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.

“Awesome northern lights trip”

Northern Alaska Tour Company
Book In Advance
More Info
$219.00*
and up
Arctic Circle Winter Drive
More Info
$399.00*
and up
Winter Arctic Circle Flight and Driving Tour Experience
More Info
$459.00*
and up
Arctic Circle Aurora Borealis Flight and Drive Tour from Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience Alaska’s Arctic! Northern Alaska Tour Company pioneered Arctic Circle touring on Alaska’s Dalton Highway. We invite you to experience for yourself the legendary hospitality and authentic interpretation that made our Arctic Circle Adventures famous. During the Summer we are open 6:00 AM to Midnight 7 days a week, during the Winter we are open 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday - Friday.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Food available for purchase
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We did the 3 day/2 night Arctic Circle Aurora drive-fly tour. It was wonderful and everything was super well organized. Ideal for northern lights viewing! Overall, amazing trip with amazing staff!

THE BUS RIDE:
The ride was very long to Coldfoot (nearly 12 hours). We stopped for bathroom breaks every 2 hours where there were outhouses, and also for various photo ops along the way. Although I thought the bus ride was relatively comfortable, one person on our bus did get carsick, so be sure to take preventative measures (medicine, wrist bands) if you are prone to motion sickness.

OPTIONAL TOURS:
We did the aurora tour to Wiseman BOTH nights we were there. The first night, we saw one of the most amazing aurora displays of the season. The auroras started off tamely, then around 1:30am, out of nowhere the sky started exploding with auroras all over like fireworks. There were even several "corona" type auroras. This short spurt of the heightened activity only lasted about 3 minutes, but those 3 minutes I will remember for the rest of my life. People were screaming with excitement. Jack, our "guide" who lives in Coldfoot, said it was one of the best shows he's seen this season. We were incredibly lucky. The second night we saw auroras as well. Coldfoot is supposedly right underneath the auroral oval, so it is almost guaranteed you'll see auroras every night given the right conditions.

We also did the Arctic Mountain Safari to the Brooks mountain range during the day. It was a nice and easy tour. We just sat in the bus and enjoyed the scenery, and got out at each stop to snap some photos. Definitely pretty cool to have traversed that far up into the arctic!

ACCOMMODATIONS AND FOOD:
Our rooms in Coldfoot were very basic, with private bathrooms in each room. The restaurant offers breakfast/lunch and dinner buffet with a soup/salad bar. I would say they offer pretty great amenities considering their location out in the arctic!

FLIGHT TO FAIRBANKS:
Really small plane, a little bumpy, and great scenery on the way. There is a luggage weight limit -- the tour company will weight your luggage in Fairbanks and let you leave some stuff behind at their office if needed.

4  Thank corgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernAKTourCo, Guest Relations Manager at Northern Alaska Tour Company, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing your feedback regarding your recent experience with us. We appreciate your time to not only provide the feedback but to separate out the details to make it more useful for others reading the review. Thank you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (441)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

364 - 368 of 444 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2013

We took the Arctic Circle Drive with Aurora viewing at night so we would return around 2 or 3, viewing the lights along the way back. Our 24 passenger tour bus was packed, but we were all stoked for a great day in the Arctic. We got to meet an Ice Trucker guy that was broken down on the side of the road, and he let us take pictures and even let my husband sit in the cab of his truck!! Of course I got pictures of it all. Then our tour guide, Sarah, stopped to let us sled down a hill with some plastic sleds she had created out of plastic. What fun everyone had! We got to get out and walk on the frozen Yukon river. We even experienced a white out on the way back, the wind was blowing so fiercely. We did get to see the Northern Lights and they danced over head the whole way back. We did stop periodically to take pictures and view them, but it being my first experience seeing the Aurora Borealis, it was absolutely thrilling. Sarah was a plethera of knowledge and knew the road very well; I never felt scared or in danger even though the roads were horrible. Of course, seeing the Pipeline was cool too and in my opinion, the excursion was well worth the money. Sarah was a great guide!!!

1  Thank shaff45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernAKTourCo, Guest Relations Manager at Northern Alaska Tour Company, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Thank you for joining Sarah on your Arctic Circle Aurora Drive. She has had amazing luck finding the northern lights this winter. And, we agree - she does have a lot of information to share and great patience and skill to bring guests safely home in those winter conditions. Thank you again for letting us know how your tour experience was.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Three nights and four days north of the Arctic Circle, guided by enthusiastic and knowledgable young people who obviously love the wild country, provided the opportunity to view one of the Earths' most fascinating natural spectacles.
From Fairbanks we were taken north along the route of the Alaska Pipeline, on the only highway across the Yukon River, beyond the Arctic Circle, to the "town"of Coldfoot, site of the worlds northernmost truck-stop and the record-holder for low temperatures (- 82F.) The first week of March coincided with the dark skies of the new moon, providing ideal conditions for aurora viewing, and a fortunate break in the weather. We had prepared for 40 below, with snowmobile bibs, waffle underwear, down vests and insulated mickey-mouse boots but happily never saw anything much below -15. We signed up for three nights of dark-sky viewing, from a miners cabin-site in a tiny village (Pop. 14, zero electric lights). The cabin provided a cozy shelter while we waited for the cosmos to illuminate the skies. The first night we had perfect viewing conditions, utterly black skies, stars visible down to the horizon, planets and constellations glimmering... but no aurorae. We stayed out until nearly 4 AM, but nothing.
The second night had scattered clouds and began to look like yet another bust. About midnight we saw a glimmer on the northern horizon which grew into pillars and curtains of light which moved overhead. Before the night was over we had photos of some spectacular fire in the sky. Imagine seeing the Northern Lights in the southern sky!
Optional daytime activities included a drive up through the Brooks Range to the northernmost pass before the descent onto the north slope. Here we climbed well above tree line where we photographed several dozen Dall Sheep grazing on the rocky alpine tundra. We passed up the opportunity to experience an afternoon of dog-sledding.
Accommodations were basic, but clean and warm. Food was good-quality truck-stop fare. The people were about as friendly and helpful as one could hope. Activities were suitable for persons with limited mobility; if you can get on and off a bus and navigate snowy ground you can do it. Make sure your camera has a high ISO capability, and is capable of long exposures.
Although the tour was not inexpensive, there are shorter, less expensive versions. Lovers of natural beauty may be well rewarded.
The trip was capped with a small-plane flight over the mountains and the Yukon River valley back to Fairbanks.

Next time we hope to include a visit to the Chena Hot Springs

3  Thank PattynJunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernAKTourCo, Guest Relations Manager at Northern Alaska Tour Company, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to provide your detailed account of your experience. And, for letting visitors know that you can't give up after one night of northern lights viewing. No one can guarantee the lights; however, if you travel at the right time of year (Alaska's Aurora Season is mid August until mid April - not because it only occurs then but because it is dark enough to see them), locate as close to the source as possible and be vigilant (stay awake) your odds are good. Since Coldfoot is directly under the Auroral Oval (also called the Aurora Belt) the originating line around the globe of the northern lights your chances are 90% on a 2 or 3 night stay. Thank you again for joining us this winter.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

My girlfriend and I took the Aurora arctic circle drive in the middle of March. We had a GREAT time! Period. That said, let me add, read the brochure. Northern Alaska Tours does not try to hide anything. They give tips. If you read them. It was a long drive in a relatively new 24-person van. It did not feel crowded but hey, 17 hours driving.

We left at 11 am after a briefing. We knew what to expect as we went by their office the day before and asked questions. We brought food snacks and plenty of water such that we didn't need to eat the chemically heated meals (MREs) provided. We brought plenty of layered clothing and needed all of it.

First off, Michelle, our driver/guide, is and excellent driver. You want that first and foremost on the Dalton. She knows the rules of the road and relates well to the truck drivers who own the road. I never felt even a twinge of concern. We stopped at all kinds of good places, including walking out onto the frozen Yukon River and several view points. My girlfriend would have stopped at more photo op spots. On the other hand, it was not intended as an endless journey. We had plenty of time at the Arctic Circle to take pictures at the BLM marker and to eat dinner. As an administrative note, there was never a time where bathroom stops were spread out to far, even though it makes mention of that in the brochure.

On the way back, Michelle stopped so we could view and film the aurora. We stopped a couple of times. We could have stopped more but, in reality, the Aurora was diminishing and the overall mood on the bus was to move on. Once back in Fairbanks, Michelle went hotel to hotel to drop off those who took a cab to the office at the start of the trip. Throughout the journey, in both directions, Michelle talked about the history and culture of northern Alaska. Her presentation was at times halting. Had I been driving, my concentration would have times been on the road, too. I personally appreciated it.

And then there was the sledding. As my final thought, nearing the Arctic Circle, the company has located a small side hill next to the road and provides sleds. The sleds are just sheets of plastic with handles but oh, what a ride. It's a short hill but was hard packed and almost icy when we got there. I tend to like a thrill and this got my heart pumping! What a perfect break in the trip, not advertised.

Read the brochure! If you need and expect amenities, know that the Dalton in winter has none. None!

5  Thank pagecarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernAKTourCo, Guest Relations Manager at Northern Alaska Tour Company, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Thank you for joining Michelle on the Arctic Circle Aurora Drive. And, thank you for recognizing we do try to get as much information in the hands of the guest before joining us for a full understanding of what the day will be like. There are many rewards when visiting Alaska's Arctic, but if you were not expecting say the outhouses along the way that would be a shock to your system. Thank you again for joining Michelle and for your review.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Just returned from the Coldfoot/Wiseman Aurora Borealis viewing tour. The Wednesday night Auroras were fabulous. Several of the locals we met said it was the best night of the year so far. The Northern Alaska Co. guides were all knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Rick and Broadie were the best! The Arctic Air pilot we had was a weak C-. The lodging at Coldfoot was somewhat primitive but the in room toilets were heavenly. This tour is at the top of the list for anyone who's bucket list includes seeing the Northern Lights.

Thank Ray M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NorthernAKTourCo, Guest Relations Manager at Northern Alaska Tour Company, responded to this reviewResponded April 14, 2013

Thank you for joining us in March. We enjoy your comments on the bathrooms being heavenly in Coldfoot. They really are a luxury when you consider where you are and what it takes to have running water and electricity that far out - they can't hook into city services and have to generate it and take care of it themselves. So future visitors don't expect 5 star - we say the accommodations are absolutely indicative of the industrial heritage of the truck stop - but, absolutely a luxury with heat, electricity, and running water -- even with being 260 miles away from the nearest city service. Thank you again for joining us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Northern Alaska Tour Company also viewed

 

Been to Northern Alaska Tour Company? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing