city of Fairbanks
When is the best time to see the northern lights ? Fairbanks’ Aurora Season is from August 21 to April 21 and the aurora will be visible in Fairbanks an average of four out of five nights when the sky is clear and dark enough.
The northern lights occur all four seasons of the year , although they are harder to see under the Midnight Sun. The Interior (especially Fairbanks) and Far North regions are considered the best in Alaska for northern lights viewing, although the aurora can be spotted anywhere in Alaska .
They don’t usually exhibit for long – they may only show for a few minutes, then glide away before returning. A good display may last for no longer than 15-30 minutes at a time, although if you’re really lucky, they could last for a few hours.
There is no official season since the Northern Lights are almost always present, day and night . Caused by charged particles from the sun hitting atoms in Earth’s atmosphere and releasing photons, it’s a process that happens constantly.
Coldfoot, a town in Alaska’s Brooks Range mountains, offers the best chance of witnessing the Alaska Northern Lights . With a slightly longer season than Iceland , stretching from mid-September through late April, Alaska is a great no-passport-required option for U.S. residents.
When is the best month to visit Alaska? You can’t go wrong visiting Alaska anytime between May 10 and September 15. The days are long, nature is in full bloom, and the air is alive with energy. But, for the absolute best time to visit Alaska, shoot for June 15 to July 15.
Best Time to See the Northern Lights in Alaska Alaska’s northern lights season is between mid-September and late April, peaking in March, though it’s a season defined more by its long, dark nights than by solar activity. The further north you travel in Alaska , the more likely you are to see the northern lights .
But here’s the good news: The time is right to get a glimpse of the aurora borealis . Thanks to longer hours of darkness and clear night skies, December through March is usually the best time to observe this elusive natural phenomenon (though you can sometimes see the northern lights starting as early as August ).
Due to Alaska’s northerly latitude, the requisite darkness is elusive in summer, when daylight lasts as long as 21 hours a day. The May to September cruise season coincides exactly with the least likely time of year to see the northern lights , which are generally visible from late September through April.
Our naked eye can most easily see the green-yellow part of the spectrum where the sun emits most of its light . Green is the most common color observed but the Northern Lights can also appear white-gray. Sometimes the Northern Lights are even present but not visible to the naked eye .
A typical 7-day Alaska vacation costs around $3000 per person—a little over $400 per day.
|Per Person Double Occupancy||Cruise||Independent Land Tours|
|Meals||$300 – $500|
|Excursions||$800 – $1200 (5 excursions)||$1000 – $1500 (7 excursions)|
|Total||$2000 – $4200||$2400 – $4000|
During the winter of 2020 , the Northern Lights viewing was typical for a solar minimum year . But from 2020 onwards, there will be a slow ramp-up in solar activity, and auroras should increase in frequency, peaking in 2024/2025 with the Solar Maximum. Read more about where to see the Northern lights here.
There is only one major road that you can take to drive to Alaska and that is the Alaska Highway. Regardless of where you start in the United States or Canada, you will eventually join the Alaska Highway. The three roads that make up the highway are British Columbia Highway 97, Yukon Highway 1 and Alaska Route 2.