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“A nice and cheap place to view the Northern Lights”
Review of Chandalar Ranch

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Chandalar Ranch
Reviewed August 29, 2012

I am a traveler who is willing to rough it out. In fact, I despise luxury when I am traveling/backpacking as it spoils the experience for me.

I say this because if you expect 5 star accommodation, Chandalar Ranch is NOt for you. It provides basic accommodation. Rooms are on a share basis and the bathroom is very basic. But I was perfectly ok with all that since the whole point of staying here is to see the lights, for which you will be up and awake anyway! The bathroom curtains are actually very funny since they only cover one half and unfortunately its the wrong half that is hidden from view!!

The folks who own this place are very warm. The old lady there pretty much runs the place and she is very nice. Her son, George is very interesting company (if he is around) and is a very knowledgeable guy. I had some nice conversations with him.

Over to the most important aspect of the place: it is a great place to view the lights but study your vantage point carefully. You will not see this during the day, but one side of lodge faces an area where a set of street lights (or something) are on all night and will completely destroy your picture (it does not light up the night scene, but it is very irritating to see the northern lights with another set of artificial lights in the corner of the picture).

But if you choose your spot carefully, these street lights will remain hidden from view. If George is around, ask him since he has got some great shots and he obviously knows the place very well.

The family also offer other activities like dog-sledding etc.......I believe they also arrange airport pickups.

All in all, for the price, it just cannot be beaten. An added benefit is that Chena Hot Springs (which I feel is over the top expensive) is only an hour away. So you can enjoy the springs during the day and see the lights as well, without parting with a fortune.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Psychoanalyst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 31 of 43 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2011

We spent 3 nights at the Chandalar Ranch, I chosed the place because I'm passionated about the northern lights and it seemed perfect for observation...and it is!!
We saw 2 northern lights and the second night was unbelievable (different shapes and two colors). The guest rooms are downstairs, separated from the family house, so you have some independance. The installations are simple but there is a large lounge with big tables and kitchen, and it's perfect for groups! You can watch the lights from inside if it's too cold, but we were there in August so stayed outside the whole time in front of the house, perfect viewpoint! The hosts are very friendly as well. It's a bit of an unusual accomodation but if you're looking for a different experience, go for it!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Screamette83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

OK, we were looking for a place with a good location for the Aurora Borealis but that wasn't hundreds of dollars. This was it but that was all. It was as advertised on their website. Don't plan on taking a shower while there unless you are uninhibited (2 shower faucets with a sheet draped in front).
It was well worth the inconvenience to see the Northern Lights. Knowing you don't have a 100% chance of seeing the lights any given night we didn't want to spend much on a place but we did want it outside of town. For about $100/nt, we got what we paid for. The Lights were incredible, incredible, incredible the first night we were there, just a little bit the second night. Moving on the next day, glad to be able to take showers.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank BigMamaFish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2016
Google Translation

Room Tip: 実際に宿泊する人は多くはないと思われます。
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  • Stayed: September 2016, traveled solo
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1  Thank 嘉数 隆敬
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2016
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Room Tip: ロッジでオーロラ鑑賞
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  • Stayed: September 2015, traveled as a couple
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Thank 鎌猫
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2016
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Stayed: March 2016, traveled with friends
Thank Soichiro H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: December 2015, traveled solo
Thank ダイケ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chandalar Ranch

Address: 5804 Chena Hot Springs Rd, Fairbanks, AK 99712-3511
Location: United States > Alaska > Fairbanks
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Fairbanks
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Chandalar Ranch Fairbanks, Alaska

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