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Tips to See Alaskan Northern Lights

It's on everyone's dream list to see the northern lights, isn't it? In this case, you may not have to use your passport to see them! The northern lights are right here in our fifty states! Also known as the aurora borealis, these dancing waves of color and light pulsate through the skies in vibrant hues of green, yellow, blue, pink, and violet, putting on a show for traveling spectators.

The northern lights actually occur 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but you need to be at the right place at the right time to view them – preferably in what's known as the auroral zone. This location falls within an area that covers a radius of approximately 1,550 miles around the North Pole. It also needs to be a clear night, and it's best to view them away from the light pollution of a city, preferably in a wilderness or dark sky location, if possible. In addition to Alaska, optimal viewing locales for the northern lights include Iceland, destinations in Canada, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Below is a map to highlight where the Aurora Borealis can be seen...


Best Times to See Northern Lights in Alaska

If you're headed to Alaska to catch a glimpse of the aurora, experts advise the best time to see the northern lights in the Land of the Midnight Sun is from late August through April, with Fairbanks known as one of the top places in the world to watch the spectacular natural light show. And the further north you go – toward and above the Arctic Circle – the more time you'll have for aurora hunting.

On the winter solstice and the shortest day of the year, which typically falls between Dec. 20 and 23, Juneau (in southeastern Alaska) has 6 hours and 22 minutes of daylight. Further north, by approximately 730 miles, Fairbanks experiences 3 hours and 43 minutes of daylight. Meanwhile, Utqiagvik (also referred to as Barrow) is located 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle, about 200 miles north of Fairbanks, and has 67 days of darkness from Nov. 18 to Jan. 23, creating endless opportunities for viewing the northern lights.


Best Places to See Northern Lights in Alaska

No matter where you decide to travel to in Alaska in search of the aurora, you'll be thrilled you made the trip once you see the show. Here are some of the best places to view the northern lights in Alaska.


  • Pike's Waterfront Lodge

  • Aurora Villa

  • Arctic Dog Adventure Co.

  • Murphy Dome & Northern Lights Tour

  • Chena Hot Springs Resort

  • Borealis Basecamp


  • Denali National Park

  • Coldfoot Camp

  • Wiseman

  • Nome'

  • Utqiagvik

The other BEST place to see the northern lights in Alaska is by taking an Alaskan cruise tour in typically late August or September between 12:30 and 4 AM.


If it's on your dream list to see the Aurora Borealis, you can make your dream come true by taking a trip to the northern hemisphere with an amazing trip planned by Starlight2Travel. Or, wait until 2023 to take an Alaska by cruise in the late summer/early fall! Whenever you want to travel, we'll be sure to plan your trip around finding the northern lights. We can't guarantee it, by we'll shoot for the stars for YOU!

Starlight2Travel, Inc. is a Cleveland-based online travel agency. We assist travelers from coast to coast. We specialize in cruises, romance, and family vacations! Our services provide incredible vacation experiences for couples, families, and groups. Please visit our website for travel information and inspiration. Our Star Traveler blog is also an amazing place to find travel tips and resources! Follow us for more travel information!

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