If you're interested in getting out into the wilderness or out to one of the villages, tours are the way to go. They are a far less stressful way to see this area, particularly if you have limited experience driving remote unpaved roads or traveling the backcountry of Alaska.
Alaska/Yukon Trails. This outfitter offers small group shuttles and tours from Fairbanks to Denali as well as up into the Yukon. Fairbanks, Alaska. 907/479–2277; 800/770–7275; www.alaskashuttle.com. From $55.
Riverboat Discovery. These popular three-hour tours in a traditional stern-wheeler include the opportunity to visit an Athabascan village and watch a bush pilot flight demonstration. 1975 Discovery Dr., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709. 907/479–6673; 866/479–6673; www.riverboatdiscovery.com. From $65.
Sternwheeler Tanana Chief. This cruise along the Chena River is on a vintage stern-wheeler and includes brunch and dinner options. 1020 Hoselton Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709. 907/205--4988; 888/647--2501; www.tananachiefalaska.com. From $25.
Sea and Land Tours
GoNorth Alaska Travel Center. Summer and winter tours include fishing, aurora viewing, dogsledding, and wildlife watching. Fairbanks, Alaska. 907/479–7271; 855/236–7271; www.gonorth-alaska.com. From $95.
Northern Alaska Tour Company. This Fairbanks-based tour company specializes in Arctic adventures, including half- and full-day excursions to the Arctic Circle, Utqiaġvik, and the Brooks Range. Aurora-watching trips take place in winter. Fairbanks, Alaska. 907/474–8600; 800/474–1986; www.northernalaska.com. From $159.
Trans Arctic Circle Treks Ltd. Consider one of this trusted company's flight and driving tours, which range from a few hours to several days, into the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks, Alaska, 99708. 907/479–5451; 800/336–8735; www.transarctictreks.com. From $189.