Alaska Aurora Borealis Experience
Discover the essence of an Alaskan winter on this seven-day journey! Your journey begins with history and culture in Fairbanks, before traveling to Pleasant Valley where you’ll experience unique domed accommodations and a memorable encounter with reindeer. You’ll then revel in the warm hospitality at a traditional lodge nestled in the Eastern Alaskan Range. Enjoy quintessential winter activities, from snowshoeing to dog mushing, flightseeing and more. Each night you’ll turn your eyes skyward in search of the mesmerizing aurora borealis.
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1 | FAIRBANKS, AK
Welcome to Fairbanks! A private transfer will deliver you to your hotel, where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure. Conveniently located adjacent to the Chena River, you may wish to bundle up and go for a riverside stroll, or explore the many shops and restaurants nearby. Accommodations are at the SpringHill Suites Fairbanks in a Suite.
2 | PLEASANT VALLEY, AK
This morning you’ll enjoy a private tour of Fairbanks with a private guide. Known as the ‘Golden Heart of Alaska’, Fairbanks was originally a gold rush boomtown and is steeped in history. After exploring Fairbanks you’ll make a stop at Chena Hot Springs before arriving at Pleasant Acres Reindeer Ranch. Here you’ll enjoy unique fiberglass domed accommodations with large windows to enjoy aurora viewing in comfort.
3 | THE LODGE AT BLACK RAPIDS, AK
This morning you’ll get the chance to meet the resident reindeer at Pleasant Acres before your private transfer to The Lodge at Black Rapids. En route, stops will be made at the Morris Thompson Cultural Center and North Pole to visit the Santa Claus House. Upon your arrival at the lodge, you’ll be treated to canapés and a welcome beverage before settling in. Explore the lodge trails this afternoon, and revel at the ridge-line views. This evening you’ll receive an aurora presentation before looking to the skies for auroral activity. Accommodations are at The Lodge at Black Rapids in a Lodge Room.
4 | THE LODGE AT BLACK RAPIDS, AK
Jaw-dropping views await this morning on your flightseeing tour of the Alaska Range. Soaring above the jagged peaks of Mt. Hayes and Mt. Deborah, you’ll marvel at their grandeur. The 13,800-foot Mt. Hayes is equivalent to that from the base camp to the summit of Mt. Everest. Nearby, the formidable Mt. Deborah boasts the tallest vertical face in North America. This evening you’ll search for the aurora borealis, either turning your eyes skyward or, if the lights are not visible from the lodge, venturing out with your guide. Accommodations are at The Lodge at Black Rapids in a Lodge Room.
5 | THE LODGE AT BLACK RAPIDS, AK
Today you’ll step back in time, to travel the way Alaskans did one hundred years ago. Donning warm layers and wrapped under blankets, you’ll lead a team of energetic dogs through backcountry trails from the comfort of your dog-sled. After this exhilarating adventure, you’ll get an opportunity to meet and interact with the pups at their kennel. This evening brings further aurora-viewing opportunities, from the lodge or chasing the lights with a guide. Accommodations are at The Lodge at Black Rapids in a Lodge Room.
6 | THE LODGE AT BLACK RAPIDS, AK
Today is as educational as it is awe-inspiring as you discover the world of geology and glaciology on an ice cave excursion. Guided by local experts, you’ll learn about the evolution of the Alaska Range as you ski or snowshoe to the ice caves. Once inside, you’ll be able to observe ice crystals and hoarfrost (large feathery-like crystal formations) along the cave walls. This evening, settle in to watch for another stunning light, courtesy of Mother Nature. Accommodations are at The Lodge at Black Rapids, in a Lodge Room.
7 | FAIRBANKS, AK
You have the morning free to enjoy the lodge’s nearby trails on foot or unwind in the sauna or on the deck with a good book. In the afternoon, your private driver-guide will pick you up for your return trip to Fairbanks. Making various stops along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a local meat and sausage factory, the local flour company, and take in views of buffalo ranches and farmland before arriving to the Fairbanks International Airport.