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. Forecasting the northern lights means predicting solar activity, which is virtually impossible with our current technology.
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 .
Anchorage is the best base from which to chase aurora. Many of the prime locations are easily accessed from the city. The shimmering aurora are seen swirling in Anchorage’s skies from the middle of August through April.
Most tour companies will pick up guests from any Fairbanks hotel or accommodation as part of the package price. Evening tours run from 9 p.m. to about 4 a.m. and average $75 to $85 per person, while more extensive tours like the Northern Alaska fly/drive Arctic Circle viewing tour begins at $269 per person.
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.
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.
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.
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. Scientifically speaking, the aurora is dancing above year-round, but we can only see it during the Aurora Season when we have dark enough skies.
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|
Anchorage is safe enough for women traveling alone. However, do not forget about common sense. It is not recommended to stay on the streets late at night alone, and dysfunctional areas should also be avoided. Otherwise, there will be no problems for women in this city during the trip.
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 ).
When you rent a car in Anchorage, rates can be in the $30–$50 per day range for a midsize car . Reserve in advance.
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.
For example, in Fairbanks, the sunrise on this year’s summer solstice (June 20) is at 2:59 a.m. Sunset is at 12:47 a.m. the next day . For those two hours between sunrise and sunset, it’s basically dusk or dawn because it never actually gets dark . This all – day daylight occurs from May 17 through July 27 in Fairbanks.
Is it expensive to live in Alaska ? Yes, overall Alaska is one of the more expensive states to live in in the entire United States of America. Due to our location, and the necessity of shipping or flying everything in, our costs of goods and services is much higher than the average state.