Alaska USA northern lights-polar lights

polar lights

polar lights

Polar lights: Northern lights or Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that occurs when solar winds travel run into the atmosphere. The protons and electrons from solar winds hit similar particles in our atmosphere, and released energy creates wild, colorful dance in the northern sky.

Northern lights last around 30 minutes and appear every two hours. There is a season for watching the Aurora, and it is between August 21 and April 21.

For foreign travelers seeking great locations near Fairbanks for watching Northern lights, ESTA Visa shortens the travel authorization procedure. For those who wonder how long does an ESTA last, they could be relieved. You will have two years to visit the US, and you will have more than enough time to plan the visit.

Best place to watch northern lights

The main prerequisite for watching the light show in the sky is dark. Fairbanks is the second-largest city in Alaska, and its central position away from the coastline gives him perfect condition. Fairbanks receives low precipitations and often has clear skies. There is also low light pollution around the town, making it the ideal spot in Alaska for watching Aurora Borealis.

There are other great spots for watching northern lights in the vast wilderness of America’s largest state. Still, Fairbanks has guided tours and tourist infrastructure that can help with the overall experience.

If you want to make sure you see the northern lights, you should visit Fairbanks for at least three days in the season. There are different ways of watching lights like northern lights tour, specialized wild places like cabins and lodges, or dog sleds. You can even fly above Arctic Circle.

Fairbanks Alaska hiking

Alaska wilderness is in many areas is untouched and pristine. There are numerous hiking trails scattered around Fairbanks.

You will have to drive through one of the most scenic drives in the interior to get to Table Top Mountain Trail. Situated in the White Mountains National Recreation Area’s central part, you will witness many hills, valleys, riverbanks, and forests. The hike to the Table Top Mountain offers numerous panoramic views of the White Mountains. There are two summits available with incredible viewpoints. The 3 miles trail is categorized as easy.

The White Mountains National Recreation Area has over 200 miles of trails. You can experience real Alaskan wilderness just an hour’s drive from Fairbanks. Wickersham Dome Trail is among the most popular hikes. The Wickersham Dome is a hilltop with a rock formation on top and a great view of the surrounding wilderness without natural obstacles to block the view. The trail has 7 miles roundtrip. You can also continue on Summit Trail from the peak. You can find 12 public use cabins, and they are 10 miles apart. You can encounter moose, grizzlies, black bears, Dall sheep, or caribou, among other abundant wildlife in the White mountains. polar lights

Granite Tors Trail is a difficult 15-mile hiking trail that provides views of tors, shapes of unusual rocks formed 90 million years ago.

Less adventurous hikers can walk on Chena Riverwalk, exploring scenic parks and historic downtown.  Other notable hiking trails include Boreal Forest and Seasonal Wetland Trail, Angel Rocks Trail, Ballaine Lake Trail, and many others. polar lights

Fairbanks nightlife

Fairbanks is a relatively small and remote town in the central part of Alaska. The nightlife revolves around several bars. Marlin is a bar with alternative music, lots of beards and flannel shirts, punk stickers, and piercings.

The Big I Pub and Lounge has a large outdoor area and open mic evening every Tuesday.

Appetizers, a vast beer selection, and live music can be found at Howling Dog Saloon. You can also watch football and ice-hockey on large flat-screen televisions.

Midnite Mine and Blue Loon are also popular spots to find beer, music, and cheerful crowds.

Fairbanks or Anchorage

Anchorage is a larger city with a more traditional city feel and larger crowds downtown in summer. Esthetically Anchorage looks more picturesque. If you are looking for authentic Alaska wilderness, more remote Fairbanks is far closer to the great outdoors and has an excellent North Museum. Anchorage hosts Alaska Native Heritage Center. polar lights

Anchorage and Fairbanks have excellent scenic drives nearby and plenty of hiking opportunities. Fairbanks is colder in winter and warmer in summer.

If you consider making an Alaska itinerary, you should include Fairbanks or Anchorage, depending on other locations you plan to visit. But before making any reservation make your ESTA check status regularly. As a precaution, wait for ticket and hotel bookings until your ESTA gets approved. polar lights

Final thoughts

Everything is bigger in Alaska. Most of the 1.5 million square kilometers are a remote, inaccessible wilderness with abundant wildlife. You can see natural beauty, pristine nature, grizzly bears, and a light show of northern lights all in one trip. Although quite expensive, Alaska is worth every cent.

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