Best place to view the Northern Lights

Jun 24th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Best place to view the Northern Lights

Where is the best place to view the Northern Lights near Fairbanks? We are planning a trip to Fairbanks in Sept. and would love to see them.
stpetereb is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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I had heard that December - March is the best time. But take a look at this website -- it recommends around September 22 in Fairbanks as a good time.
sludick is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 04:48 PM
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We were north of Fairbanks in early August and saw them.
iamq is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 04:24 PM
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Fairbanks by far is the best place to view the N. Lights. As a matter of fact, Fairbanks is quite the bustling place during our winter months due to the fact that people travel from all over the world just to see the lights.
Patriot_Express is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 04:49 PM
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Haven't been yet, but have done extensive study on it. Bettle Lodge would be my first pick and Chena Hot Springs Lodge. These are north of Fairbanks, they have virtually no city lights so northern lights will be far brighter than in Fairbanks, plus they are a few degrees north where the light field is more often. Dec thru March is the best time to go. This year is supposed to be a down year.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 4th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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If a priority to see them, it is best to allow at least a week in the Fairbanks area- OUTSIDE of the city. However, it is NOT a good year this year, and sightings all along have been essentially nothing. Next peak will be 2012. I was there the last peak of 2003 and 2004 in March, which is superb for the milder temps and 12 hour daylight. IF you are only looking for a rare chance look on a single day etc. You are better off, tracking the Fairbanks U geophysical web site for predictions every day. HOWEVER, even with an "active" chances are still poor. You need dark clear nights, meaning no clouds and clear view of stars. The reason it's a poor choice to consider watching in Fairbanks. Vital is a car so to get out to dark areas. I have had excellent views from the Steese, just up over the hill past the Chena Hot Springs exit. I would not be going out to Chena Hot Springs just for the chance of a look this season. Nor flying up to Bettles, which has nothing much else there.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jul 4th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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I spent a good share of my childhood in Fairbanks. My mother was forever insisting we go outside because "the lights are out!" and we kids were completely blase about it.
lennyba is offline  
Jul 5th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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Budget Queen,

When they suggest 2012 being a peak year, do they mean winter of 2011/2012 or 2012/2013? Bettles actually looked pretty good to me for a couple of days stay and so did Chena. Dog sledding, flight seeing. Can't do much of that here in Oklahoma. We have been to Kenai and Lake Clark in the summer. Have not been to Denali yet, but thought we might give the Northern Lights a chance sometime. A float trip for a few days in Wrangel sounds interesting to me as well.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 6th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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Your activities require two differnt times of year, for the best Northern Lights and dog sledding you need winter. I greatly enjoyed going in March for the milder temps- did get to -25 a few nights, but decent during the day and 12 hours of daylight.

Your other touring is summer season. The peaks are actually potentially both timeframes. But not before winter of 2011-2012
BudgetQueen is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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Thanks for the information that this will be a poor year to see the lights.

I guess I will need to seriously rethink my plan to spend 3-4 days around the 16th December north of Fairbanks this year to see them.
moxie is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 07:07 AM
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Curious why winter 2001-12 will be a good time to see lights ? And would this phenomenon be true elsewhere in the world ? What are the absolute best locations to see the lights in the whole world ?
okoshi2002 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 05:13 PM
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As far as I know, the places listed above are considered the best. There are many websites that can go into great detail. Something about magnetic phases of the sun, etc is the reason for this year being a down year. They don't totally have it down, it is somewhat of a guess. A number of meteor showers cycle as well. Like there is a peak year every 20 years or something. I basically know nothing about what I am talking about, just read some. When I go to see something I want to experience it at its best.
spirobulldog is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 05:16 PM
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I am sorry I didn't make myself clear. I was talking about several different trip ideas. I know I can't see Wrangel and Denali in the winter. We may try a trip to Chena or Bettles in March 2011 or 2012. I didn't realize that it was that cold then.
spirobulldog is offline  

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