Why Fairbanks to see the Northern Lights? At 65 degrees north latitude, Fairbanks is within the “aurora oval,” the area where Northern Lights occur most often and are the brightest. The aurora belt in Alaska’s great Interior and Arctic regions is among the most active in the world, so there few other places on earth providing greater chances of seeing the northern lights. The continental climate in Fairbanks offers many more clear nights than coast area. These made Fairbanks become an ideal starting point to observe the aurora in Alaska. The Fairbanks Visitors Bureau says you have an 80 percent chance of seeing them if you stay there for 3 nights.
To plan a trip ahead, check the Traveler’s Guide to the Aurora for when will be the best time travel to Fairbanks.Read more about “Frequently Asked Questions about Aurora and Answers”
When to go?
The northern lights occur year-round, however, summer’s constant daylight makes seeing them next to impossible. While there is no guarantee, the aurora is typically can be seen at their most frequent in late August through all winter until early spring towards the end of April , when less daylight leads to darker night skies.
How to see aurora in Fairbanks?
We put together a couple of predictions and general information for you to determining when Aurora might be visible while you are here in Fairbanks. They are include:
The aurora is unpredictable, and no one’s entirely sure when—or where—it’s going to appear. The aurora is most active late at night or early in the morning, clear skies and darkness are essential to see the northern lights. The brightest aurora display is seen during the new moon…
Right Weather Conditions
If it’s clear and dark enough to see stars, there’s a chance you’ll be able to see the aurora. If there’s even partly cloudy skies? You have a chance, but it needs to be a strong aurora for you to see it. Check out these prediction tools:
Click for weather forecast
(Click for Fairbanks Clear Sky Chat)
Right Time of Day
Start looking about an hour and a half after sunset, but peak auroral activity is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. solar time. (Solar time is 2.5 hours after clock time during daylight saving time (and 1.5 hours after during standard daylight time. That means the best time for seeing the aurora during Alaska’s winter is 11:30 p.m.–3:30 a.m. with the peak at 1:30 a.m. During Alaska’s spring and fall (September and March), the best time to view the aurora is 12:30 a.m. – 4:30 a.m.
Best places to see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks
- • Murphy Domes (west side of Fairbanks;Unpaved road)
- • At the university (west ridge)
- • Ester Dome Road (west side of Fairbanks; Unpaved road)
- • Chena Lakes Recreation Area (North Pole direction)
- • Along the Steese Highway north of Fairbanks to the town of Fox
- • Chena Hot Springs Road (take steese highway and turn Chena Hot Spring Rd.)
- • Some turnouts along the Elliot Highway (Take Steese Highway then turn to Elliot Highway)
- • Cleary Summit (off Steese Highway)
What to Wear?
For a cold Alaska evening you need:
• Top and bottom base layer
• Warm mid-layers
• A wind-proof coat and wind-proof pants.
• A down-filled or insulated parka.
• Warm socks.
• Good Boots.
• Hat, mittens, glove liners and a scarf or neck gaiter.
• Hand and foot warmers
Or choose to join a tour to stay warm while viewing Aurora during the cold Alaska winter day.
Aurora Viewing Business Operations
1st Alaska Outdoor School, LLC
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights viewing areas around Fairbanks & Interior Alaska. From high mountains, hot springs or Arctic Circle. Dog mushing/sledding & snow machining.
2240 Hanson Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99709
Alaska Aurora Adventures
Private viewing lodge w/roundtrip transfers from your hotel. Also offering ice fishing, Arctic Circle tours, Chena Hot Springs tours, horses, dog mushing and gourmet Alaskan dinners. Log cabin rentals daily or by the month.
4385 Eielson Farm Rd, North Pole, AK 99705
Alaska Northern Lights Tour
Year Round Culture and Historical City Tours. Personally guided by Ben Boyd, MA Degree, Cultural Documentation. Includes Museum of the North, Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center, Yukon Quest Sled Dog Headquarters, Santa Claus House, pipeline viewing & Pioneer Park.
Box 82896, Fairbanks, AK 99708
Alaska Northern Lights Tour
An evening of viewing Aurora 25 miles from town and a Native Culture Show. Your guide, Ben Boyd, is an Alaskan Mountain Man, Trapper & Dog Musher. See live Native Dance & Cultural Videos he produced for a MA Degree from UAF. Affordable All Inclusive Winter Tour Packages.
3515 Sandvik Street, Fairbanks, AK 99709
Aurora Borealis Lodge
View the northern lights in style and comfort! Located 21 miles north of Fairbanks, the Aurora Borealis Lodge is ideally situated for 360-degree viewing & photography. From late August through early April, offer nightly aurora tours w/ roundtrip transfers from Fairbanks.
Cleary Summit, Fairbanks, AK 99707
Blue Kennels and Dog Sled Trips
Northern lights Viewing Tours using Sled Dog Kennel as base camp. Visit to the Chena Hot Springs. Daily Sled Dog Trips where you drive your own team of friendly Alaskan Huskies.
6885 No Name Ln, Two Rivers, AK 99716
Chandalar River Outfitters
Alaskan Master Guide offering custom tours for hunting, stream, lake & ice fishing, aurora viewing, horseback riding & pack trips, target shooting, snow shoeing, x-country skiing & snow mobile.
5804 Chena Hot Springs Rd, Mile 18.6, Fairbanks, AK 99712
Chena Hot Springs Resort
Departing nightly at 10PM from the Activity Center. Winter gear rental available.
Mile 56.5 Chena Hot Springs Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99712
Provides a variety of activities in remote region of Alaska. In the summer, flightseeing, hiking, rafting, fishing, and exploring area mining roads are some of the many activities guests can experience from Coldfoot Camp. The winter months bring world-class aurora viewing and opportunities for dog mushing excursions with local mushers.
Mile 175 Dalton Hwy, Coldfoot, AK 99701
Northern Alaska Tour Company
Discover Alaska’s Arctic! One-day & multi-day adventures throughout Alaska’s Arctic featuring natural history & cultural heritage of the region. Destinations include: Dalton Highway, Yukon River, Arctic Circle, Anaktuvuk Pass, Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Kotzebue & Nome.
3820 University Ave, Fairbanks, AK 99709
Sean Kurdziolek Photography
Offer personal and small-group Aurora photography workshops and photo shoots to the Fairbanks area.
2144 Peede Rd, North Pole, AK 99705
No crowds, cozy cabin, local hosts, warm indoor views & friendly huskies.
6090 Emancipation Lane, Fairbanks, AK 99709
View the northern lights in a one-of-a-kind setting, from the top of the ski area. Located just a short 30-minute drive from downtown Fairbanks, a warm lodge, and unobstructed north facing views.
3215 Ski Land Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99712