Trip Report: Borealis Basecamp near Fairbanks

In Adventure, Lodging, Parks by scott

Have you ever wanted to sleep under the northern lights without freezing? Borealis Basecamp ,a collection of six giant igloos outside of Fairbanks, is a step in the right direction.

Each of the igloos has a north-facing clear plexiglass wall. That means when the northern lights are out—you can see them from your bed!

Set up on a ridge, you and your fellow aurora hunters are “off the grid.” That means everything is battery-powered. Each igloo features a robust Toyo heater a full bathroom (with shower), a kitchen area and one or two beds. There is no oven or heating element, as that drains the batteries. There’s a refrigerator and a big thermos with hot water.

There’s a big yurt that serves as the dining room and gathering place to watch the lights. The whole north-facing side of the yurt features big windows to scan the horizon for the northern lights.

Breakfast is included in the cost for overnight accommodations. Lunch and dinner are available for purchase—and must be ordered in advance.

During the daylight hours, you can go on a snowmachine ride or a dogsled ride.

The snowmachine trail goes through the woods and opens up alongside the Trans Alaska Pipeline. There’s one spot where you can look off a ridge and see a couple of miles of pipe snaking through the hills!

Dave Turner, a local musher, comes by with a team of eight dogs to take you for a ride through the woods. The dogsled is a two-seater. The person in front definitely has a more exciting ride!  There also are snow shoes and fat bikes for cruising around the countryside.

If you want to take better photos of the aurora borealis, Frank Stelgis lives next door—and is a great photographer. He offers classes — and I can tell you it takes some special skills to get the shot!

Check out the photos—and make plans to visit Borealis Basecamp!

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