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Looking for Aurora (Fairbanks) and good approach to glaciers (Anchorage)

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Oct 16th, 2009, 01:43 PM
  #1
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Looking for Aurora (Fairbanks) and good approach to glaciers (Anchorage)

Planning to visit Fairbanks and Anchorage next week (a couple of days each). Planning to rent a car in both cities. I´ve made a long reseach in order to find out the best lodging place in the outskirts of Fairbanks so we maximize the chances for Aurora viewing but still have some doubts.I think planning to drive ourselves up towards Bettles or Coldfoot is not a good idea nor permitted by rental car companies. Also, we´d like to get a small boat tour from Anchorage (or surrounding cities reachable by car) to have a good approach to big glaciers.

Any comment will be highly appreciated.
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Oct 16th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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http://www.chenahotsprings.com/

Boat tours outside of Anchorage are going to be tough; I think everybody's pretty well closed down for the season. You can drive to Exit Glacier near Seward, also Matanuska Glacier up the Glenn Highway. Watch out for weather - it's getting to be that time of year.

You might consider a flightseeing hop out of Anchorage instead - numerous operators at Lake Hood and Merrill Field.
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Oct 17th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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We did a short glacier flight seeing out of Homer. Really fun to see one from the sky and pilot able to spot wildlife. A trip out of Anchorage would be more convenient and seeing Lake Hood would be a plus.
Looks like last chance for Kenai Fjords national park cruise was Oct 4.
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Oct 18th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Sorry, your "aurora" viewing is going to be slim at best. You are in a nonpeak year, next peak is 2012. And, IF the aurora, is viewable, you have NO need to go to Coldfoot or Bettles. It would be viewable outside of Fairbanks. You are correct, you can NOT take any major car rental on the Dalton. And you need way more than a "few days".

So I suggest you just make other plans and have other touring options for Fairbanks. Or skip it and don't even bother going there.
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Oct 18th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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The boat tours are all closed.
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Oct 18th, 2009, 11:30 PM
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Thanks all for your comments. I hope statistics fail this time and we are lucky to see at least some of the aurora. If yes or no, it will be a good excuse for going back in a few years...
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Oct 19th, 2009, 06:17 AM
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Again, do NOT count on any aurora viewing. You are going in a way "off" year. Hardly any viewing last year either.

You, daily have to check the charts via the Fairbanks U Geophysical site. Then, you need a clear dark night, meaning full viewing of stars. Also be aware even if you happen to get an "active" prediction, doesn't mean you will see it.

IF you have no other touring priority for Fairbanks, I wouldn't even bother going there. Depends how valuable your touring time may be elsewhere.
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Dec 6th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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What about Bear Lake? It's down the peninsula West from Anchorage. You could see the Northern Lights from there.

http://tadatop.com/travel/natural/au...r-lake-alaska/
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