We came to Fairbanks for a 8 night stay to try to see the northern lights. We spent the first 5 nights in Fairbanks, driving out of town at night to see the lights. On the nights it snowed, we stayed in town, only to find out that it was clear up at Cleary Summit and we missed seeing the aurora on those nights. Mt. Aurora Fairbanks Creek Lodge is on a mountain top 20 miles from Fairbanks on Cleary Summit. On a clear day, you can see Denali on the horizon to the south. The lodge is a refurbished miner's bunkhouse/mess hall built in 1928. It is rustic and genuine, operated by a family who are warm and inviting. I was a little dubious about the bed but it was comfortable, the rooms quiet and the room temperature acceptable. The bathrooms were added in 1997 and have what you need. Breakfast is supplied and was served to us on our schedule (some days we slept in as we'd been up late that night.) Efforts were made to serve you what you'd like for breakfast. Dinner is also offered for an additional price and was tasty and filling and was served family style with the other guests. The owners also operate Skiland on the northern side of the peak which offers a fantastic view to the north. They open the ski lodge to aurora watchers from 10pm to 2am (longer if the aurora is still going on.) There is a camera hooked up to a tv screen inside the lodge so one can be warm and comfortable until the aurora starts. When we were there, it was -10 to 10 F sometimes with a slight breeze. Having a warm place to retreat to made our aurora viewing much more enjoyable and we were able to watch longer since we weren't freezing.
To sum up, this was the perfect place to watch the aurora from. Out of 8 nights, we saw it 3 times and missed it another 3 times because we were staying in town instead of staying in a place where you could just walk outside and look up. The place is very rustic, but it's well run and you have everything you need to be comfortable. And there is free wifi for those addicted to the net. The lodge is also a great place for group retreats and events.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rustic Bed and Breakfast in an old Gold Miner's Bunkhouse. 20 miles north of Fairbanks. Beautiful Aurora viewing, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing. Welcome to Mount Aurora Lodge stay where the ambiance is real historic Fairbanks. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Mount Aurora Lodge Fairbanks, Alaska