Get the best Northern Lights Experience in Alaska
The Northern Lights are global phenomenon – actually the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere.
Famously, people travel to Norway, Canada, Sweden, Iceland, and Greenland to see this global wonder.
But did you know Alaska is an amazing destination to see them too?
When can you see the northern lights in Alaska?
From mid – August to mid-April.
They’re not visible during the middle summer months, because it doesn’t get dark enough under the midnight sun.
Sure Norway, Canada, Sweden, Iceland, and Greenland are on the destination list. But here’s why Alaska tops the list:
Easy travel from most of the US
You can easily book nonstop flights to Anchorage year-round from major U.S. hubs (like Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, and Portland), so you can arrive easily — no passport required.
Fall or winter
From mid-November through March, in Anchorage you can look for the lights each night including while doing other things like ice fishing or dogsledding.
And if it’s mid-August to mid-September, you can see the lights during summer fun, like visiting Denali National Park or taking a glacier cruise.
It’s hard to miss seeing them
Visitors in Alaska who spend at least 3 nights looking for the lights have a 90% chance of finding them!
Tips to See the Northern Lights
Plan a 5 – 7 day Trip
Dedicate at least 3 nights to looking for the lights, so that you will have a 90% chance of seeing them. If it’s a time crunch, center a three or four day trip using a weekend.
Go to Fairbanks and the aurora oval
The main auroral band crosses the state of Alaska in an arc north of the Alaska Range, which makes Fairbanks and the surrounding area Alaska’s sweet spot for northern lights viewing.