7 Day Winter Northern Lights Discovery
Nov 15 - April 1
Why This Trip?
Alaska is a special place year-round, but it's truly unique in the winter. There's world-class skiing along with classic cold-weather activities like dog sledding, ice fishing, and the thrilling opportunity to witness the northern lights. This trip gives you a chance to experience it all from both the Anchorage and Fairbanks areas.
Arrive Anchorage, Overnight in Girdwood
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Welcome to Anchorage! Pick you rental car and make the 45-minute drive to Girdwood, home to the world-renowned Alyeska ski resort. Upon arrival, hit the slopes or try another Alaskan winter adventure -- fat-tire biking!Or simply check into the Hotel Alyeska or a local Inn or B&B and bask in the luxurious surroundings. Here, you'll have the unique opportunity of looking for the northern lights; ask the hotel for an aurora wake-up call and they'll notify you if the famed aurora borealis light up the night sky.
Day in Girdwood, overnight in Anchorage
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Take advantage of another day in this world-class wonderland. Spend the day schussing down the slopes or exploring the wilderness on cross-country skis. Up the adrenaline by taking a snowmachine ride through the backcountry (and depending on the time of year, to a glacier! pictured.) or taking a winter flightseeing trip, before driving back to Anchorage where you'll spend the night.
Day in the Mat-Su Valley, Overnight in Anchorage
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drive the Matanuska-Susitna Valley area (45 mins to 1.5 hrs) for some iconic winter activities in the Alaskan backcountry, like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, or dog sledding.
Drive back to Anchorage to spend the night. In the evening, book a tour to go in search of the northern lights, or check out our list of places to hunt on your own in the Anchorage area.
Fly to Fairbanks from Anchorage
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From Anchorage catch a quick, one-hour flight to Fairbanks. If you have time once you arrive the largest city in Alaska's interior, start exploring. Begin at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, where you'll get a fascinating glimpse of the cultures and wildlife that call this part of Alaska home, as well as a deep dive into contemporary Native Alaska art. Then experience a winter activity like dog sledding, ice fishing, or snowmachining. Of course, you'll want to see the northern lights if they appear; ask your hotel to give you an aurora wake-up call if they appear.
Day & Overnight in Fairbanks
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Take today to go on another exciting winter tour and try one of the very Alaskan sports you didn't get the chance to do yesterday. Then be sure to squeeze in a nap; you'll be taking an evening northern lights viewing tour tonight, and you'll want to be sure you're rested and ready for this magical experience.
Day & Overnight in Fairbanks
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It's your last full day in Fairbanks, and you'll want to take full advantage of being in a place where the aurora borealis so often appears. So sleep in today; that way you'll be ready to stay up later and have the best chance to see the lights. Take the afternoon and enjoy an activity. Then get your camera charged up so you're ready for an evening tour to look for those magical lights dancing across the sky.
Fly from Fairbanks to Anchorage
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Today you'll take the one-hour flight back to Anchorage. Board your connecting flight home, or if you have time, make a final pass through Anchorage and pick up any souvenirs to remember this amazing experience. Join a brewery tour and sample some of the innovative suds being brewed here, join a winter bike tour, or get an in-depth picture of the city and state at the Anchorage Museum.