Aurora borealis locations are found in all the northernmost latitudes, from Greenland to Scandinavia and from the Yukon to Alaska. The best locations to see aurora borealis lights are found where the night sky is dark, and it helps when that night sky is far north. In the lower 48 states, sightings are infrequent at best, so it makes sense to head north if you want to see this natural wonder dancing in the night sky. Alaska is home to a host of sites where chances are good to see the northern lights and hear the legends behind them.
Whether you’re taking a formal tour or exploring on your own, it makes sense to begin in Fairbanks. As the largest city in the interior region of Alaska, it’s a hub of transportation with plenty of hotels, shops, and attractions to turn a visit into a vacation. The city also averages 200 days a year when the northern lights are visible. It’s one of the best locations to see aurora borealis display without venturing too far off the beaten path.
If you’re willing to leave the city behind, you’ll have a lot of chances to see the Alaska northern lights. An ever-popular choice is Chena Hot Springs Resort, 60 miles away from Fairbanks. Besides the regular resort offerings, Chena has a specially heated tent designed for watching the northern lights while keeping guests comfortable. It also offers a snowcoach tour between September and April that heads to a top of a ridge for unobstructed views of the lights. Because the northern lights are most active well after bedtime, the resort offers a middle-of-the-night wake up call for guests who don’t want to sleep through the show.
Heading father north will also lead to more opportunities to see the lights. Up towards the Arctic Circle, you’ll find wind stretches of open spaces with endless skies above. The Gates of the Arctic National Park is remote for sure, but those who make the effort to get there are treated with amazing views and plenty of chances to enjoy the northern lights.
When you’re looking for the best locations to see aurora borealis shows, it’s also helpful to know when to go. The lights are most active in the spring and fall, and clear nights are the best time to see the lights dancing in the skies above.