We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
53 posts
Save Topic
Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

Hello,

I'm looking to take a trip to Fairbanks in late winter/early spring to see the northern lights.

what are generally the best months to see the lights? (I can handle some cold, but nothing crazy like the dead of winter)

according to the aurora maps I see, fort yukon falls right in the middle of the map. I'd like to travel there but it looks about as remote as it gets. are there hotels there? car rentals? it doesnt seem like a great place to travel alone to.

if not, will I get my fair share of aurora's in fairbanks? and maybe some wildlife tours during the day?

pardon my ignorance. I'm from Chicago and know little about the great state of Alaska. I'm hoping to learn.

Anchorage Alaska
Level Contributor
826 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

You would need to fly to Ft. Yukon. Cost is around $250, (maybe more), round trip. Don't know about lodging.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60826-i1068-k5789…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60826-i1068-k5756…

Click on the link to the right:

"Tell me about viewing the aurora borealis (aka northern lights) in Fairbanks:"

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
53 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

I know flying to ft yukon is the only way to get there, I just dont know if hotels (or cars) are available.

Anchorage Alaska
Level Contributor
826 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

Um, well, ok.....

I doubt there are rental cars. Everything in most remote Alaska villages is within walking distance.

destinationnexus.com/Fort-Yukon-Alaska-Bed-a…

Bristol, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
4,555 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

You don't necessarily need to go to Fort Yukon to see the Northern Lights, you just need clear skies and a good Aurora.

If you could stay outside of Fairbanks away from the city lights etc. you can view the lights if they are out and the sky is clear. All the Northern Lights I have seen have been from Anchorage and the area. There have been some awesome shows already this year.

Not much wildlife to see during the winter months but eagles and moose will be around. You may want to think of a trip down to Denali if you have a rental car in Fairbanks. March is a great month to visit with lots of activities and a bit warmer temperatures, 10-20 below as opposed to 40 below and more daylight.

If you are looking for a remote village to visit and see the northern lights I believe there is a lodge in Betlles.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
53 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

thanks spacefry, exactly the info I was looking for.

Edited: 8:12 am, October 15, 2012
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8,141 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

With the possibility being so iffy to see the northern lights, my advise is to never go to an area that is so remote that if the sun or skies do not cooperate, you have spent a lot of money with nothing else to see/do.

Fairbanks should be just fine, and if planned correctly, will afford you plenty of other things to experience while there in case there are no visible northern lights during your stay.

I will also say for the record, if you follow the aurora predictions with a little planning, you don't have to go too far from Chicago to see them. Just recently, there have been several displays visible in Iowa, Wisconsin & Illinois.

If you haven't already, you will want to start following the solar reports at SpaceWeather.com.

Anchorage Alaska
Level Contributor
826 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
10,993 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

The lodge in Bettles is called Bettles Lodge:) There are also a couple small cabins in town to rent as well.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8,141 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

Actually Hogfamily, I've found the UA/Fairbanks Geophysical Institute's site and predictions to be woefully inadequate in recent years. Even the storms over the past month or two were not reliably predicted as covered by Spaceweather.com. I like Spaceweather in that they follow solar activity and produce a 24-72 hr forecast, followed up with same day stats. Supplemented with the Twitter alerts available, seems to be the best way to follow and chase the aurora.

Here is the link to the Twitter alert: softservenews.com/Aurora.htm .

Anchorage Alaska
Level Contributor
826 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Fairbanks to Fort Yukon

"Actually Hogfamily, I've found the UA/Fairbanks Geophysical Institute's site and predictions to be woefully inadequate in recent years"

Yeah, I noticed that Friday night / Saturday morning they had listed as a 1, (although the hourly rating was much higher). It was one of the best Northern Lights in a long time.

Mentioned it to give the OP more places to look as you already suggested

spaceweather.com

Edited: 11:35 pm, October 15, 2012