I saw ’em. I really did. The northern lights actually DANCED in front of me. HAHA. This snap (above) actually is a 30-second exposure using my point-and-shoot. My friends at Northern Alaska Tour Company have the perfect spot. “We’re right beneath the aurora oval,” said Brett Carlson from his perch at Coldfoot Camp along the Dalton Highway. That means on a clear night, when the aurora is active, you have a great chance to see the northern lights!
Perfect spot, indeed. Your van driver will take you from Coldfoot Camp to Wiseman. Once a bustling mining community on the shores of the Koyukuk River, it’s now home to less than 50 full-time residents. But it’s quiet and dark–perfect for aurora viewing. Local resident Jack Reakoff (pictured, right) will have a cabin all warmed up with hot chocolate and tea. There, Jack will help you adjust your camera to capture the northern lights! Tip: BRING A TRIPOD!!
HINT: Jack says the BEST aurora viewing is around 2:00am. So–warm up those coffee grounds! Here are some of the packages available for aurora viewing.
a. Aurora Adventure. Departing Fairbanks, this 3-day/2-night adventure is part road trip, part star gazing (northern lights viewing!) and part flightseeing. Start by driving north from Fairbanks to Coldfoot. you’ll cross the frozen Yukon River and check out the snow-sculpted landscape from the comfort of your sturdy van. You’ll pass the Arctic Circle before arriving in Coldfoot.
Optional activities in Coldfoot include dog mushing (pictured) or a road trip up to Atigun Pass , in addition to northern lights viewing at nearby Wiseman. HINT: Do that.
NOTE: Coldfoot Camp is an active truckstop. It’s a great place to grab a burger, but there are lots of lights. So the Wiseman hut is perfect for viewing the lights. It’s far enough from the truckstop that you have an unfettered view of the night sky, along with a cozy hut to warm up between gazing sessions.
After two nights in Coldfoot, travelers can fly back to Fairbanks. Have your camera ready, as the Yukon River is an awesome sight from the air!
b. Aurora Fly/Drive. Make the trek north from Fairbanks by air in the afternoon (1:00pm). Then, hop aboard your sturdy van for the roadtrip along the Dalton Highway. Several stops are scheduled from scenic points to scan for northern lights on the way back to Fairbanks. Everyone receives a special certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle! Scheduled arrival back in Fairbanks: 3:00-3:30am. Ask about Arctic Circle Winter Drive Adventures!
c. NEW: Denali Air Adventure from Fairbanks. While you’re in Fairbanks, take advantage of the cool, clear air for an AWESOME flightseeing trip of Denali. There’s a four-person minimum–with frequent departures. Call (800)474-1986 for reservations and departure times!
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