fill of the aurora borealis, you can book a guided tour to go in search of the northern lights.

Day 5

Day in Anchorage | Depart Alaska

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Today you will be returning your rental car and departing Alaska. Depending on your scheduled flight you may have time for another winter activity in Anchorage or explore the town and do some shopping to pick up any last-minute souvenirs to remember your vacation!