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 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.
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 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.
Alaska Gets Six Months of 24-Hour Sunlight and Darkness The 24-hour daylight and darkness still happen in Alaska , just less so. During the summer, the sun doesn’t completely set in Barrow from early May until the end of July.
The Northern Lights occur so high up in the atmosphere that they don’t pose any threat to people watching them from the ground. The aurora itself is not harmful to humans but the electrically charged particles produced could have some potentially negative effects to infrastructure and technology.
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.
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.
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.
Unspoiled Alaska : The 7 Most Beautiful Places to Visit Denali National Park. First view Denali, North America’s tallest peak, from Wonder Lake, where The High One is jaggedly reflected in the still waters. Katmai National Park and Preserve. Matanuska Glacier. Kodiak Island. Tatshenshini-Alsek River. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Wrangell St.
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.
What are the best places to see the Northern Lights ? Tromso, Norway. Based in the heart of the aurora zone in the Norwegian Arctic, the city is widely regarded as one of the world’s best places to see the Northern Lights . Swedish Lapland. Reykjavik, Iceland. Yukon, Canada. Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland. Ilulissat, Greenland.
For example, Windstar’s Alaskan Exploration and Denali Cruise Tour stops at ports along the Alaskan coast, and it also anchors in Seward for several days. From Seward, you’ll journey inland to visit Denali National Park and Fairbanks, both prime viewing destinations for the northern lights.