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Travel Inspiration

Best Locations to View the Northern Lights in Alaska

Last Updated

September 6, 2023

If you are an avid traveler seeking a truly mesmerizing natural phenomenon, look no further than the enchanting northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. And what better place to witness this celestial spectacle than the vast and untouched wilderness of Alaska? Renowned for its incredibly clear skies and sweeping landscapes, Alaska offers numerous prime locations to experience the awe-inspiring dance of colors across the night sky. In this guide, we will uncover some of the best places in Alaska to catch a glimpse of this captivating phenomenon.


Topping the list is Fairbanks, indisputably one of the premier destinations for northern lights viewing. Located under the Auroral Oval, a band encircling the Earth's geomagnetic poles where auroras are most frequently seen, Fairbanks boasts a high probability of witnessing the lights on any given night. The city's position in interior Alaska provides a favorable combination of cold temperatures and relatively clear skies, making it an ideal spot for aurora enthusiasts. To maximize your chances, head to the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus or the nearby Chena Hot Springs, where you can enjoy soothing thermal baths while marveling at the vibrant displays overhead.

Denali National Park

Nestled within the heart of the Alaskan wilderness, Denali National Park offers not only breathtaking landscapes but also a remarkable opportunity to witness the northern lights in all their splendor. Away from city lights, the park's remote location guarantees minimal light pollution, enhancing the visibility and vibrancy of the auroras. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this untamed wilderness while gazing up at the dancing ribbons of green, purple, and pink that illuminate the night sky.


Situated on the Seward Peninsula, Nome is another fantastic destination for catching a glimpse of the northern lights. This coastal town provides an unparalleled viewing experience due to its proximity to the Arctic Circle and low levels of light pollution. Steeped in history, Nome offers not only a unique opportunity to witness the auroras but also a chance to explore its rich gold rush heritage and native Alaskan culture. Set up camp near the Bering Sea coast, and prepare to be spellbound by the captivating displays that often grace these remote skies.


Located just a stone's throw away from Denali National Park, the charming village of Talkeetna regularly draws visitors seeking an authentic Alaskan experience. Apart from its picturesque surroundings and outdoor activities, Talkeetna boasts excellent conditions for viewing the northern lights. The area's relatively low precipitation and favorable latitude make it an attractive location for those hoping to catch nature's most dazzling light show.


For the truly adventurous soul, a journey to Barrow, Alaska's northernmost city, promises an extraordinary encounter with the northern lights. Located well above the Arctic Circle, Barrow stands as one of the best places on Earth to witness the Aurora Borealis. With nearly two months of continuous darkness during the winter, the chances of experiencing the lights are incredibly high. Despite the extreme temperatures, this once-in-a-lifetime experience will leave you awestruck and forever etched in your memory.

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