Northern Lights Tour and Aurora Borealis Travel Guide Guide for Northern Lights Tour – Aurora Borealis
  • Am I bound to see the northern lights on vacation in Alaska?

    northern lights alaska
    ~Aurora~ asked:

    One of the things on my list of things to do before I die is to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis)
    If I vacation in northern Alaska for 2 weeks will I see them?
    What time of the year is best?

    Thanks!! =]

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    Published on February 25, 2010 · Filed under: Other - United States; Tagged as: , ,

7 Responses to “Am I bound to see the northern lights on vacation in Alaska?”

  1. StL_Stadtroller said on

    I know they are fairly unpredictable. The best time of year is winter.

  2. The aurora borealis most often occurs from September to October and from March to April. They are unpredictable and are are caused by solar activity. BTW You don’t have to go to Alaska to see them. I once saw them in upstate NY.

  3. It does not seem likely. The aurorae are created when energetic particles from the Sun collide with Earth’s magnetic field. So the more solar activity in the form of sunspots and solar flares, the more likely an aurora will be within the following 2 days or so, but right now solar activity is at an minimum, 51 days without a sunspot, so the occurrence of aurorae is minimal as well.

  4. alaska grown. said on

    If you’re not in Anchorage (too many city lights to see them) and it’s in Nov-Feb, clear outside, and below zero, you MAY see it.

  5. firefighter said on

    in the winter.

  6. dewclaw said on

    It is possible to see them but only when the sky is dark, so you need to be out a lot late at night. And the viewing is best father away from towns and electric lights.
    I actually saw some a few night back at about 2 AM. They are unpredictable, and shows can last mere seconds to much longer.
    Mid winter shows can be extreme, but then your dealing with the cold, whereas now its not so bad to stand outside for hours.

    Some places out of town have ‘aurora viewing’ Chena Hot Springs is best known, and they have a whole range of activities (need to check dog mushing off your bucket list? or an ice bar?)

    But if you prefer something less touristy check out the Chatanika Lodge:

    here is some information from the UAF Geophysical Institute:
    they even have a travelers guide to help you out:

    And the UAF museum has excellent DVD’s that showcase and explain Aurora

    And this site also has some great Aurora info:

    and a video for fun:

  7. Here’s a number you can call for an aurora forecast: (303) 497-3235. If the K index is 5 or higher, you can see them in the continental US. I saw a really spectacular display in Seattle once, when the K index was 7.

    I think you can see them in Fairbanks if the K index is 2, or even 1.

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