Where to See the Northern Lights in Alaska and How to Get There

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Basic info about the Northern Lights
Where and when to see the northern lights and directions to get there
Tips for seeing the Northern Lights
Conclusion

northern-lights-in-alaska

 

Basic info about the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, is absolutely one of the most magnificent sights that you can take in on the entire planet. The Northern Lights are when electrically charged particles collide with one another and, as a result, a natural and incredible display of colorful glowing light is seen in the sky.

These lights are often described as “dancing” because the particle collisions that cause these displays are moving as they occur. They can only be seen in areas with very low levels of light pollution and generally only in areas somewhere near the magnetic poles where these particle interactions occur.

So, that makes Alaska one of the very best places to see one of these amazing displays. The combination of its proximity to the magnetic poles and the low amount of light pollution make Alaska a prime spot to view the northern lights.
 

Where and when to see the northern lights and directions to get there

The following is a list of the best places in Alaska to see the Northern Lights and directions to get there:

  • Fairbanks – Fairbanks is just about as perfect of a spot to view the Northern Lights a you will find. The city sits just about below the middle of the lights. The only issue being the slight to moderate amount of light pollution coming from Fairbanks as it is one of Alaska’s largest cities. We recommend you travel a couple miles north of Fairbanks for the absolute best viewing experience.
  • Denali National Park – The Denali National Park is another great spot to check out the Northern Lights as it is only a couple miles south of Fairbanks and will have next to no light pollution corrupting your view.
  • Anchorage – Alaska’s biggest city obviously also has the most light pollution but if you can venture out a few miles, you will still have a great view of the northern lights in Alaska.
  • Nome – A much lesser known and frequented area of Alaska, Nome is much further north than the other places (with the exception of Fairbanks) on this list thus it is just as good if not better than they are for seeing the northern lights. It is also much less populated too so light pollution will be at a minimum. However, the caveat here is that you won’t be able to drive to Nome, you will need to take a flight from Anchorage.

 

Tips for seeing the Northern Lights

When you are investing your time, effort and money into seeing the Northern Lights you will want to make sure that you have the best experience possible. Here are some tips so you can get the most out of seeing the Northern Lights:

  • March is the peak time to see them – The full season to see the Northern Lights is September through April. However, March has always been the best month to see the Northern Lights both in terms of intensity of the lights and their frequency as well.
  • Take pictures using long exposure capture – You will absolutely want to take some pictures of the Northern Lights. However, if you want some really breathtaking pictures, you should bring a camera that has the ability to use long exposure capture.
  • Ship your car to Alaska – You will just about need to have your car in order to get the full experience of the Northern Lights. Skip the expense and endless rules of a rental car and ship your car to Alaska today!
  • Keep an eye on the forecast – It goes without saying that you will need clear skies in order to see the Northern Lights. So, be sure you check the weather forecast before you head out to see the lights, otherwise you might just end up staring into a rain cloud.
  • Try an App – There are actually some apps out there that can give you up-to-date information so that you can choose the best times and spots to see the Northern Lights. We recommend Aurora Forecast.

 

Conclusion

The Northern Lights are some of the very best sights that Alaska has to offer. If you are ever in Alaska, they are an absolute must see. Just be sure that you plan your Aurora Borealis sight-seeing experience accordingly, so you don’t run into any obstacles such as bad weather. Otherwise, there is no excuse to miss this magnificent sight!

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