NLRA05 Highlights of Bettles Lodge - Alaska Railroad from Anchorage

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Discover the beauty of the Alaskan winters in the warmth of the railcar aboard the Alaska Railroad. Travel from Anchorage to Fairbanks in a train with large panoramic windows and on-board dining. See the untouched snow of the hinterland on this all-day trip. And anywhere along the tracks, a watchful eye may be rewarded with the sight of a moose in the wild. Whether you call them Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis, these dancing ribbons are truly a magical sight. Alaska is undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to enjoy this unique experience, and Bettles Lodge is one of them. Built in 1951, Bettles Lodge is located 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle, halfway between Anchorage and the Arctic north coast of Alaska. Bettles officially has the most clear weather days in the entire state, which means more cloud free nights of opportunity to see the majestic Lights dance in the sky. It located directly under the Auroral Band, the highest aurora activity in the Northern hemisphere. Little to no light pollution makes for great photography opportunities and optimal viewing. The lodge offers two accommodations with modern amenities and a rustic Aurora observation cabin next to a beautiful lake. The cabin is located two miles from the cabins in an area completely free of light pollution. Transport to and from the cabin can be arranged, but guests are also welcome to cross-country ski or snowshoe if they prefer. During the day you can explore the area on snowshoes or cross country skis. Part of the package is a tour through the village of Bettles, evening fires and all the clothing visitors need to brave the cold weather.

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Itinerary

Anchorage ( Overnight: Anchorage )

Upon arrival transfer to your downtown hotel. The remaining day is at leisure. Explore Alaska's largest city and visit the many points of interests. Take a walk on the Coastal Trail along Cook Inlet to Earthquake Park with a magnificent view of the snow capped Alaska Mountain Range in the distance, visit Alyeska – Alaska's largest Ski Resort or have a delicious dinner at one of Anchorage's top seafood restaurants. During February and March Anchorage hosts the annual Fur Rondy, Ice Carving Festivals, the Iditarod Sled Dog Race and other fun winter events.

Anchorage - Fairbanks | by Alaska Railroad ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Depart Anchorage at 8:30 AM for a scenic full-day rail tour to Fairbanks onboard the Alaska Railroad. You'll get fantastic views of the snow covered Alaska Mountain Range, a glimpse of Talkeetna and Denali National Park before arriving in Fairbanks at 8:00 PM. Transfer to your hotel near the banks of the beautiful Chena River. Known as the Golden Heart City of Alaska, Fairbanks is tucked into miles of unexplored wilderness only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks offers many winter activities; from the Open North Sled Dog Race Championship to the World Ice Art Championship - Ice Alaska. Relax during your first evening and get ready for a few days of winter fun and adventure within the Last Frontier. You may watch the Aurora Borealis at night dancing on the northern sky.

Fairbanks – Flight to Bettles Lodge ( Overnight: Bettles Lodge )

Transfer to the airport and scenic flight across the Arctic Circle to Bettles Lodge - located just outside of the world renowned Gates of the Arctic National Park. Enjoy your stay 35 miles above the Arctic Circle and within Alaska's magnificent Brooks Range. The lodge is a refurbished building originally set up in 1948 and provides a dining room, lounge and bar. The Historic Lodge and the Aurora Lodge feature cozy guest rooms with all the amenities you need while you stay in our remote location including a sauna! Guests can choose between the Jacuzzi rooms with private bathroom and Jacuzzi bathtub or the standard rooms. The four standard rooms share four bathrooms. A delicious dinner is served in the evening. Enjoy the breathtaking Northern Lights viewing opportunities during the night.

Bettles Lodge ( Overnight: Bettles Lodge )

Bettles Lodge is a designated National Historic Site and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Day at leisure and for outdoor adventures: Guided Sled Dog Trips, Snowmobile Tours and a variety of flightseeing adventures. Other winter activities (included): x-country skiing and snowshoeing through the pristine wilderness. Enjoy a guided tour of the Bettles area including the Inupiaq Eskimo village of Evansville. Evening dinner followed by another night of exciting and outstanding Northern Lights viewing. Bettles sits under what is called the "Auroral Oval", a ring-shaped region around the North Pole. The location offers a great balance of occurrence, frequency and activity. Intensity varies from night to night, with the best viewing from late evening through the early morning hours.

Bettles Lodge – Flight to Fairbanks ( Overnight: Fairbanks )

Breakfast at the lodge. Return flight to Fairbanks and transfer to your hotel. Rest of this day at leisure. Fairbanks offers a variety of excellent gift shops and galleries such as the "Roseberry Art Gallery" with some tasteful gifts for your friends at home. If you travel during February or March - Fairbanks hosts the World Ice Art Championships, exciting professional Sled Dog Races such as the All American Sled Dog Race Championship and a variety of other winter carnival activities. Optional: Evening transfer from your hotel to a prime Northern Lights viewing lodge in the hills about 20 miles north of Fairbanks – far away from any city lights. Enjoy spectacular 270-degree Aurora displays through large picture windows from the comfort of a heated cabin or outside. Return transfer to your hotel.

Fairbanks

This morning you have time to visit the Alaska University Museum with the States largest collection of gold nuggets, gold mining history and Alaskan heritage artifacts and the nearby Geophysical Institute - recognized as the best in the world for its Aurora Borealis research activities. You may join a Bush Mail Plane Flight to a remote native village above the Arctic Circle. Downtown Fairbanks offers a variety of excellent gift shops and art galleries such as the "Roseberry Art Gallery" with some tasteful items for your friends at home. Stroll through thedowntown court before returning to the airport for your individual return flight. Tour extension is avaiable upon request.