Northern Lights in Alaska - Best Places to See !

By Laura Nguyen

Seeing the Northern Lights is an amazing experience – everyone who visits has to consider a Northern Lights viewing trip when planning a vacation to Alaska!

Best Locations to see and witness the Northern Lights in Alaska

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Here is a list of the best places to view the Northern Lights in Alaska. Where are the Aurora Borealis most visible in Alaska ? We give you the expert's tips!

Have you ever seen the sky splattered with iridescent hues of green, orange, purple, or red? A dancing display of spectacular lights weaving in and out of the night sky? If you haven't, make it your life's foremost dream to view the Alaska Northern Lights.

Yes, Alaska's Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis, is an elusive and enigmatic natural phenomenon that most travelers yearn to see. The best time to view the Alaska Aurora Borealis is in the fall and in the winter when the night sky is clear and dark.Take an Alaska Northern Lights Viewing Tour and head to these seven stunning destinations to watch the Northern Lights

1. Fairbanks

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Aurora Display above the Alaska Pipeline!

Your dream of watching the Northern Lights will come true here at Fairbanks. Just 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle, this spot is the most ideal spot as it is situated right at the oval of the Northern Lights. At Fairbanks Alaska, Aurora Borealis is a sure sight as the auroras are seen here most frequently.

Take a guided Northern Lights Viewing Tour to a lodge outside Fairbanks or to Murphy Dome and enjoy the Northern Lights spectacle. Please make sure that you follow the instructions sent to you by us to stay comfortable in the cold weather. Also, you can check the Aurora forecast at Fairbanks, Alaska to know the likelihood of Aurora viewing.

2. Chena Hot Springs Resort

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Northern Lights far above Fairbanks City Lights !

Away from the city lights, you get a better viewing of the Alaska Northern Lights at the Chena Hot Springs Resort. One of the prime locales for aurora viewing, the Chena Hot Springs Resort offers you the ideal mix of relaxation and recreation.

Chena Hot Springs Resort offers rejuvenating spas for refreshment while its ice museum has breathtaking sculptures in fine frozen art. Nearly 1000 tons of ice are sculpted at the Aurora Ice Museum, and it even has an ice staircase! In contrast, the bubbling hot baths of mineral water at 106°F allow you to unwind under the stars, drinking in the sights of the Northern Lights. The green and purple swirls of the Aurora make the Chena Hot Springs Resort a memorable spot in your Alaska Aurora tour.

3. Denali National Park

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Denali is a great place to see the Aurora !

Denali National Park can be your dream destination in your Fall Alaska Aurora viewing tour. Denali, situated midway between Fairbanks and Anchorage, offers the perfect place for viewing the Northern lights with its high altitude, vast 6000 acres of wild expanse and pollution-free ambiance.

The Wonder Lake at Denali is one sure spot to catch ethereal phenomenon. If you want it to be even more relaxed, you can even watch aurora just outside your lodge at Denali.

Just 3 hours from Fairbanks, Denali offers a heady combination of wildlife plus Northern Lights viewing. Arm yourself with a camera and tripod and click away at moose, caribou, and of course the Aurora lights!

4. Bettles Lodge

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Bettles Lodge is a popular place to see the aurora !

Rich in the wilderness and rustic in style, Bettles Lodge is yet another ideal location for Aurora viewing. Just 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle, this lodge is easily reachable from Fairbanks by plane and is hence preferred by those who want a taste of rural beauty.

Scenic beauty is the plus here since the Bettles Lodge is close to the Brooks Mountain range, Kobuk Valley National Park and Noatak National Preserve. Go dog sledding, cross-country skiing, or exploring on a snowmobile around its wild exteriors.

The remote location of the Bettles Lodge makes the best place for viewing the Borealis bursts as its clear skies are free from pollution, offering the best views of these dancing lights. The Aurora Borealis forecast Alaska claims that Bettles lodge has the maximum number of clear weather days in the entire state.

For more adventure, venture into the Aurora viewing cabin, located 2 miles from the lodge where you can have a 360° view of the sky as the lights reflect in the waters of the lake below.

5. Juneau

Juneau is a wonderful place in Alaska where you can watch the Aurora phenomenon. Go hiking on some of the trails at Juneau to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.Better still, kayak off the coast of Juneau to explore the Tongass National Forest or see the still waters of the Mendenhall glacier. Skate on the frozen Auke Lake as you see the shiny Alaska Northern Lights at the state capital Juneau. The aurora is a rare and enchanting phenomenon, gracing the night sky with its presence only on select occasions throughout the year. Although the number of days per year when the aurora is visible may be limited, the moments it chooses to reveal itself are nothing short of breathtaking. When the aurora graces Juneau with its vibrant dance of colors, it transforms the night into a mesmerizing spectacle, making each occurrence a truly unforgettable and awe-inspiring experience.

6. Coldfoot, Arctic Circle

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Aurora Borealis above the Arctic Circle !

Coldfoot is a truck stop on the Dalton highway but still on American soil. It is a prime spot for Aurora viewing as it is within the oval of the Northern Lights. With its unique positioning in the far North, Coldfoot is definitely a place even scientists would recommend for Northern Lights viewing. With untouched wilderness and great history (Wiseman) including Atigun Pass and Brooks Mountain range, Coldfoot is a definite stop during your Alaska Arctic Circle Aurora Tour.

7. Talkeetna

Talkeetna is a traveler's dream which will come true on your Alaska Winter Aurora Tour. Yes, the beautiful landscape, converging rivers and the dark skies with the shimmering Northern Lights, all make Talkeetna a tourist's paradise.

The tall peaks of Mt. Foraker and Mt. Hunter with the rivers Susitna, Chulitna, and Talkeetna offer breathtaking views that you have never seen before. The inky-dark skies devoid of pollution extend to infinity with a spectacular view of the Alaska Aurora Borealis. The observatory desk at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge is the best vantage point for shooting pictures of the aurora.

Alaska is the veritable home of the Aurora. Head to these Alaska Northern Lights destinations to experience an adventure like never before!

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