For anyone in North America, this is THE place to see the Aurora. Considering the number of Asians that also visit(charter flights on JAL from Japan), it seems they have come to the same conclusion.
Fairbanks is the most northern city in N. America that has easy airline access. The lodge is 20 miles N. of the city and almost 2,000 feet higher which not only gets it away from city lights buy also gets it above the clouds/fog that often form at lower altitudes. If I had stayed in or near Fairbanks, I would have been "clouded out" most of my 4 1/2 nights.
I emphasize these points since anyone reading this review is obviously interested in seeing the aurora and it would be a shame to spend the time, money and travel effort and not get the best shot at seeing them. Additionally, weather forecasts are for Fairbanks, not the elevated area N. of the city, and I found the sky at the lodge to be far clearer than what was forecast for Fairbanks, so don't be discouraged by a bad forecast!
Other reviews will tell you about how wonderful Mok is, how well furnished the rooms with full kitchens are, the "nearby" places to eat and drink beer, etc.--all true. But the set-up to view the lights is absolutely the best possible, and that's the only reason you'll be staying at this lodge. Wake-up calls till 2am if the aurora is visible allow you to sleep before 2am and then stay up "on your own" from 2am till daybreak if you wish--an important consideration if you're facing 3-5 nights of sleep deprivation! I was able to get fantastic aurora pictures, some of which I combined into a time-lapsed video of the aurora moving. "Lights out" policy with red or white lights to strap on your head if you wish optimized viewing/photography. A photographer from Italy was leaving as I was arriving and was planning his fourth return trip. That should tell you all you need to know about where to go to see the northern lights!
I was lucky on my trip. I ALMOST CANCELLED MY TRIP due to a forecast of 5 straight days of clouds for Fairbanks. Luckily I didn't. November is one of the more cloudy months, with December and January. It's clearer more nights after that. However, of the 4 nights I was at the lodge, it was clear two nights, light fog most of one night, and mostly foggy/cloudy one night. The second clear night and the lightly foggy night a light solar storm hit earth and the aurora was spectacular. I'm attaching photos which show a lot of red. This is unusual, as it was easily visible to the naked eye.
If seeing the aurora is on your "bucket list", stay at the Aurora Borealis Lodge--it will give you the best opportunity and best experience.
- Also Known As:
- Aurora Borealis Hotel Fairbanks
- Aurora Borealis Lodge Fairbanks, Alaska