Is seeing the Northern Lights on your bucket list? So visiting Alaska in winter might be the right move. While a summer visit to Alaska may be easier, a winter visit to Fairbanks can be an unforgettable experience.
FAIR BANKS, ALASKA
Adventure usually takes precedence here. And if seeing the Northern Lights or taking a Northern Lights tour is high on your list, Fairbanks is the way to go. It is often referred to as the best place in the United States to see the lights
Fairbanks is a small city in the heart of Alaska with a population of just over 30,000. It is also Alaska’s second largest city, located in the North Star Borough of Fairbanks. The city was largely built up from the gold rush at the beginning of the 20th century.
WHAT IS THE TEMPERATURE IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA?
Average summer temperatures in Fairbanks range from 40°F to 60°F (4° to 15°C), and winter temperatures range from 0°F / -18°C to -30°F / -35°C from November to March . At the same time, winter can be amazingly beautiful.
Plus, winter in Fairbanks means lots of different ways to play outside and see the best of Mother Nature.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE IN FAIRBANKS
While you wait for the Northern Lights to appear, you can explore Fairbanks. There are many fun winter activities, such as dog sledding and ice skating. As well as snowshoeing, snowmobiling and skiing. It really is an exceptional city for those who want to see a real winter wonderland.
If you’re not the adventurous type, you can always walk around downtown Fairbanks and try some local food at a restaurant. Visit the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center to learn more about Fairbanks.
You can also take a photo of the antler arch, which consists of over a hundred caribou and moose antlers. The UAF temperature signal is also an excellent photo location.
Outside of Fairbanks, explore the natural beauty of Denali National Park or take a day trip to Chena Hot Springs. Don’t forget to book a ride on the Aurora winter train that runs between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Relax in a comfortable train car and fall in love with the winter wonderland of remote Alaska.
Winter in Fairbanks is a beautiful and unforgettable experience.
HERE ARE OUR PICKS FOR THE 10 BEST WINTER THINGS TO DO IN FAIRBANKS, ALASKA.
SEE REEVON LIGHTS AT FAIRBANKS
The chance to see the Northern Lights and admire the natural phenomena is one of the main reasons most people visit Alaska and Fairbanks in the winter. During Alaska’s long summer days, the state rarely sees total darkness. So that people cannot enjoy the dancing lights in the sky in the summer.
However, in late August it can get dark enough to see them. In winter there are several viewing hours. There are no guarantees, but the longer you stay in Fairbanks, the more likely you are to see the Northern Lights.
Fairbanks is located below an area called the Auroral Oval. This is the ring-shaped area in the far north where aurora borealis activity is concentrated.
Indeed, the Northern Lights dance in the sky all year round, but the sky must be dark enough to see the dance. The Aurora season lasts from August 21 to April 21. During this time, the lights can be visible on average four nights out of five.
There are many ways to experience the Northern Lights. Options include driving to the lookout and waiting, taking a guided tour, or going to a heated aurora viewing hut or cabin to wait for them to appear. Many accommodations offer their guests a wake-up call when the lights are off.
GO TO FAIRBANKS FAIRBANKS
Mushing, or dog sledding, is probably the second most popular reason to come to Fairbanks. If you want to try it, there are several tours. You can opt for a short trip or a tour where you go through the wilderness with a dog sled.
Fairbanks also hosts the North American Sled Dog Championship every year, which is an interesting race to watch. There is also the Yukon Quest, a long-distance dog sled race from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Canada. The race changes direction every year. In odd-numbered years, the race starts in Fairbanks.
STAY AT PIKES WATERFRONT LODGE AT FAIRBANKS
Pike’s Waterfront Lodge is perhaps the coolest and most fun place in Fairbanks. They offer a full schedule of fun activities, great staff, and a great location on the Chena River. Pikes Waterfront Lodge is an ideal place for families with children, with family-friendly activities for children of all ages.
Pike’s Landing is a historic site on the Chena River named after Lloyd Pike. He took over the area under the US Homestead Act after WWII. He later sold it to help create Fairbanks International Airport.
The structure that has evolved over the years dates back to when Alaska became a state. The current owner purchased the property in 1999 and renamed it Pike’s Waterfront Lodge.
SUBJECT TO THE HOT CHENNA SPRINGS
While in Fairbanks, a visit to Chena Hot Springs and a dip in the hot spring water is a must. Water circulates deep underground and absorbs the Earth’s natural heat and many different minerals.
While these minerals may be the ‘culprit’ for the smell of the water, these waters are also believed to be beneficial for skin, bronchial and circulation problems.
The average temperature of the heated indoor pool is around 30 degrees Celsius, so it can get a little warm in the Alaskan winter months. The water temperature of the outdoor natural thermal lake can be even hotter. The depth varies every day and is only recommended for people over the age of 18.
If you want to make the most of your time, staying at the Chena Hot Springs Resort can be a wonderful experience. In addition to hot springs, you can relax and have various massages.
You can also visit the resort’s Aurora Ice Museum and enjoy a drink from a frozen glass at the ice bar. Then end the day with a delicious meal by the fireplace.
A CONCRETE MIXER EXPERIENCE FOR VINTAGE CARS
Fairbanks also has something for the car enthusiast. The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is often cited as one of this Alaskan city’s top attractions.
The museum owner and his wife have combined their passions – he for cars and she for clothes – to create interesting museum collections.
The museum has more than 95 rare cars from the early 20th century, as well as clothing from the history of these cars. You can admire horse-drawn carriages, electric cars, steamboats and other vehicles and even take pictures of them.
ONGOING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA MUSEUM OF THE NORTH
If you are interested in Alaska’s cultural and natural history, visit the University of Alaska Museum of the North. In addition to learning something new, you can stroll through the gallery and view Alaskan art from the last 2,000 years.
The museum’s collection includes specimens representing millions of years of biodiversity. The objects also illustrate thousands of years of cultural traditions.
Spend an afternoon learning about Alaska’s native cultures, arctic dinosaurs, and its diverse wildlife. Plus, see the largest public display of gold and natural wonders in the state.
GO NEIGHBORHOOD IN COLDFOOT, ALASKA
If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Arctic Circle, Fairbanks is the place to do it. Northern Alaska Tour Company offers hassle-free tours from Fairbanks.
These trips include a trip to Coldfoot Camp along the Dalton Highway, an overnight stay in Coldfoot, and a flight back to Fairbanks. They offer several excursion options.
Their expert guides will lead you along the Dalton Highway to Coldfoot Camp, the northernmost truck stop in the world. Coldfoot Camp was built to house Alaskan pipeline workers. Today it offers basic accommodation and a restaurant.
The journey from Fairbanks to Alaska is not short. It can take up to 12 hours but the scenery and experiences are amazing.
You’ll see the freezing wilderness of the arctic tundra and see the impressive Trans-Alaska Pipeline along the Dalton Highway. This road was made famous by the Ice Road Truckers reality show.