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“Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks Alaska”

1st Alaska Outdoor School
Book In Advance
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$115.00*
and up
Fairbanks City Highlight Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 1st Alaska Tours is a Fairbanks based touring and sightseeing company that operates year round. Explore the tundra on an Arctic Circle or Arctic Ocean/Prudhoe Bay tour and receive a certificate to commemorate your journey. Relax in the famous Chena Hot Springs or take a Fairbanks City Tour to learn about the Golden Heart City. Enjoy the Northern Lights on one of our many Aurora Viewing Tours. The famous photographer, Frank Stelges of Aurora Bear, will lead you on how to capture unforgettable Aurora Borealis pictures. Dog Mushing is the Alaskan State sport and is incredibly fun. Visit our Iditarod racing Dog Musher, Sven Haltmann of Arctic Winter Adventures, for a 1 hour Dog Sledding/Dog Mushing highlight. Summer or winter, we have an Alaskan adventure for everyone! We speak English, Mandarin & German.
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks Alaska”
Reviewed March 8, 2014

I went to Fairbanks, Alaska for 5 days just to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). It was the 3rd week of February and there was no guarantee that I would get to see it. Forecasts for the Aurora were low. How fortunate that the beautiful light displays in the night sky appeared 4 out of the 5 days I was there ! I booked three tours from 1st Alaska School in Fairbanks. The first tour was lodge viewing from 10 pm to 3 am, where we were taken 30 miles out by great guide Sam Brown. The 2nd tour was lodge viewing with dinner; again a super viewing evening with amiable and kind Sam and the added bonus of an Alaska salmon dinner, cooked by Sven, the owner of a dog-sledding business. The Northern Light displayed right across the sky above his cabin ! My last tour was from 4.30 pm to 3 a.m. with friendly guide Lindsay to Chena Hot Springs. First stop the Ice Museum, then dinner on our own in the restaurant (Alaskan crab). The Hot Springs are a great experience, steaming with frozen surroundings !! Then the beautiful Aurora appeared and waxed and waned and curtained and changed over 2 hrs. Thrilling and breathtaking, to say the least, even though we stood outside in minus 35 Celsius. It was crisp and clear, and one can always go indoors for a while to warm up. I would highly recommend 1st Alaska School - Maggie will help you choose the tour for you.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank kalgal2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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412 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
136 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Arctic Circle Amazing Tour - Just Awesome!”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

We started our massive USA trip in Fairbanks Alaska in November 2013. Snow everywhere, so for a couple of Aussies from Queensland Australia, driving was not an option. After some quick research we found 1st Alaska and we were not sorry.
Firstly, the booking process was really impressive - we booked a total of 3 tours, would have been 4 but the reindeer tour i wanted wasn't available on the day i wanted, anyway...
The Arctic Circle tour was such a blast! Pick up from our hotel was easy and it was such a pleasure to meet Joseph, our tour guide who is super knowledgable and just a really nice guy!
We drove out of Fairbanks and stopped at the Alaskan Pipeline for some info and photos, then it was on to the Dalton Highway - Ice road truckers!
The drive was long, but there was a lot to see and Joseph was very good at keeping us all interested on the way, not to mention what a good driver he was in the icy conditions.
We finally made it out to the Arctic circle and it was just such a great experience, so quiet and a night sky like we've never seen before!
Side note, sandwich provided on the tour, yum!
If you are thinking of taking this tour, do it! It's a long long day / night but you are after all, driving to the arctic circle - this company is great and we enjoyed our other tours with them - Chena Hot Springs and Fairbanks City Tour

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank blimeytravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morgantown, West Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Aurora Dinner Scam”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

While in Fairbanks last week, I had a WONDERFUL experience with Chena Hot Springs and Chandalar Ranch for Aurora viewing. Both charged $75 for their viewing trip, and Chandalar included motel pickup in that fee. Chena was too far out to include that service. I thought I would try the 1st Alaska Aurora Dinner for $170 as a treat, and it was a scam. The only good thing about it was the nice lady who picked you up at the motel. The "hearty home cooked meal of Alaskan fare" included a glass of water for your drink, about 3 oz of tough caribou meat, frozen vegetables, fried potatoes, store bought pie and ice cream... Since there were more people than usual (maybe 10) they didn't have enough dishes so they also used bowls/ cups/ etc. There was one poor vegetarian who had to wait until everyone was done to get her plate of scrambled eggs... $170!!!! At 11pm we had to remind them that we were there to see the Aurora and to ask to go to the viewing area. The viewing "lodge" was small and DID NOT have large viewing windows facing North. It was warm (the only plus). The field around the lodge could have been good to see the lights but it was knee deep in snow and could not be accessed easily by the guests. It should have been cleared had this been a reputable (and non-lazy) group. There was a narrow balcony that everyone tried to squeeze on to peer Northward at the narrow end of the balcony. The outhouse was filthy and had no door. The other viewing companies we used had outhouses but at least they kept them maintained.,, and they had doors. 1"st Alaska clearly only had an interest in taking your money. Do not fall into this scam.... It was awful. I felt sorry for the international guests who went away- not seeing an aurora, although when we first arrived there were twinges (makes me wonder if we missed it)- and believing this was a typical class American place!
The employees kept on talking about some musher named Sven who owned the cabin we ate in, and I guess we were supposed to be impressed with that. I wonder if he knows or cares about the awful experience associated with his name!! He was somewhere killing caribou for other future aurora dinners, so buyer beware!!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Rena B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Husky mushing super fun time!”
Reviewed March 2, 2014

Went husky mushing with my wife and it was out of this world. Sven and his team made our experience very personal and very enjoyable. My wife has always dreamed of doing this and she was not disappointed. She did not want to leave when the trip was over. I could do this every day and I could see how you could commit your life to husky mushing like the team here do.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Trebor_Notrub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Chena Hot Springs Tour”
Reviewed February 19, 2014

This review is for the experience I had with 1st Alaska Outdoor Tour, and not a review of Chena itself.

My tour guide, Lindsey, was the absolute best. She happily drove us to Chena, pointing out things along the road during the long car ride. Once we got there, she set up base in the Activities Center while we went to the Ice Museum/ Hot Springs/ Restaurant. My only complain would be that she didn't make an effort to get us all to introduce ourselves, which would've made the initial bonding a little easier. But I make fast friends so it ended up being fine. She walked us to the hot springs lockers, let us have time to ourselves in the Springs, and we saw her again right after. Waiting for the auroras was fun with Lindsey and the group, as she was very responsive and has a crazy-but-endearing laugh that encourages conversation. Unfortunately the auroras didn't come out that night, but I still had a great time. Thanks Lindsey! And thanks Sam, who seems to be a coordinator, for answering all my questions beforehand!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ti D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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