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Northern Lights Viewing Tips

Independent travel tips for the professional at Leisure

October 2008


Fairbanks Alaska is one of the best spots to view the northern lights, a safe place in the USA, close to all modern conveniences. 

The best time to view the northern lights is December through March, and Fairbanks sits along a ring-shaped region known as the Auroral Oval that marks an ideal viewing zone. The best viewing hours for the northern lights are from late evening to early morning.

February and March are favorite months for viewing the northern lights in Fairbanks, with an aurora visible nine out of 10 clear nights, and the northern lights are active on four of every ten nights.

As for the best place around Fairbanks to view the aurora, I recommend "taking the Parks Highway towards Anchorage and pulling just off the road on to a spur road that leads to the town of Ester (5 minutes outside of western Fairbanks). One can continue driving for another 10 miles on the Parks Highway where there are several parking overlook pullouts which offer excellent views to the north and south. The road is usually maintained and the drive shouldn't be any challenge.

Fairbanks Chow

Fairbanks has three Chena River establishments: Pike's Landing, Chena's Fine Dining & Deck at the River's Edge Resort, and the Chena Pump House

Other Fairbanks winter activities

Plus, there are plenty of fun winter activities in Fairbanks.

  • Circle Hot Springs -

  • Outhouse races - Chatanika Days in early March. In an annual outhouse race near Chatanika Lodge, teams of five propel outhouses over a one-mile course.

This link shows a map of the Aurora Borealis and the current position of the northern lights.

List of unconfirmed pet friendly Fairbanks hotels:

Best Western Fairbanks Inn -1521 S Cushman Street  Fairbanks
Comfort Inn -1908 Chena Landings Loop  Fairbanks
Golden North Motel -4888 Old Airport Way  Fairbanks

Regency Fairbanks Hotel -95 10th Avenue  Fairbanks
Super 8 Fairbanks -1909 Airport Way  Fairbanks

  • Fox Creek - A pet friendly B&B - 907-457-5494

  • Pikes waterfront Lodge - They love dogs.

  • Regency Fairbanks -

  • The Hotel Alyeska - The Alyeska is a wonderful resort.  Set in the pristine wilderness off of the Turnagain sound, just 40 miles south of Anchorage

  • Chena Hot Springs Resort, - This one is very remote, almost 60 miles north of Fairbanks, and has a natural hot spring, but they are not pet friendly.







Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Suggestions?  We are always seeking new tips for the professional at leisure, and any suggestions would be most welcome.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback. 

Copyright 1996 -  2010 by Donald K Burleson. All rights reserved.