WHERE CAN YOU SEE NORTHERN LIGHTS
The Northern Lights can rarely be view from with in the city limits of Fairbanks and then the colors are not bright as they are washed out by the over-glow of the city lights. It helps to get a good distance from Fairbanks where there is dark sky and a panoramic view of the Northern Sky as that is where you most often see Northern Light.
Aurora viewing is like hunting animals, in that it is totally unpredictable with no guarantee you will be successful. That is part of the thrill of it, that you were lucky enough to see good Aurora. Most people who really want to see Aurora do not depend on just one night to see it. Forecasts as to the Aurora activity and cloud coverage are not always correct.
DO NOT BE A CLOUD WATCHER. People who pay attention to these forecasts are people who very offten do not get to see the Aurora. Weather Forecasts for Fairbanks do not apply to the valley that has its own weather, where Chandalar Ranch is located. More than half the time when it is cloudy in Fairbanks, it will be clear in this valley. Cloud coverage can change hourly and from location to location. If you wait for a totaly clear sky you may not see Aurora during your stay. The Aurora forecast given by the Geophysical Institute is on a scale from 1 to 10. This scale is deceptive in that I have never seen a forecast over four. Three is great and four is fantastic. But I have also seen nights when the forecast was a four and there was no Aurora. So, coming to Alaska to see Aurora is not for people who want a guarantee, a natural phonoma can not be guaranteed. It is for those who are willing to take a chance to see one of the world's greatest natural phonoma.
Recommondation from Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau
SEE NORTHERN LIGHTS
ALASKA NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR offers one of the best viewing locations at a comfortable Alaskan Style Lodge.
YOUR HOSTS, Keith and Velma Koontz are the owner operators of CHANDALAR RANCH located 25 miles from Fairbanks. Velma is Yupik Eskimo and Keith is a naturalist and a Master Guide, both add to your experiencing an evening with real Bush Alaskans. The price of the Tour including transportation to and from Fairbanks is $90 which
is a comparable price with other local Aurora Tours, plus.....
ALASKA NATIVE CULTURE
As an extra attraction at no extra cost, a Native Culture Show with live Indian Hoop Dancing and a presentation about the many diverse Native Cultures in Alaska may be given. The presentation include videos produced by the presenter Ben Boyd who has a Masters Degree in Cultural Documentation / Video Production from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. These presentations are given at times when Aurora can not be seen to help provide entertainment and information about Alaska when clients would other wise have nothing else to do but set and waite to see Aurora. On nights when the Aurora is visiable most of the night the presentations are not given so as to not interfer with the Aurora viewing.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Chandalar Ranch Lodge is a newly constructed two story Alaska Style Lodge with an auditorium that is two storys high with windows clear to the ceiling facing to the Northern Sky. The auditorium can seat 70 people and during the Holidays and March is full most nights. Mid-Sept. to Mid-Dec. is the slow season with few visitors. When the Aurora appears the auditorium mostly empties out as clients go outside to get a better look at the Aurora and take photos. Aurora viewing attracts one of the most diverse International tourist markets in the World with people coming from over the World to see Aurora. The majority coming from Asian Countries and the Domestic Market being the minority. This is just to advise you, as I have had American Tourist who walked into the Aurora Lodge and were quite suprised that it looked like they were in a foreign country. This is the case with all aurora viewing facilities in Alaska.
RENTING A CAR IN ALASKA IN THE WINTER
This is something that visitors to Alaska in the Winter need to be aware of. The vast majority of Car Rental Companies do not put snow tires on their rental cars. They do not want the cost of changing tires every season like residents here do. Local residents would not consider driving around in winter with out snow tires as it is entirely to dangerous, especially driving out of town. It creates a situation here where many visitors have accidents. You can rent SUVs at a higher price that are 4wheel drive which is much better, but they still do not have snow tires on them. They have all-season tires so they do not have to change the tires. Residents of Alaska do not use all-season tires as they are not anywhere as good a studded snow tires. Do not be foolish and be safe and enjoy your stay here in Alaska.