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visit to fairbanks in january

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Houston, Texas
posts: 1
visit to fairbanks in january

hi!

i always want it to see the northern lights so im getting to fairbanks jan 24 at 5pm and leaving jan 28 at 8am hoping to see the lights, im traveling from costa rica so is quite a trip so i want to make the most of it, i would love some locals advice as far as places to stay, things to do, best spots to see the lights ect, im thinking on staying first to nights at chena hotsprings, also is north pole town worth visiting?

isDenali park open at leat to drive in it, is it a good idea this time of the year?

is there like an air tour that anyone recommend?

is just me and my wife, mid 30s love outdoors

any advice would be apreciated

thanks

Bristol, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 3,636
reviews: 16
1. Re: visit to fairbanks in january

Please be sure to plan other activities and don't plan on seeing the lights. Three days is really not a lot of time to have a chance at seeing them. Denali Park is open but you can't drive through it even in the summer. They have snowshoes available and some trails around the entrance, the Murie Science Center is also open. To see the lights if they are out you need to get out of town and away from light pollution. North Pole has a small store with Santa and all the stuff that comes along with Santa but not much else. The Museum of the North is well worth a visit and you might enjoy visiting the Morris Thompson Visitor Center.

Do you have appropriate clothing? Check out the temperatures this past week in Fairbanks, they have been having some cold weather. Looks like it is -53 right now.

You may want to check out some of the lodges that specialize in NL viewing. The Aurora Borealis Lodge has been recommended before but you will need to see if they have any availability.

Anchorage, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Anchorage
posts: 3,669
reviews: 123
2. Re: visit to fairbanks in january

I think Spacefry hit on the most important point... clothing. Make sure you research appropriate clothing for this adventure. It'll be really cold and you want to be able to enjoy it.

Do a "search" (top right portion of TA page) for jimginatlanta alaska . Jim was are a recent winter visitor to Alaska (from a warm climate) and he's posted several, excellent comments on what to have and how to make sure you enjoy a winter stay up here.

Good luck.

Wasilla, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Alaska
posts: 1,804
reviews: 64
3. Re: visit to fairbanks in january

To see the Northern Lights you need three things happening at the same time: Darkness, clear skies and aurora activity.

Aurora activity just depends on the solar storms. To monitor what's going on, this website has updates: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast

Darkness: Fortunately it's dark about 18 hours a day right now. So you just have to get a way from artificial light.

Clear skies: That all depends on the weather...

So, I say all that to point out that there's never a guarantee that you'll see the northern lights.... So come hoping, but also be prepared for disappointment.

USA
Destination Expert
for Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve, Yellowstone National Park
posts: 8,957
reviews: 43
4. Re: visit to fairbanks in january

If you look to the right at the Top Questions on the Fairbanks forum, there is a question with lots of info about seeing the aurora.

Here is a thread about appropriate clothes:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60826-i1068-k5954…

Have fun planning!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,726
reviews: 25
5. Re: visit to fairbanks in january

>>>Aurora activity just depends on the solar storms. To monitor what's going on, this website has updates: http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast<<<

I have continued to be disappointed in the UA/F forecast site and would advise to check out www.spaceweather.com for more current reporting on solar activity and therefore, potential for aurora viewing.

Paxson, Alaska
posts: 284
6. Re: visit to fairbanks in january

Most Useful Item to pack - a gas mask. Esp. if you wander over to North Pole. Air quality in Fairbanks is the second-worst in the nation, almost every single winter day, with the bottom number being North Pole.

Today, Fairbanks received its 9th Air Quality Alert of the month - 9 out of 22 so far - and 2 or 3 days ago the N.Pole monitors registered in the Hazardous zone.

Yecch.

BUT - perhaps if the tourism industry started in on kicking the pants of the area's rather incompetent officials and "doo-de-doo-de-doo" citizenry, they might think again about not addressing this abysmal health situation. Tourism is pretty important to Fbx - the military presence is another, and the Pentagon is itching to lower its presence there.

I don't normally overly-politicize my comments in this forum, but your question specifically plays into this situation. Good luck and don't inhale.

Audubon Bakewell IV

Denali Highway Cabins

Paxson

www.denalihwy.com

7. Re: visit to fairbanks in january

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