Aurora Borealis Tours

#2 in Best Things To Do in Fairbanks
Aurora Borealis Tours picture
Chris McLennan/Alaska.org

Key Info

1906 Ridge Run Rd.

Details

Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Tours Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend
4.8scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

The aurora borealis – commonly called the northern lights – are one of the most popular attractions in Fairbanks. The region is situated under the "aurora oval", and from late September to early April, visitors flock to the region to view the spectacular light show. The city lights of Fairbanks tend to wash out the northern lights, so most tours head north on the Dalton Highway into the countryside for optimal viewing.  

A number of tour companies, including Ben Boyd's Alaskan Northern Lights Tour and Northern Alaska Tour Company, offer a variety of experiences, from an eight-hour evening viewing tour to a flightseeing and driving tour package that heads to the Arctic Circle. Those who prefer to plan their own trip can drive north to the Aurora Borealis Lodge to take a self-guided driving tour or even book a room for several nights of viewing.

Many recent winter visitors raved about Ben Boyd's Alaska Northern Lights Tour, complimenting his patience for aurora hunting. Many guests enjoyed Boyd's stories and cultural activities like hoop dancing as much as they loved seeing the stunning light show. Other recent Fairbanks visitors took the Arctic Circle fly/drive tour with the Northern Alaska Tour Company and praised the flight experience, as well as the return educational bus trip back to Fairbanks.

Although tours are available beginning in late August, it's best to wait until mid-September or later for optimal viewing conditions. 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. Self-guided driving tours at the Aurora Borealis Lodge cost $25 for adults and $15 for kids 6 to 15, while the premier guided tour starts at $75 per person, including pick-up and return from area lodging. For additional information on viewing the northern lights or local tour companies, visit the Explore Fairbanks' Aurora Viewing page.

See all Hotels in Fairbanks »

More Best Things To Do in Fairbanks

Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center1 of 9
Chena River State Recreation Area2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center

The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center is a great first stop to pick up maps and information on things to do in Fairbanks. In addition to exhibits on the natural history of the region and the cultural history of Alaska natives, the center offers a free film on Alaska's history and nature. What's more, on the first Friday of every month, the center hosts a free reception featuring the work of an Alaskan artist from the interior region. This is also where you'll find the city's famous Antler Arch, a piece constructed with more than 100 moose and caribou antlers collected from all over interior Alaska.

Most recent visitors said this free museum was an ideal first stop for learning about Alaskan life, with a good mix of history and culture. Many found the central downtown location convenient, and families particularly enjoyed the interactive displays for kids. Some visitors were disappointed that the informative movie only runs once per day, but all travelers complimented the friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Read more
Angie Cerny/Explore Fairbanks
See full list of Best Things To Do in Fairbanks »

Explore More of Fairbanks

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Amazing Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019

The 6 Best Maui Helicopter Tours

Combine sightseeing with a breathtaking adventure on one of these flights.

Gwen PratesiJuly 23, 2019

The 7 Best San Francisco Boat Tours

Take in the city's major sights by water with one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 22, 2019