NLRA06 Best of Northern Lights - Alaska Railroad from Anchorage

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Northern Lights Viewing in Fairbanks ! The most common place to see the aurora is under the famed auroral oval, a several-hundred-mile-wide, doughnut-shaped ring that encircles the earth’s magnetic north pole. The auroral oval encompasses tried-and-true destinations like Chena Hot Springs in the Fairbanks region and Coldfoot in the Brooks Range. During big geomagnetic substorms, the auroral oval stretches southward and the northern lights can be seen flickering above the Alaska Range in places like Denali, Cantwell, Paxson and Tok. Some of the best shows have been even farther south— around Talkeetna, Hatcher Pass and Anchorage —but these events are less common.

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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 – Chena Hot Springs Resort ( Overnight: Chena Hot Springs Resort )

Morning on your own: explore the city and check out the winter activities or visit the famous Alaska University Museum with the States largest collection of gold, gold mining history and Alaskan heritage. Afternoon transfer to Chena Hot Springs Resort - a prime Northern Lights viewing area in the hills about 60 road miles northeast of Fairbanks. Tonight join the spectacular snow coach tour to see the aurora up close (included). From the resort you travel 30 minutes to the top of a ridge (2600 ft) where no city lights interfere the aurora. After arriving on top you can step inside the heated Mongolian Yurt to warm up and enjoy a hot beverage. For the next few hours you can always step outside and enjoy spectacular 360-degree Aurora displays. Return to the resort at around 2:00 AM.

Chena Hot Springs Resort ( Overnight: Chena Hot Springs Resort )

Relax in the large heated mineral indoor pool, the outdoor rock lake and in numerous hot tubs – which are providing a great opportunity to soak or swim until the Northern Lights are appearing in the evening again. You have plenty of time to go dog sledding, visit a sled dog kennel tour, try snowmobiling or join a tour of the Ice Museum. Dinner (optional) at the rustic log lodge restaurant and then take a short walk to a heated cabin for another night of outstanding Northern Lights viewing opportunities. The resort is also known for its healthy outdoor opportunities in the pristine wilderness of Alaska´s great Interior - first discovered by gold prospectors at the turn of the century. In 1912, the geothermal area was the premier place to soak - for residents of the booming town Fairbanks.

Chena Hot Springs Resort – Fairbanks

After breakfast spend some time to enjoy Chena Hot Springs Resort facilities. Individual transfer to Fairbanks airport or downtown. Flight reservations to your home destination should be arranged preferably after 10:00 am. Please Note: all flights to/from or within Alaska are not included. Rest of the day on your own and tour extensions are readily available.