Several regions of the USA allow to observe aurora borealis (northern lights) however the more these regions are in the north of the continent the more these phenomena are easily and regularly observable. Alaska is therefore the best state and place in the USA to see these northern lights in winter. Alaska is also close to the Yukon in Canada which shares the same latitude.
Denali National Park in Alaska
Denali National Park, 400 km north of Anchorage, offers a fabulous setting to see the northern lights dancing in the winter sky. Between 11pm and 1am in the winter, the Northern Lights light up the sky. The best time to see the aurora in Alaska is from late September to late March.
Fairbanks, in the north east of Denali National Park, is also a famous spot to observe the aurora in winter. The University of Fairbanks offers an online forecasting system for the aurora borealis in Alaska, but also in other areas of the polar oval from where the light phenomenon can be observed
Aurora Borealis Fairbanks Alaska
Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Alaska because of its location, the hours of darkness in winter, the auroral activity and the number of tours, activities and accommodations dedicated to Northern Lights viewing. Other locations and towns in the interior and Arctic regions offer more remote aurora viewing opportunities, including Coldfoot, Utqiaġvik (Barrow), and Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse. Not planning to travel that far north? The Northern Lights can be seen all over the state, although your chances of seeing them diminish as you travel south.
Not surprisingly, with Fairbanks’ location, it is often considered the best place to see the Northern Lights in Alaska, the United States, and in many cases, the world.
There are many ways to hunt for the aurora. You can drive to a nearby viewpoint and wait for them to appear, or take a drive and watch them from a heated cabin, yurt, dome or lodge. You can also see them on a dog sledding adventure or while ice fishing, on a snow cat tour, via a midway trip on the Dalton Highway or even on a flight over the Arctic Circle.
When to see the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, Alaska?
The Fairbanks aurora season runs from August 21 to April 21, and the aurora will be visible in Fairbanks on average four nights out of five when the sky is sufficiently clear and dark. Scientifically speaking, the aurora dances above the clouds all year round, but we can only see it during the aurora season when we have sufficiently dark skies.
Aurora Borealis Forecasting in Alaska
Northern Lights Forecasting System Alaska
The University of Fairbanks site also films the sky at night to capture the rays of the sky and monitor northern lights activity.
Aurora tracking and forecasting is available on the university’s website: https://www.gi.alaska.edu/monitors/aurora-forecast
The Alaska Northern Lights forecast and weather forecast allows you to know when to plan your night out to see the aurora. Not every night is the same for exploring the wilderness to see Alaska’s northern lights, so these aurora forecasts help you make the most of these phenomena.
This video of national geographic films in timelapse the northern lights in Alaska, the result is amazing
Other places in the USA where you can see auroras
See aurora borealis in Idaho – USA
Northern lights in Idaho – USA – Idaho Panhandle National Forest
The neighboring territory of Alaska is the Yukon in Canada. It is the same geographical area with the same geographical exposure.