The Best Time to Visit Alaska for Stunning Views of the Northern Lights

Best Time to Visit Alaska: Alaska, the largest state in the U.S., entices countless travelers with its vast wilderness, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes. Yet, one of the most captivating experiences it offers is witnessing the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis.

The Best Time to Visit Alaska for Stunning Views of the Northern Lights

Optimal Time to Visit

For a chance to witness the awe-inspiring Northern Lights in Alaska, the best period is from late August to late April, commonly referred to as the Aurora Season. The lights tend to be most vibrant during the equinox months of September and March, when Earth’s tilt in relation to the sun aligns the magnetic field with the solar wind¹.

Peak Viewing Hours

Typically, the Northern Lights reach their peak between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., but they can make appearances at various times. During the winter solstice, usually occurring between December 20 and 23, there’s less daylight, providing more opportunities to spot the aurora.

Where to Catch the Northern Lights

To have the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska, head to locations between 65° N and 70° N latitude. Fairbanks, located approximately 198 miles south of the Arctic Circle, occasionally offers glimpses of the northern lights. However, for those seeking optimal viewing opportunities, consider venturing to the remote northern villages of Coldfoot in the Yukon Territory, or to Prudhoe Bay and Utqiaġvik in the extreme north.

Best Time to Visit Alaska

Tips for an Optimal Viewing Experience

The key to witnessing the Northern Lights lies in finding clear skies. If you locate an area with dark and unobstructed skies, remain vigilant from dusk onwards, and you may have the chance to witness this mesmerizing natural spectacle.

In conclusion, planning a trip to Alaska during the Aurora Season and selecting locations with clear, dark skies will significantly enhance your likelihood of encountering this breathtaking natural phenomenon. So, prepare your bags and embark on a journey you’ll never forget!

Are There Any Tours to See the Northern Lights in Alaska?

Aurora Quest Tour from Anchorage: This tour in Anchorage is perfect for those who are captivated by Alaska’s Northern Lights, aiming to provide maximum enjoyment and opportunities. The tour spans 4-6 hours and begins at $269-$289 per person.

Northern Lights Tour with Chena Hot Springs from Fairbanks: This 11-hour tour offers a night excursion from Fairbanks to witness the Northern Lights and enjoy Chena Hot Springs. Prices for this tour start at $200 per person.

Fairbanks Northern Lights Viewing Tour: Experience an evening dedicated to spotting the Northern Lights in one of the prime aurora-viewing locations near Fairbanks, Alaska. This tour has a duration of 4.5 – 5 hours and starts at $140 per person.

Northern Lights Tour at Borealis Basecamp: Located just outside Fairbanks, Borealis Basecamp provides a fresh and distinctive way to observe the Northern Lights. This tour spans 5 days and begins at $1249 per person.

Alaska Dreams Winter Tour: Embark on a 7-day journey that offers the chance to witness the Northern Lights and partake in other winter activities in Alaska.

Remember, the optimal time to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Alaska is from late August to mid-April when the nights are longest and darkest. Enjoy your viewing experience!


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