Northern Lights Alaska
Join Southwest Adventure Tours for a wintertime tour of the area around Fairbanks, Alaska, for viewing the Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights. The main auroral band usually crosses the state in an arc north of the Alaska Range, home of Denali, North America’s tallest peak, which is just south of Fairbanks. The city and the surrounding area is probably the state’s “sweet spot” for Northern Lights viewing. Our 6-day adventure will be filled with history, activities, and wintery sights, but most of all, nighttime viewing of Aurora Borealis.
- 3 Aurora viewing excursions
- Dog Sledding Adventure
- Snowmobile Tour
- Snowshoeing or Cross-Country Skiing
- Ice Fishing Experience
- Services of a Southwest Adventure Tours tour director – a professional tour guide
- Comfortable transportation
- 5 nights hotel accommodations
- 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
- Airport shuttle provided by Springhill Suites (Day 1 & 6)
- Entrance fees to museums and attractions as listed in the itinerary
- Gratuities for included meals, local guides and outfitters
- Applicable Taxes and Fees
- Day 1: Arrive in Fairbanks, AK
- Day 2: Fairbanks – Snowmobile Tour – Aurora Viewing
- Day 3: Dog Sledding – Chena Hot Springs – Aurora Viewing
- Day 4: Aurora Ice Museum – Winter Hike – Aurora Viewing
- Day 5: North Pole (Santa Claus) – Ice Fishing – Aurora Viewing
- Day 6: Journey Home
Visual Itinerary Video:
Learn how to pack, what to bring, on this tour:
After arriving at the airport, call the hotel (Springhill Suites at 907.451.6552) to have their complimentary shuttle pick you up. The rest of the day is free to relax from your travels and explore Fairbanks on your own. There are many shops, museums and restaurants nearby and it will be a good time to shop for any remaining gear you need for the Alaskan winter weather. The hotel offers an “Aurora Wake-up Call,” so if the aurora becomes visible from the property, each room on the list is called so you won’t miss a thing! As long as it is dark and clear there is always a chance to see the Northern Lights. Remember, the more nights spent “aurora hunting” the better the chance you’ll have seeing them.
Springhill Suites, Fairbanks, AK
After breakfast, join the group for sightseeing in Fairbanks. Take a short drive to the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitor Center (MTCVC). Be sure to get a photo at the “Antler Arch” and to pick up an aurora certificate to commemorate a successful sighting! Then head to the Museum of the North, discover Alaska Native cultures, natural wonders, diverse wildlife and Arctic dinosaurs. Explore 2,000 years of Alaska art. Learn about research by museum scientists. See original exhibits and breathtaking architecture. You will head back to the hotel where you have time for lunch on your own and a chance to enjoy a plethora of local shops and art galleries featuring local artists and craftsmen.
VROOM – VROOM! This afternoon we take an exciting trek through the beautiful Alaskan forests on a guided snowmobile excursion. All the gear will be provided, and your guide will teach you how to ride, so no experience is necessary. It will be a winter thrill to remember. You will have more free time in Fairbanks in the late afternoon.
Join the group for a late dinner at a local restaurant. Then travel north to an Aurora Viewing Lodge away from the city lights. Relax in the warmth of the lodge until the lights appear, then step outside on the large deck and soak in the view. Learn to adjust the settings on your camera with an aurora photo class and capture your very own aurora photo! If you get cold, just step back inside and help yourself to a warm drink. Viewing will continue into the early morning hours with a return to your hotel around 2:30 to 3:00AM.
Springhill Suites, Fairbanks, AK | Meals: B, D
This morning, relax and sleep-in after a late night. Enjoy a late breakfast, before departing Fairbanks and venturing out for a Dog Sledding Adventure. Arrive at a local kennel to meet some of Alaska’s most enthusiastic athletes! These friendly Alaskan huskies will whip you around the beautiful hidden twists and turns of the trails that run through the boreal forest. You have the unique opportunity to visit (“hands-on”) with the sled dogs in their home kennel and hear tales of the many years of experience with these canine athletes. Your mushers are not only long-time guides, but also have personal stories of Alaskan expeditions and/or racing experiences to share. After saying goodbye to your dog team continue to Chena Hot Springs Resort where you will be staying for the next two nights. Take some time to relax, soak in the hot springs and explore the resort. This evening, join the group for a late dinner at the resort and then depart for an Aurora Viewing Excursion. Ride in a military-style SUSV (snowcat) to the top of Charlie Dome where you will watch for the Northern Lights. You will have a 360° unobstructed view, heated yurts to warm yourself in, outhouses, and complimentary hot beverages and snacks.
Chena Hot Springs, Chena, AK | Meals: B, L, D
After a leisurely morning and late breakfast, enjoy a tour of the world’s largest year-round ice environment, the Aurora Ice Museum. The structure was created from over 1,000 tons of ice and snow, all harvested at the resort. Keeping the museum icy cold in the heat of summer comes from the patented absorption chiller, the first of its kind in the world used for this purpose. In the afternoon, it is time to experience the 440 beautiful acres and scenic trails of the resort under your own power. You can choose either snowshoes or cross-country skies, then get out on the trails for a quiet winter trek through the forest. The rest of the day is free to enjoy all the amenities and optional activities offered at the resort. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and the northern lights tonight.
Chena Hot Springs, Chena, AK | Meals: B
Your final day is filled with wonder, depart the hotel and enjoy a fun Alaskan winter pastime, Ice Fishing! In the warmth of a comfortable icehouse, a seasoned guide will help you land a fish and will even cook what you caught for a fresh fish snack. A true Alaskan experience! After Fishing you take a short drive to the City of North Pole, where Christmas lives on, all year round! Enjoy Lunch at one of the local restaurants. Don’t forget to snap a picture with Santa Claus and order letters from Santa that will arrive just before Christmas (no matter what time of year you visit). There are shops that feature hand-made Alaskan gifts and be sure to swing by “The North Pole” for an unforgettable photo. Return to Fairbanks and check in for a final night. After a farewell dinner at a local restaurant, take one more excursion to an Aurora Viewing Lodge for a final night of the Northern Lights.
Springhill Suites, Fairbanks, AK | Meals: B, L, D
Depending on your flight time, enjoy a late morning or possibly some last-minute shopping before transferring to the Fairbanks Airport for your departure flight home.
Please be Aware of the Following:
- This tour requires participants to be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, including uneven ground, unpaved trails as well as on snow and ice.
- This is a winter tour. Please come prepared for cold weather.
- Along with items listed in our standard Packing List, be sure to bring the following: warm winter clothing including coat, gloves, hat, boots, base layer, sunglasses, etc.
- Snowmobile drivers must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license.
- This tour is recommended for children 12 and older.
- Bad Weather Policy: tour itinerary and activities are subject to change due to weather and snow conditions.
- Items of a personal nature (alcohol, room service, etc.)
- Meals (other than listed in the itinerary)
- Optional activities, including rental fees of snowshoes or cross-country skis
- Gratuities for the tour director
Arrival / Departure Info:
- Arrival Location: Fairbanks Airport (FAI)
- Arrival Time: Any time on Day 1 (Monday) of the tour
- Departure Location: Fairbanks Airport (FAI)
- Departure Time: Any time on Day 6 (Saturday)
- Comfortable transportation in Mercedes Sprinter vans or similar
- Accommodations: Double Occupancy Hotel, 3 Star Hotels
- $3,499.00 Per Person Double Occupancy
- $3,799.00 Per Person Single Occupancy
- $3,199.00 Per Person Triple Occupancy
- $3,099.00 Per Person Quad Occupancy
2023 Departure Dates:
|January 2||January 9|
|January 16||January 23|
|January 30||February 6|
|February 13||February 20|
|February 27||March 6|
|March 13||March 20|