Fall in Alaska is the return of the prime aurora-viewing season. It’s also a great time for shoulder-season travel, which not only provides a potential for cost savings on tours and excursions, but also provides your clients with more options for lodging and rental cars.
In the fall, the leaves throughout the state start to turn orange and yellow, and the air starts to become crisp. However, the aurora borealis alone is a great reason to come to Alaska during the fall with the official viewing season starting on Aug. 21 and lasting through April 21. October in particular is a great month to chase the lights with warmer temperatures than found in mid-winter, and there is also more daylight during the day for road tripping, flightseeing, wildlife viewing and more.
Travelers can experience nights under the aurora with a variety of unique accommodations:
- Arctic Hive is an off-grid wilderness retreat center located 63 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Wiseman. Offering three 4-person cabins, this unique basecamp also has a 20-ft. dome building with a glass ceiling perfect for aurora borealis viewing. For more information, visit arctichive.com.
- Aurora Villa, located on the outskirts of Fairbanks, sits on 10 acres of land surrounded by forested hills. This upscale bed and breakfast has rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows for private and comfortable aurora viewing right from the individual rooms. For more information, visit akauroravilla.com.
- Borealis Basecamp, situated on 100 acres of boreal forest just 25 miles north of Fairbanks, welcomes travelers to experience from the comfort of individual dome-shaped igloos with a viewing window directly above each bed. Borealis Basecamp has also added five new glass-domed igloos to the 15 that are currently on property. For more information, visit borealisbasecamp.net/homepage.
- Coldfoot Camp is located in Arctic Alaska at the base of the Brooks Range and Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve on mile 175 of the Dalton Highway. Coldfoot Camp welcomes visitors to experience rustic Alaska lodging paired with world-class guided aurora viewing above the Arctic Circle. For more information, visit coldfootcamp.com.
- Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, located in Fairbanks along the Chena River, recently constructed an aurora conservatory. Consisting of three glass walls and glass ceiling, the conservatory faces north with fantastic winter views and front row seats to see the aurora borealis. For more information, visit pikeslodge.com.