Alaska Northern Lights Adventure
Alaska Northern Lights Winter Adventure Tour (7-Days)
- Witness the magical spectacle of the Northern Lights as they dance across the sky.
- View Ice Sculptures in Fairbanks.
- Learn about dog sledding and mush your own team of dogs.
- Enjoy a snowmachine tour through the beautiful Alaskan wilderness.
- Enjoy the thermal waters of Chena Hot Springs.
Northern Lights Adventure Itinerary - 7 Days
Visit Fairbanks Alaska, one of the best places on Earth for experiencing the beautiful and mysterious northern lights of Alaska. This location provides a terrific balance of occurrence, frequency and aurora activity. People from all over the world travel far and wide to Alaska to view the stunning and mystical Aurora Borealis and to participate in an exciting winter activities like dog sledding or snowmachining (Alaskan term for snowmobiling) Our Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights tour packages include all accommodations, activities listed, transportation & professional photographer/guide that will assist you in making sure that you capture the aurora with you camera!.
Day 1: Arrival: Arrive in Anchorage and transfer to hotel via courtesy shuttle. The rest of the day is free to wander around and explore this pleasant city and its shops. The hotel is located only ten minutes from the downtown shopping area. The hotel also offers a health club, pool and whirlpool for your convenience to help you unwind from your long flight up to Alaska.
Day 2: Talkeetna: After breakfast we visit Vern Halter’s Dream a Dream Premier Iditarod Kennel. Vern Halter is an accomplished musher who presents his story of Alaska and the Iditarod in a provocative fashion that captures the essence of the Iditarod. Vern weaves in the history of sleddogs from early native use, gold rush use, the famous Serum run to Nome during the 1925 diphtheria epidemic-the focus is on the husky. The uniqueness of the Iditarod from the standpoint of length, diversity of competition and the “no help” rule are highlights. Training and care of Iditarod dogs is demonstrated. The logistics of the race and fooddrops, checkpoints, veterinarian care, the Iditarod Air Force and trail conditions inspire questions. Race strategy and the changes to the Iditarod Race Vern has seen in his twenty five years of racing elicit more dialogue. Clothing and survival gear along with sleds and equipment are topics that are backed up with demonstrations. Drive your own dog team with guided supervision! You will have an excellent opportunity to learn about the Iditarod Race and Mushing Basics combined with the exhilaration of a sleddog ride and driving a dog team. You can also choose to ride on the sled if you do not want to mush your own team of dogs. The Iditarod presentation is inspiring and educational. The mushing 101 course focuses on the equipment, sleds harnessing, commands and what to expect from our sleddogs. Bring your Camera! We provide winter clothing: parkas, bibs, suits, boots, gloves/mittens, mukluks - all that you need!
Later, we continue northto Talkeetna, a classic Alaskan small town with lots of history and tales about mountaineers and bush pilots. You will arrive this afternoon in Talkeetna. Accommodations feature complete bathroom and shower facilities, kitchenette, dining area and living area. From here, you can gaze at the sunset or enjoy an evening coffee. In Talkeetna, you can take an optional scenic flight over the Alaska Range & Denali. This is considered to be the greatest flight on Earth! You’ll talk about this flight forever! This magnificent flight takes you around Denali, the Sheldon Amphitheater, and the Great Gorge. Listen as your pilot describes the natural wonders of Denali National Park. This is an unsurpassed photo opportunity, so make sure you bring plenty of film for your camera. (L)
Day 3: Talkeetna: In Talkeetna, you will find unimaginable trails, powder-filled meadows, slopes, backcountry access via frozen rivers, bald mountain tops, and all manner of excellent and exciting snowmobile opportunities. Talkeetna and the surrounding area provides backcountry thrills and exhilarating landscapes to explore. Best of all, snowmobiles allow for the quickest and easiest access to distant locations, especially higher elevations, where one can look out over the world, relax with a hot drink, and marvel at the Alaska Range and surrounding Talkeetna Mountains. The snowmachine tour run along the Chulitna River bluff, or into the Petersville mountains, or up into the Talkeetna mountains to Bald Mountain. Tonight, go outside and scan the sky for the Northern Lights. (L)
Day 4: Fairbanks: After breakfast we will journey north to Fairbanks to watch a splendid display of Northern Lights. We will stay at a deluxe waterfront lodge overlooking the Chena River. The resort features spacious rooms with river view, steam room and sauna and a lobby filled with original Alaskan art, slate floor and a two story fireplace. This afternoon, we will travel to view the ice sculptures of the World Ice Art Championship, which is held in Fairbanks every year. While there are other ice sculpting competitions in the northern hemisphere, none are like the World Ice Art Championships. International ice sculptors carve blocks of ice and with the mixture of pure water and cold temperatures, the ice forms quickly and densely, giving it a glacial blue tint. It is so clear that a person can read a newspaper through a four foot block of ice. The sculptors have pronounced Fairbanks’ ice as the best in the world for sculpting. At night, the carvings glow with colored theatrical lights, enticing visitors to come back at 8 or 9 pm to view the carvings a second time. The pass allows re-entry. After viewing the ice sculptures, you will have a free day to enjoy local activities and shopping around Fairbanks.
Day 5: Chena Hot Springs: After breakfast, we will travel approximately 90 minutes outside Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs. Chena Hot Springs offers an Alaskan winter experience and the healing waters of Chena Hot Springs has been compared to mineral waters found in hot springs famous all over Europe. Chena Hot Springs is world renown for being one of the best places on Earth to see the Northern Lights. It is located under the most active band of Northern Lights and away from the light pollution of the city. The skies over Chena are often clearer than those over Fairbanks, just 60 miles away. Viewing the northern lights, or aurora has been listed as one of the “top 100 things to do before you die” by the Travel Channel and in a survey of Japanese, it was listed as one of the top ten things they want to do before they die (second only to viewing the Pyramids). Locals will tell you that one of the best experiences one can have is sitting in the tranquil environment of the Rock Lake at Chena Hot Springs watching the lights dance above your head while you soak, relax and revitalize your spirit in the soothing mineral water! Enjoy many of the optional outdoor activities at Chena Hot Springs, such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, horse drawn sleigh rides, snowmobile rides, or a splash in the thermal pool and outside hot tub. At night, you will board a snow cat, a large track vehicle that will take you to the top of a remote ridge to get unobstructed views of the Northern Lights. There is a heated yurt for your comfort and we will serve you hot drinks such as tea, cider and hot chocolate!
Day 6: Chena Hot Springs: This morning you will have breakfast at the Lodge. Afterwards, you will have a day to enjoy the many outdoor activities available for you at Chena Hot Springs. Choose from an optional 3 hour dog mushing tour and learn what it takes to have a dog team in Alaska. Learn how to “mush” your own team of dogs on the trail, or you may take a guided snowmobile ride, where you will find pristine trails and beautiful scenery. Later, immerse yourself in the beauty of Chena Hot Springs’ winter wonderland. You can also take a 30 minute excursion aboard a horse-drawn wagon. The sleigh ride moves quietly across the snow covered trails; human sounds are diminished as nature takes center stage. Other activities available for you at Chena Hot Springs are cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, horseback rides and flight seeing. Later this evening, we will visit the Ice Hotel, where you can enjoy a Martini in a genuine "ice glass" Tonight, enjoy the solitude of this area or take a short walk from the Chena Lodge to the Aurorarium, a warm lookout building with large plate-glass windows where you scan the northern sky for the Northern Lights, or simply relax at the comfortable Lodge.
Day 7: Chena Hot Springs to Fairbanks: This morning we will have breakfast at the Lodge, followed by our departure to Fairbanks. We will visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum. Situated on a ridge overlooking Fairbanks and the Alaska Range, UAF has the best view in town! Here you will marvel at the natural and cultural history of Alaska, the science behind the Northern Lights, view a 36,000 year old Steppe bison mummy, see the state’s largest gold display, and also learn about the trans-Alaska pipeline. The afternoon is free to wander and explore this city. Tonight, we will go to the University of Alaska to scan the sky for the Northern Lights. Overnight in Fairbanks.
Last Day: Fairbanks Departure: We will enjoy breakfast together this morning and bid farewell to our trip leader and fellow travelers as we head our separate ways for the journey back home. (B)
ABOUT THIS TOUR: Adventure travel is exactly is as its name implies, an adventure! Although every attempt is made to adhere to these itineraries, participants need to acknowledge and willingly accept the unexpected route and itinerary changes due to factors beyond our control. About Aurora viewing and moon phases: we run our tours even when there is a full moon, a new moon and at all times in between. During a full moon the foreground is brighter, allowing you to capture the foreground. During a new moon, the sky is darker so the lights may appear slightly brighter. However, since we are in a place where the lights are so bright anyway, this makes very little difference in the quality of viewing. Aurora viewing is subject to weather conditions and solar activity and its not guaranteed. Some activities are subject to change when temperatures are below -30°F.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS TOUR: (Moderate)
The Northern Lights Adventure Tour does not require a high degree of physical fitness. However, we will be exposed to extremely cold weather, often experiencing temperatures well below freezing, which in itself can be physically challenging. We may also have to walk in deep snow. Most nights we will stay up past midnight to look for the northern lights, which typically appear later in the evening.
WHAT IS INCLUDED & WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Transportation, lodging, transfers and baggage handling and meals as indicated on the itinerary. All rates are per person in U.S. dollars based on shared occupancy. Single supplement is $975 for this tour. Chena Hot Springs accommodations are double occupancy. Tour does not include Alaska taxes, air transportation to and from Anchorage or any optional tours, liquor, items of personal nature or purchases made on-board the vessels. Winter clothing rental is available at Chena Hot Springs Resort. Toasty warm outdoor pants, parka and “bunny” boots are available for a fee. (see below) Airfare to Fairbanks and from Anchorage, and the optional flight-seeing trip around the Alaska Range & Denali are not included.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: We strongly suggest purchasing trip cancellation/interruption insurance to protect your travel investment at the time you sign up for one of our trips. This coverage will offset cancellation charges in the event of illness before or during your trip. Trip cancellation/interruption and baggage insurance is available at a supplemental cost. Click Here to purchase travel protection.
WINTER GEAR RENTAL: Anyone visiting Alaska in the winter time should bring a warm hat, gloves, neck scarf, and a heavy coat. Layering is the best way to keep warm in Alaska. A light weight thermal with a fleece and a loose fitting jacket is recommended. Please refer to our "What to Wear Winter Guide" by clicking the link below. In Anchorage, 6th Avenue Outfitters rents insulated snow type pants, parkas with hoods, and boots. We do not guarantee availability or sizing. There are no reservations on garments and it is first come-first serve. Please call 6th Avenue Outfitters for availability.