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“Flight around Mount McKinley”

Northern Alaska Tour Company
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Arctic Circle Aurora Borealis Tour By Air and Car...
Certificate of Excellence
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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: Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I tried to book this with other companies but was told they only fly in the summer. We learned about the flight from our guide on the Arctic Circle Aurora drive so we called and were fit into a group two days later.
As we left Fairbanks that Thursday morning snow was falling and the area was covered by clouds. I was not happy thinking we would see a gray silhouette outside the window and be told that was the high pike in North America. As we passed by Clear Air radar facility the air really did clear and the views were spectacular as you can see in my photos. We flew right up next to the mountain and then turned and flew back by so that each side of the plane had a first row seat. There was a fair amount of turbulence and my wife does not like heights so I was concern for her but as we traverse the mountain she turned to me with a BIG smile and said I am so glad we came. The only negative was the temperature of the floor. We would have warn our Neos if we had been warned. So wear warm shoes.
This was a great tour and I would recommend it.

1  Thank Kirk_Chandler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (481)
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395 - 399 of 481 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2013

We were booked with them for a three day excursion to Coldfoot. They could not have been more accommodating! Everyone that works for the company is knowledgeable, friendly, and super helpful. We plan to go back in the fall sometime and take their tour up to Barrows to see the polar bears.

1  Thank counselme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Michele was a great driver and very knowledgeable about the Steese, Elliot and Dalton highways. She was very enthusiastic and kept her energy up during the whole trip. It was great to use crazy carpets on the side of the Dalton (I have not been on a sled since I was a kid). Also the Finger Mountain area was beautiful. The Alaskan pipeline was great to see up close. We walked on the Yukon river which is frozen this time of the year. Crossing the Arctic Circle was a highlight and we received a certificate when it was done.

1  Thank weight39doug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

I booked my tour to Alaska about 6 months ago, but lurked around before actually setting any tours. Then I read all about some recent tours that raved about a tour guide named Sara. After reading those, I figured let me give these guys a shot, but those have got to be inside reviews. No tour bus driver can be that great or can keep it fresh and interesting from 11am to 5am. I was wrong. So wrong.

The first pleasant surprise of the morning was finding out we were lined up for the bus, not the van experience I had read so many bad things about. Then I heard Sara would be our guide and was hopeful, but had no idea what we were in for. Sara was amazing. She had all sorts of stories to tell, took us hiking, even sledding. She even went out of her way serve us hot drinks and made an event out of our MRE dinner at the Arctic Circle. She really knew how to keep us entertained. She even found a way to keep us engaged and involved when the bus got stopped at the Wildwood General Store. Best of all, she was never in a hurry. She let us meander and explore, and take all the pictures we wanted. Even when we were running WAY behind and some of the people on the bus were antsy, she made sure to stop every time there was a good show of aurora and was a treat to chat with (especially when I realized she could relate to my warm blooded central Florida sensibilities). What is truly amazing is that she kept it all going from 11am to 7am and was just as chipper, helpful, and friendly when we returned, exhausted. Exhausted may be an understatement - but it was certainly an adventure of a lifetime.

Those recent reviews weren't wrong. This is a great tour and well worth the money - especially if Sara is your guide.

1  Thank Joe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 27, 2013

We were lucky to be upgraded from a van to a 25 ppl tour bus. Much more comfortable to ride in for so many hours. Rick was our tour guide and you could tell he loved Alaska and his job. He made the trip enjoyable. We loved the ride and never got tired of it. I think being packed in a van would have been a different story.
It was very costly and I agree with the other reviewers I think for the price we paid we should have got at-least one meal a day free.
The hotel rooms were very simple but very clean. I feel like the company could afford to hire a few more hands to try to upgrade a few simple things. A coat of paint would go a long ways.
The tour company's mission is to make money, and that they do. Even with that in mind we really did enjoy our stay and will always remember our trip to Coldfoot and the amazing northern lights!
Our return trip was by air and we were told we'd be home by noon the day before we left. So we had plans to do a few more things in Fairbanks on our last day/ evening there. When we left Fairbanks they told us our family would be flying back not with Northern Alaska tour company but with an independent airlines and they had no way to know when they'd pick us up. We had to be ready by 1:30 and didn't take off until 3 ish. The day was totally wasted. That was frustrating. By the time we got back to Fairbanks it was to late to do what we wanted to. That was frustrating.
A little organization goes a long ways!

1  Thank Djlew
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 write a review of your experience with us. We did want to be sure future guests don't think they were not upgraded if they were in a van. On your departure it was necessary as we had more than 10 guests join us so a van would not have worked. A van is appropriate for departures with 10 or fewer guests.

We apologize your return flight experience was frustrating. The return flight is a challenge to share with guests that there is no scheduled service in and out of Coldfoot and giving an exact time on day 1 can't be done. The information we share in our tour program is "Travel by small plane can vary in Alaska's Arctic. Time could be as early as 10:00 am or as late as 2:00 pm." Then of course throw in the possible delays weather can cause in flying by small plane and that will add approximate times versus exact times to any flight schedule.

Most service is done by what is called flag stop. Meaning, Coldfoot isn't a normal scheduled stop but the we are "flagging" the plane in off of their regular service. On the day of flight depending on how many other passengers and freight the air carrier has their final routing may be Coldfoot first or Coldfoot last - thus the variance in time. Once they have all passengers checked in for that flight they can then let us know when the plane will be in Coldfoot. We try to reiterate this information during the departure briefing on day 1 and we apologize your expectations were not met. We will continue to strive to help guests understand this way of flying.

We will share your comments with Coldfoot Camp regarding your stay in Coldfoot. Many visitors don't realize that it isn't a simple case of turning the lights on. For a place that remote they have to generate their own electricity and take care of their own plumbing - providing these simple services we take for granted in town isn't a simple or inexpensive task - especially when you are located in the Brooks Mountain Range 260 miles from the nearest city services and temperatures can swing from 90 + degrees in the summer and minus 60 or colder in the winter.

Thank you again for joining us and taking the time write your review.

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

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