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.
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 ).
city of Fairbanks
The northern lights occur all four seasons of the year, although they are harder to see under the Midnight Sun. The best time to see the lights is between August and April, when less daylight leads to darker night skies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The cheapest ticket to Alaska from the United States found in the last 72 hours was $66 one-way, and $178 round-trip. The most popular route is Chicago O’Hare Intl to Anchorage and the cheapest round-trip airline ticket found on this route in the last 72 hours was $269.
Alaska is busiest from mid-June through mid-August, which is also when you will likely experience the best weather. If you’re worried about crowds, your best bet is to visit in April through May and September. During these months, the days are still long and good weather windows are still probable.
Top 100 Jobs Relatively More Common in Alaska Than Elsewhere
|Rank||Job||Local Popularity Index|
|1||Zoologists and wildlife biologists||45.6|
|2||Geological and petroleum technicians||30.5|
|3||Airline pilots , copilots, and flight engineers||29.3|
|4||Material moving workers||20.2|
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 .