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29 Issues to do in Fairbanks Alaska Summer season and Winter

Welcome to ‘Inside Alaska’ – the land between the mountains. Fairbanks sits within the middle of the state and is the jumping-off level for visiting the excessive Arctic. One of many few huge landlocked cities in Alaska, Fairbanks is commonly ignored because it’s not a cruise port. However that doesn’t imply that there are usually not loads of issues to do in Fairbanks year-round!

Fairbanks has been a important hub in Alaska ever since its inception. It began as a gold rush outpost for the area after which advanced right into a important pipeline outpost throughout its development. Now it acts because the outpost of Alaska’s Inside.

I’ve been to Fairbanks 5 totally different occasions in summer time and winter. In actual fact, I really like Fairbanks a lot that I even run Ottsworld Excursions there! Palms down Fairbanks is the very best place to essentially get to know the hearty individuals of the inside of Alaska. It’s additionally the very best place to have an opportunity to see the aurora from September by way of April.

Dwelling on the sting of the Arctic Circle

With a inhabitants of 32,000, I used to be excited to go to Fairbanks and meet the individuals who dwell on this excessive surroundings on the sting of the Arctic. It’s a must to embrace change should you dwell in Alaska; daylight adjustments drastically from each day dropping 6 minutes of daylight (almost an hour each week!) because it heads in the direction of December twenty first and beneficial properties 6 minutes after that.

With the darkness comes the chilly and parking heaps with electrical retailers at each spot. Because of the excessive chilly temperatures in Fairbanks through the winter, most automobiles are geared up with a number of electrical “heating” units that facilitate beginning through the coldest time and needs to be plugged in to maintain heat.

“When it will get chilly, we simply get shut,” a neighborhood Fairbanks man instructed me after I requested how he survived the winters.

However with the summer time comes the lengthy days and a inhabitants with an abundance of ‘cabin fever’. As I drove across the metropolis middle in the summertime I used to be impressed by the entire out of doors trails and actions. Folks in Fairbanks like to get outdoors in the summertime and winter, and so do I.

What To Count on From This Fairbanks Checklist

There are a variety of operators to select from which are effectively established; nevertheless, in my travels, I prefer to concentrate on the brand new, distinctive operators. They are usually the smaller, youthful corporations which are serving the unbiased traveler and offering a extra private contact than the bigger tour choices. When you simply dig a bit bit, you’ll find these smaller, particular person experiences that is likely to be tougher to get to or much more costly.

Fortunately although you don’t should dig – I’ve compiled all of those superior Fairbanks issues to do into this listing. I’ve organized the issues to do in Fairbanks by summer time, winter, and each seasons. My objective is that can assist you expertise a singular Alaska winter journey that takes you a bit off the vacationer monitor and is extra built-in domestically.

Issues to do in Fairbanks within the Summer season

Fairbanks usually goes unnoticed by vacationers in the summertime, however after all, I used to be not going to miss this previous gold-mining city. Because of being introduced up within the Midwest, I’m at all times intrigued with cities and communities which are landlocked and within the center, which are overshadowed by their extra widespread neighbors (ahem…Anchorage).

1. Fountainhead Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary & Trails

Simply outdoors my resort was the Fountainhead Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary – a sequence of trails winding by way of the boreal forest, good for working and strolling. After spending every week within the treeless tundra round Nome I used to be excited to see timber once more after I bought again to Fairbanks!

I bumped into many individuals taking their canines out for walks and birdwatching as I did a bit 3-mile run over picket bridges and across the lakes. The paths hook up with the Creamer’s Discipline Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. That is one run the place I used to be comfortable I took my telephone with me to take some footage alongside the best way!

Extra Info: Fountainhead Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary

Discover out the place to go in Alaska for fall coloration

2. Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market

That is the oldest established farmers market in Alaska and the one one situated in its personal everlasting constructing. The Tanana Valley Farmers Market showcases all kinds of Alaska-grown produce, native Alaskan crops, and domestically made, Alaskan artwork and crafts.

Not solely can you purchase produce there, however you too can plan on having lunch…and you need to go hungry! There was a stunning number of ethnic meals and I stuffed my face with Asian pork buns in addition to Mexican tacos.

I spent the remainder of my time trying round on the large produce and unusual veggies that I had by no means seen earlier than. Everybody was so pleasant and it was a good way to spend a day studying extra in regards to the neighborhood.

Extra Info: Tanana Valley Farrmers Market Web site
The market is open from Might to September on Wednesdays and Saturdays

3. Georgeson Botanical Backyard

Be an novice botanist for the day as you wander round Georgeson Botanical Backyard in quest of uncommon, far-north crops. You’ll uncover uncommon species of flowers and timber which are endemic to Alaska and find out how they dwell and thrive within the wild local weather of Alaska’s sub-Arctic inside.

This five-acre backyard is a part of the College of Alaska Fairbanks campus and was formally opened in 1989 as a analysis facility. It’s now a vibrant inexperienced house that’s stunning, particularly in spring and summer time.

Children will love the Babula Kids’s Backyard the place Alaska’s largest hedge maze beckons. Its well-designed pathways meander by way of lush greenery. Children can discover totally different sections named after beloved storybook characters like Peter Rabbit or Cinderella. Every space options plant species fastidiously chosen to mirror components from these timeless tales – really bringing tales to life!

Extra data: Georgeson Botanical Backyard

4. Tanana Valley Railroad Museum

All aboard! Prepare for an enthralling journey by way of railroad historical past with a go to to this pleasant museum located inside Pioneer Park. Marvel at classic locomotives and discover mannequin prepare layouts depicting numerous Alaskan landscapes.

Find out how steam locomotives performed a vital position in shaping Northern Alaska as you discover classic railcars full of intriguing artifacts from yesteryear. You even take a journey on one of many park’s miniature trains!

Extra data: The Tanana Valley Railroad Museum is quickly closed

Plan an Alaska Railroad Hurricane Practice Tour

5. Gold Dredge 8

Fairbanks owes its existence to the gold fever that descended on the Tanana Valley. Gold Dredge 8 takes you again to the late nineteenth century when prospectors flocked to Alaska in quest of fortune. This huge gold dredge, towering over the panorama, as soon as extracted thousands and thousands of ounces of gold from the icy floor.

Now retired however meticulously preserved, it’s a nationwide monument the place you possibly can find out about Alaska’s mining heritage. It stands as a testomony to the unbelievable engineering and willpower of those that sought their goals throughout this historic interval.

Once you step onto Gold Dredge 8’s property, prepare for an immersive expertise. The educated guides right here will take you on a journey by way of time as they share fascinating tales and insights. You’ll study in regards to the dredging course of that revolutionized gold mining and witness firsthand how these behemoth machines operated. Plus – you possibly can even pan for gold as a part of your go to.

Extra data: Gold Dredge 8

Issues to do in Fairbanks Yr-Spherical

6. College of Alaska Museum of the North

As I pulled as much as the modern white constructing I used to be shocked to seek out trendy structure in a small neighborhood. And the shock didn’t cease there. The displays contained in the Alaska Museum of the North had been equally spectacular. There was a big Alaska pure historical past part that may totally educate you in regards to the grand state.

And upstairs was a formidable array of latest and trendy artwork carried out by Alaskan artists. I cherished the upstairs displays as I’m a contemporary artwork buff. Lots of the works had an Alaska theme to them in a roundabout way – however some had been additionally simply nice items that had nothing to do with the state.

And naturally, I couldn’t miss out on Otto the Bear, probably the most recognizable specimen on the College of Alaska Fairbanks Campus of the North. Otto is an 8′ 9” brown bear that has greeted friends for greater than 40 years. And sure – Ottsworld met Otto.

The museum has been engaged on restoring Bus 142 from the story Into the Wild for the previous few years. Hopefully, in 2024 it will likely be on exhibit for the general public to see and expertise. Take a look at the museum web site for updates on its standing.

Extra Info: College of Alaska Museum of the North

7. HooDoo Brewing Firm

I had been listening to good issues in regards to the Fairbanks craft brew scene, so I made a decision to test it out myself. After getting misplaced across the railroad tracks, I lastly got here throughout the massive industrial constructing that was HooDoo Brewing Firm. In true Alaska type – it was fundamental and rugged, not just like the craft breweries and bars in hipster neighborhoods that I’m used to. It was useful.

Hoodoo brewery fairbanks alaska
Have a couple of pints with locals at HooDoo Brewery

Go inside and order a HooDoo beer after which head again outdoors to the picnic tables to get pleasure from your frosty brew. It didn’t take me lengthy to make buddies with some locals I shared the picnic desk with. HooDoo Brewing doesn’t have meals, as an alternative, they’ve numerous meals vehicles that come every night time and park on the premises serving up meals to the hungry beer drinkers. I cherished the out of doors vibe; everybody absorbing the daylight and having fun with the outside and laid-back really feel.

Extra Info: HooDoo Brewery. Don’t miss Caturday at HooDoos on Saturdays when it turns right into a cat brewery!

8. Operating Reindeer Ranch

As I pulled into the driveway two huge balls of brown fur ran out in entrance of my automobile I hit the brakes in a panic. I let loose a sigh of reduction, it could have been fairly dangerous if I had hit a reindeer as I entered the Operating Reindeer Ranch!

As reindeer roamed freely within the Operating Reindeer Ranch yard and across the vehicles the proprietor, Jane, greeted us and began filling our heads with fascinating reindeer information. I used to be there to not solely find out about reindeer however to additionally stroll with them by way of the forest – a singular Fairbanks exercise provided year-round. Examine my total reindeer expertise and the way I almost bought myself run over.

Fairbanks Alaska things to do reindeer
Take a stroll with reindeer at Faribank’s Reindeer Ranch

My first go to to the ranch was in the summertime. There are few locations I am going again to a 2nd time as a result of there are simply so many locations to see on the earth that I’m not keen on do-overs. Nevertheless, as quickly as I knew I used to be going again to Fairbanks within the winter, I put Operating Reindeer Ranch on my must-see listing…once more. I visited Jane’s distinctive reindeer expertise after I traveled by way of Fairbanks in the summertime a couple of years again, however I used to be actually excited to see and stroll with the reindeer within the winter panorama.

My winter go to had some new surprises in retailer for me in comparison with my summer time go to. Along with the snow that was dolloped on the timber, there was one factor that was vastly totally different on this go to to the reindeer – the individuals! Jane was nonetheless there giving the fascinating historical past of reindeer and the way she ended up being what I name the ‘reindeer whisperer’, however the sheer quantity of people that had been additionally there to see the reindeer shocked me. In the summertime after I got here there have been solely 3 of us. Nevertheless, within the winter there have been almost 18 of us! Fortunately there are many lovable reindeer to go round.

Take a stroll by way of the boreal forest together with the reindeer, get footage, and study in regards to the fascinating lives of those light animals. It’ll take you far past Christmas myths, and it’ll make you need to come again for extra in different seasons!

The Operating Reindeer Ranch is situated close to the College of Fairbanks. It operates year-round apart from Christmas when the reindeer produce other ‘essential’ work to do. Guide early because the tour has turn out to be fairly widespread and infrequently fills up within the winter!

Extra data: Operating Reindeer Ranch Web site. Learn Operating Reindeer Ranch evaluations on Journey Advisor

9. Morris Thompson Cultural Middle

Take a look at the Morris Thompson Cultural Middle and also you’ll rapidly have a full Fairbanks itinerary deliberate! The power was created by the Fairbanks Conference & Guests Bureau, the Alaska Public Lands Info Middle, and the Tanana Chiefs Convention.

Fairbanks Morris Thompson Cultural Center

The Morris Thompson Cultural Middle goals to encourage residents and guests to get out and discover Inside Alaska and Arctic Alaska in addition to to protect Athabascan languages and keep on conventional data by way of Elder teachings. Right here it is possible for you to to seek out all the knowledge you’ll want in your Fairbanks go to to Inside Alaska and Arctic Alaska.

Extra data: Morris Thompson Cultural Middle

10. Go to the Arctic Circle and Coldfoot Truck Cease – Day Journey

Fairbanks is the hopping-off level for the Arctic Circle, and the one technique to get to the Arctic Circle is to take one of many many Alaska bush flights or drive the Dalton Freeway; I did each! You probably have time when you go to Fairbanks head north out of city the place the pavement ends and the freeway begins.

The Dalton Freeway follows the Alaskan pipeline from Fairbanks to Coldfoot Alaska (a halfway truck cease) and barely past. The freeway was constructed as a provide highway to help the development of the pipeline in 1974. It’s a 414-mile highway (the vast majority of it filth) starting on the Elliott Freeway north of Fairbanks and ending at Deadhorse close to the Arctic Ocean. And it’s nonetheless used primarily at the side of the pipeline right now for upkeep crews, transport…and a bit little bit of…tourism.

Dalton Highway Cold Foot
The highway previous Chilly Foot Camp

You would possibly suppose that this opportunity to go to the Arctic Circle and drive the Dalton Freeway is barely accessible in the summertime – however you’re mistaken! You are able to do this tour within the winter too! I’ve really carried out it in the summertime and winter and cherished each journeys.

In the summertime, anticipate quite a lot of daylight to discover. You’ll cease at some previous roadhouses, the Yukon River, the Arctic Circle, and Coldfoot. I really stayed in Coldfoot for an evening and did extra exploring with a information mountaineering by way of the tundra and studying in regards to the historical past of this distinctive space earlier than flying in a bush airplane again to Fairbanks.

What to anticipate from flying in Alaska bush planes

You are able to do the identical type of journey within the winter with a couple of additions. I flew as much as Coldfoot on an ideal winter day. It was spectacular to see the tundra from the airplane lined in snow. We had lunch in Coldfoot on the truck cease after which hopped within the van and began the lengthy and interesting drive again to Fairbanks.

We stopped to see the pipeline, do some sledding, and benefit from the Arctic Circle and the Yukon. Lastly – I selected to do an add-on expertise the place we stopped at a cabin about 90 minutes north of Fairbanks to look at for the aurora. As we had been within the van we might see the aurora beginning to seem and by the point we arrived on the cabin, it was in full swing.

This was the most effective aurora viewing nights I had in Fairbanks – the lights danced for hours. Plus – the cabin supplied an exquisite place to heat up and have snacks in between aurora viewing! It was a really lengthy day as we didn’t get again to Fairbanks till 5 AM! But it surely was soooo value it.

Extra Info for driving the Dalton Freeway
Northern Alaska Tour Firm – drive-up/fly-back variations in winter and summer time
Hire your Personal Automotive from Arctic Outfitters – gravel road-allowed vehicle leases for the Dalton Freeway traveler
Dalton Freeway Shuttle

Uncover the place to go in Alaska off the vacationer path

11. Aurora Ice Museum – Day Journey

Situated on the Chena Sizzling Springs Resort about an hour from Fairbanks is Alaska’s coolest museum! By coolest I imply, actually the best. At a chilling 25 levels Fahrenheit, the Aurora Ice Museum lives as much as its title. It options the world’s largest year-round ice sculpture show. The sculptures within the museum are all created by Heather and Steve Brice who’re certainly very huge names in ice sculpting.

As you wander by way of the museum’s icy corridors, be ready to come across magnificent sculptures that appear virtually otherworldly. From life-sized animals to legendary creatures and complicated ice chandeliers, every creation is meticulously carved. Each nook reveals one thing new and astonishing – play an ice xylophone, crawl into an indoor igloo, or go to a frosted chapel!

Have a Drink on the Well-known Ice Bar

One of many highlights of the Aurora Ice Museum is its well-known “Ice Bar.” Step inside this frigid lounge space adorned with icy furnishings whereas having fun with your favourite beverage served in -10°F glasses made totally out of ice! It’s a really chilling expertise that may make your coronary heart race whereas protecting you refreshed on the similar time.

When you’re fortunate sufficient to go to throughout winter months when Alaska’s well-known Northern Lights illuminate the sky, put together your self for an much more enchanting encounter. The museum’s location presents a perfect vantage level for witnessing nature’s most mesmerizing gentle present – dancing curtains of vibrant colours portray an indigo canvas above your head.

Extra data: Aurora Ice Museum at Chena Sizzling Springs

12. Fountainhead Vintage Auto Museum

Calling all automobile fans! Go to the Fountainhead Vintage Auto Museum to delve into automotive historical past. This treasure trove showcases uncommon and fantastically restored vehicles from as early as 1898. Uncover how automobiles have advanced all through time whereas appreciating their intricate designs and craftsmanship. Don’t miss the horseless carriages and the cycle vehicles.

However wait…the Fountainhead Vintage Auto Museum is a lot greater than a automobile museum. The true appeal comes from the early fashions and the period clothes on show with every automobile. It homes many equipment that deliver the Artwork Deco interval to life. The museum is situated on the grounds of the Wedgewood Resort.

Fountainhead Antique auto Museum Fairbanks Alaska

Extra data: Fountainhead Vintage Auto Museum

13. Pioneer Park

Not your typical museum or guests middle per se, Pioneer Park is a residing testomony to Fairbanks’ previous. This attraction in Alaska was created for the Alaska ‘67 Centennial Exposition to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the state’s buy from Russia. It showcases 5 family-friendly academic and neighborhood sights.

Pioneer Park isn’t simply an peculiar park; it’s additionally dwelling to a number of participating museums that provide insights into Fairbanks’ cultural historical past. Nestled alongside the Chena River, this park recreates an early 1900s gold rush city with genuine log cabins remodeled into quirky outlets and eateries.

Make a journey again in time on the Pioneer Air Museum the place you possibly can marvel at classic plane or hop aboard a duplicate paddlewheel riverboat at The Riverboat Nenana Museum for a scenic cruise. With its playground, carousel, and prepare that circles the perimeter, it’s simple to see how the park is a enjoyable, family-friendly time out.

Extra data: Pioneer Park

14. Fairbanks Neighborhood Museum

Discover Fairbanks’ colourful previous at this charming neighborhood museum situated within the coronary heart of downtown Fairbanks. Hear tales about its pioneers, gold rush historical past, and the numerous position that the railroad performed in shaping this frontier metropolis. View fascinating displays on native industries like mining and canine mushing. Don’t overlook to take a look at their rotating displays which regularly spotlight native artists and neighborhood occasions. You’ll acquire a deeper understanding of how this vibrant metropolis got here to be.

Extra data: Fairbanks Neighborhood Museum

15. Alyeska Pipeline Customer Middle

Located alongside the enduring Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), this distinctive attraction presents an enchanting journey by way of the historical past, know-how, and environmental affect of one of many world’s largest pipeline methods. As you step into the guests middle, put together to be amazed by the sheer scale of TAPS. The pipeline stretches a formidable 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope all the best way to Valdez on its southern coast. It was inbuilt response to America’s rising demand for oil within the Nineteen Seventies and has been working safely ever since.

The customer middle supplies a wonderful alternative to find out about how TAPS operates and its important position in transporting crude oil throughout this huge state. Partaking displays showcase numerous points of pipeline development, upkeep, and security protocols. You’ll acquire insights into the intricate engineering methods used to beat challenges reminiscent of permafrost situations and wildlife conservation efforts carried out alongside its route.

Pipeline Alley

One spotlight of your go to will undoubtedly be exploring “Pipeline Alley.” This out of doors exhibit options an precise part of pipe permitting you to see up shut the way it capabilities. Marvel at its dimension and energy whereas studying in regards to the revolutionary measures taken to guard it from excessive climate situations like earthquakes and avalanches.

For these considering environmental stewardship, there are interactive shows that delve into Alyeska Pipeline Service Firm’s dedication to minimizing impacts on native ecosystems. Uncover their intensive monitoring applications aimed toward safeguarding wildlife habitats and guaranteeing clear waterways all through TAPS’ operation.

Extra data: Trans-Alaska Pipeline Viewpoint

16. Go to the Fairbanks Geophysical Institute

For these science-y individuals – this can be a tremendous cool factor to do in Fairbanks. Go to the Geophysical Institute situated on the College of Alaska Fairbanks. Because it was established by an Act of Congress in 1946, scientists on the Geophysical Institute have studied geophysical processes from the middle of the Earth to the floor of the solar and past, turning knowledge and observations into data helpful for state, Arctic, and nationwide priorities.

World-class researchers research every thing from the middle of the Earth to the middle of the Solar. Once I was researching a narrative in regards to the northern lights in Fairbanks, I really was capable of meet with among the scientists at GI and discuss to them about aurora on different planets.

Nevertheless, for the vacationer – you too can go to the institute and study extra about their analysis. They provide free public excursions in the summertime weekly on Wednesdays at 1 PM. When you can’t make that point, they’ve self-guided excursions you are able to do. Additionally they run excursions out at Poker Flat Analysis Vary. Poker Flat is the biggest land-based rocket analysis vary on the earth and the one high-latitude rocket vary in america. Be a part of a tour to study in regards to the thrilling science that occurs on the vary and see among the amenities, together with the blockhouse advanced and the launch pads.

Extra Info: Geophysical Institute | Poker Flat Excursions

Take a look at the Fairbanks meals scene

Most individuals come to Fairbanks for journey – and there may be loads of that. Nevertheless one of many stunning issues about Fairbanks is the meals scene. For a city of 30,000 individuals, I’m amazed on the ethnic range and high quality of meals in Fairbanks. And it’s not all seafood and steak! These are all locations that I take my tour teams after I’m there.

17. Thai Meals in Fairbanks

The Thai Home Restaurant was the primary to deliver Thai meals to Fairbanks, in 1989. Now there are over 20 Thai eating places within the comparatively small city of Fairbanks. It’s the Thai capital of Alaska! There was a migration of Thai individuals into the Alaska inside for gold mining; when that didn’t pan out, many stayed needing a livelihood. Eating places adopted. I recommend you attempt Thai Home and Bahn Thai – every thing is scrumptious – and genuine!

Extra data: Thai Home Restaurant

18. Strive Moldovan Meals at Soba

Sure – you learn that proper – there’s a Moldova restaurant in Fairbanks. I’m fairly certain my dwelling in Denver doesn’t actually have a Moldova restaurant. Soba serves genuine Jap European meals and Moldovan wines. It’s the proper hearty meals within the winter.

We tried the potato pierogies, pelmeni pork dumplings, cabbage wraps with rice and pork, beet soup, and don’t miss out on the bitter cherry crepes. It’s all so good!

Extra data: Soba Restaurant

19. The Crepery Restaurant

Photo of sign above restaurant The Crepery in Fairbanks

The Crepery is the place to be in downtown Fairbanks. It’s a preferred cease for locals and vacationers. They serve up candy and savory crepes and it’s a favourite place of mine for lunch. Common fillings embody Brie and pear, in addition to smoked salmon. Gluten-free variations can be found.

Extra data: The Crepery

20. Pump Home Restaurant

The Pump Home is one in all my favourite upscale eating places in Fairbanks. The historic constructing alongside the Chena River was reconstructed within the spring of 1978 giving a nod to the 1890’s “Gold Rush” motif and ambiance. In every single place you look you will note relics from the wealthy and illustrious previous. In the summertime months, sit on the deck overlooking the historic Chena River and watch the Riverboat Discovery move and the float planes land. The Pump Home serves extra conventional Alaskan truthful reminiscent of steaks and seafood. Count on huge parts and nice drinks too.

Extra data: The Pump Home

Fairbanks Alaska – Your House Base for Winter Enjoyable

Fairbanks is the place all of the Alaska winter enjoyable appears to occur. Not like summer time the place so many tour choices are about cruises, the winter in Alaska is in regards to the inside and survival.

Touring overland in summer time is a tricky course of; Alaska’s panorama is made up of quite a lot of spongy tundra (permafrost covers half of Alaska) and there are few roads. However winter abruptly makes every thing accessible. Rivers freeze and turn out to be highways to maneuver round on. The bottom hardens and abruptly Alaska sled canines can take you wherever.

Watch my winter adventures in Fairbanks beneath! Video by Michaela Potter

Alaska Winter Climate

I do know what you’re pondering – it’s too chilly, there’s an excessive amount of snow, it’s too darkish. Nevertheless, if you’re going for a winter trip – don’t you need snow? And if you’ll see the Northern Lights – don’t you need darkness?

You is likely to be shocked to seek out out that the coastal areas don’t get as chilly as you suppose – they hardly ever fall beneath 20F apart from the occasional storm. Up within the Arctic areas, they don’t get a lot snow as a result of it’s thought of a desert.

Nevertheless, Alaska’s inside does get chilly and has plenty of snow. There you might expertise temperatures dipping into the -20F vary and get plenty of snow that may stick round all winter from October by way of March. All Alaskans know that you simply fight winter climate with the correct gear. You probably have the correct gear – you possibly can get pleasure from Alaska winter – even in Fairbanks!

I’ve traveled to some fairly chilly locations all over the world and have discovered some key gear that I tackle each winter journey. Take a look at my listing of utmost winter gear I exploit

Month-to-month temperatures Coastal and Inside Alaska

See the present Alaska climate situations right here.

Alaska Winter Driving

Most of those locations I’ve talked about do require a rental automobile, but it surely’s value it to courageous the winter roads so that you could get out and have all of those great experiences. It’s simple to hire a automobile on the Fairbanks airport. I used Avis, however there are a variety of choices.

I’d completely get an all-wheel drive automobile although as it’s obligatory and there have been a couple of occasions after I was driving by way of quite a lot of snow on not-so-well-plowed again nation roads!

Do word that Fairbanks and the encompassing space don’t use salt on their roads, however that doesn’t appear to trouble the locals a lot and I used to be capable of get round superb.

Plus should you go to Alaska within the winter, you get launched to the distinctive Alaska winter tradition of plugging in your automobile at night time! Sure, that’s proper, your rental automobile will include an electrical chord that you should use to plug in your automobile all over the place you go and hold the engine block from freezing.

Extra data: Fairbanks Rental Automobiles

Issues to do in Fairbanks within the Winter

Whereas Alaska is a well-liked dream vacation spot in the summertime, it will get little respect within the winter. The concern of frigid temperatures, lack of sunshine, and heavy snow scare off most individuals. Nevertheless, that’s the precise cause why I assumed Fairbanks could be the proper place to go for an Alaska winter journey – I wished to see how the hearty Alaskans lived and performed within the low season.

Plus you get a few bonuses to the Fairbanks winter, like Northern Lights and cheaper costs. My airfare from Denver to Fairbanks was solely a mere fraction of summer time costs, and fairly a bit lower than different hearty additional flung Scandinavian winter locations.

And whereas a Fairbanks Northern Lights journey might have introduced you to this lesser-known a part of Alaska, there are many different issues to do which makes Fairbanks the proper spot for an Alaska winter journey trip!

21. Ice Fishing

Fairbanks is a winter wonderland for ice-fishing fans! When you’re trying to expertise the joys of catching fish by way of a frozen lake’s icy floor, look no additional than this unbelievable vacation spot. Nestled amidst scenic landscapes and frigid temperatures, this charming metropolis presents an exhilarating expertise for each novice and seasoned anglers alike.

Fairbanks is famend for its gorgeous frozen lakes and rivers that rework right into a winter playground for ice-fishing fans. With over 100 lakes inside a 50-mile radius, you’ll have countless alternatives to discover new spots and discover that good catch. The area boasts quite a few lakes teeming with numerous fish species reminiscent of Arctic char, northern pike, rainbow trout, and burbot.

Fairbanks ice fishing

Rods Alaskan Information Service presents a ton of various winter tous within the space and that features ice fishing. Don’t fear about getting chilly – you fish from inside a heat little hut/cabin on the ice. When you go together with a information – you’ll have every thing you want, tools and a heat place to attend for the fish to chunk! They even provide an aurora tour additionally – so you possibly can snag that Arctic Char underneath the northern lights!

Extra data: Rods Alaskan Information Service

22. Canine Mushing

Expertise Alaska’s primary winter sport – canine sledding. Any Alaska winter journey wants to incorporate some canine mushing! Fairbanks, with its gorgeous landscapes and frigid local weather, presents an ideal setting for this conventional mode of transportation.

Canine mushing has been an integral a part of Alaskan historical past and tradition for hundreds of years. Initially used as a way of transportation by indigenous peoples, right now it has advanced into a preferred leisure sport and vacationer attraction. In Fairbanks, the place winters are lengthy and snow is considerable, canine mushing stays deeply ingrained in native traditions.

The true stars of canine sledding are undoubtedly the unbelievable sled canines themselves. These extremely educated canine athletes possess exceptional endurance and energy. Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Alaskan Huskies are generally discovered breeds in sled canine groups because of their distinctive cold-weather adaptability.

Fairbanks boasts an intensive community of well-groomed trails that wind by way of breathtaking forests and frozen landscapes. Whether or not you’re a newbie or an skilled adventurer, there are alternatives accessible for all ability ranges. From shorter introductory rides to multi-day expeditions throughout distant territories reminiscent of Denali Nationwide Park – there’s one thing for everybody!

Go to Mushing Faculty and learn to function a canine sledding staff

There are such a lot of decisions and types to select from round Fairbanks for canine mushing. Nevertheless, I used to be searching for a extra hands-on expertise as I wished to study extra about easy methods to mush my very own staff. Discover Fairbanks really helpful I take a look at a brand new, younger operation in Two Rivers, The Final Frontier Mushing Co-op.

Not solely did I learn to mush your personal staff in a half-day ‘mushing faculty’ tour, however I additionally realized a wealth of details about the canine racing tradition of Alaska and what it takes to run a racing kennel. The younger house owners of the Co-op all have severe backgrounds in racing and due to that, they need to provide guests an actual immersive expertise at their sled canine kennels. Their objective is to have individuals see how a lot the canines love their job and expertise the actual Alaska.

alaska dog mushing last frontier

However I need to warn you, when you learn to mush your personal staff of canines, you’ll by no means need to return to easily driving in a canine sled once more. I used to be bitten by the canine sledding Alaska bug and may’t wait to return once more!

Extra data: Final Frontier Mushing Co-op. Situated simply half-hour outdoors of Fairbanks, the Co-op presents day excursions, expedition-style excursions, and aurora excursions! Examine and see my mushing faculty expertise.

23. Winter Heat-Up at Chena Sizzling Springs – Day Journey

One of the widespread stops round Fairbanks is a visit to Chena Sizzling Springs. Simply hop on the Chena Sizzling Springs highway and drive it till the tip – about an hour from Fairbanks. You’ll arrive at a heat and toasty Alaskan winter wonderland.

This can be a larger vacationer operation than the others I discussed above, nevertheless, it’s value a cease – particularly within the winter! It’s not simply in regards to the sizzling springs, the resort additionally presents snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling, and canine sledding.

I like to recommend merely making this a day journey because the lodging choices aren’t that nice until you get a cabin.

Nevertheless, we booked a bit cabin set away from different housing and loved our heat cozy spot whereas the snow fell outdoors. After a giant hike, we went for a soak within the sizzling springs at night time. The wind was blustery and the snow was flying whereas we had a surreal expertise floating across the many artifical sizzling spring swimming pools within the night. It was simply what our sore legs wanted! Sadly the gorgeous snowfall ruined our probabilities to see aurora there, but it surely’s an important spot to situate your self to see the aurora!

Extra data: Chena Sizzling Springs Resort. Spend an evening or two off-grid on this idyllic spot and spring! Learn evaluations of Chena Sizzling Springs on Journey Advisor.

24. View the Northern Lights

Fairbanks is without doubt one of the prime spots on Earth for witnessing the breathtaking spectacle often known as the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. It’s really a paradise for aurora borealis hunters; nevertheless, catching sight of these elusive inexperienced waves dancing throughout the sky isn’t only a piece of cake. Plan your go to between September and April when nights are longer and darker – good situations for recognizing these shimmering Northern Lights.

Location issues! To maximise your possibilities of recognizing the Northern Lights, escape from town lights. Head out to distant areas away from gentle air pollution or get cozy at one in all Fairbanks’ charming lodges the place you possibly can stare upon stars with none interference. Keep in mind: It’s all about discovering that candy spot the place darkness reigns supreme.

Additionally, take into account that one of many the explanation why Fairbanks (the inside) is such an important place to view the northern lights is as a result of it’s inland and often has clear skies. Not like the coastal areas and nations like Iceland.

In terms of witnessing the celestial Aurora Borealis portray its method throughout Alaska’s skies, endurance is vital — until you’ve been blessed by some type of cosmic cheat code! Generally the Northern Lights seem early; generally they make you wait.

Have an Alaska Aurora Expertise at Aurora Bear

Frank and Miriam will gladly welcome you into their dwelling and Alaska lifestyle on their off-grid dwelling an hour north of Fairbanks. They provide nightly Northern Lights excursions and pictures instruction. They solely tackle small teams to allow them to present an intimate stage of service since they’re internet hosting you of their dwelling. They’re located completely for Northern Lights viewing north of Fairbanks underneath the aurora oval and amongst a backdrop of lovely forest.

As well as, they share their attention-grabbing perspective on Alaska since they each got here from Germany just lately and determined to make this their new dwelling. They fell in love with the Alaskan wilderness and have embraced it as their new dwelling.

All of us turned quick buddies and even got here again out to fulfill them for a day of snowshoeing earlier than we departed! Their hospitality was phenomenal to not point out their darn cute canines you’ll fall in love with. Aurora Bear is by far my favourite place to attend and look ahead to Northern Lights. It’s also the place I take my Ottsworld Tour Group!

Extra data: Watch the aurora or learn to {photograph} it at Aurora Bear. Learn evaluations of Aurora Bear on TripAdvisor.

25. Go to Denali and journey the Winter Aurora Practice – Day Journey

Alaska Train trips winter

Most individuals suppose that Denali Nationwide Park is barely open in the summertime, but it surely’s really open year-round! Winter is a superb time to go to Denali Nationwide Park because the crowds have all left, and also you’ll discover that you’ve got the place to your self! Cease in on the customer middle and ask to ‘borrow’ some snow footwear and poles, and also you’ll be capable of tackle among the winter trails.

Denali is a few 2-hour drive south of Fairbanks, however if you’d like an actual distinctive journey take the Denali in a Day Alaska winter prepare journey the place you’re pushed right down to Denali (with a couple of scenic stops alongside the best way), snowshoe within the nationwide park there, after which hop on the northbound Aurora Winter Practice and slowly come again to Fairbanks by way of the Alaska Railroad!

Today tour permits you to go to Denali Nationwide Park, and journey the winter prepare all utilizing Fairbanks as your hub! Examine my winter prepare expertise right here.

Extra data: Denali in a Day on the AKRR Web site

All aboard the Alaska Railroad: See the final frontier by prepare

26. Snowshoeing Nature Walks

A lot of locations in Fairbanks provide snowshoeing excursions within the winter. However should you actually need to get out and recognize the outside, study in regards to the winter wildlife, and the ecosystem of life amongst all of the snow – then you definately need to take a look at Leaf Out Excursions.

This can be a native small operator that I exploit on my Ottsworld Alaska winter excursions. I like to help small companies after I journey, so after I met Shannon from Leaf Out a nature information working her personal little guiding enterprise I used to be fairly excited. She took me out round her cabin to go snowshoeing within the woods. She’s a naturalist and the snowshoe hike was extra like an interactive classroom – I realized SO MUCH. I performed “Guess that Skat”, realized about studying animal tracks within the snow and understanding which method they had been strolling, and realized that squirrels are messy eaters!

In case you are touring independently round Fairbanks – you’ll want to search for Leaf Out and meet Shannon for a hike or snowshoe – she’s a wealth of data and a kind of superior bad-ass Alaska ladies.

Extra Info: Leaf Out Nature Guides

27. Go to the Fairbanks Curling Membership

We’ve all seen it through the Winter Olympics – the unusual and overseas sport of curling. I’m at all times intrigued by issues which are particular to a area – and the game of curling is certainly particular to the far north. The Fairbanks Curling Membership is proud to be the oldest organized sports activities group in Alaska. When you go to Fairbanks within the winter and surprise, “What do the locals do throughout these lengthy, chilly winters”, simply head to the curling membership and also you’ll get your reply.

Fairbanks Curling Center

There’s league play virtually each night time within the winter – so why not head to the Fairbanks Curling Membership, sit up within the viewing space, seize a beer (sure – there may be at all times a bar), and watch the locals play on this fascinating sport! Plus – there can be loads of different native spectators there to reply your many questions on the game.

As well as, there are some alternatives to get hands-on and learn to curl your self! I’ve this as an exercise in my Ottsworld Alaska winter tour and it’s at all times a spotlight. Or you possibly can at all times go to the Fairbanks Curling Membership web site and ask about newbie programs!

Extra Info: Fairbanks Curling Membership

28. Fairbanks Ice Carving

Fairbanks is dwelling to the World Ice Carving Championship. Every February the very best ice sculptors on the earth compete. So after all, if you’re visiting through the championship – you need to positively head to the Ice Park and test it out and see the artists in motion.

Fairbanks Ice Sculpture Park

Even after the competitors is over – the ice sculptures stay on show and you may stroll by way of and consider them for the rest of the winter…or till they soften! It does require a ticket to get in – but it surely’s value it to see these distinctive artworks. It’s notably stunning at night time when the sculptures are lit up and appear to glow.

Fairbanks Ice Museum

As well as, you possibly can study extra about Alaska ice carving on the Fairbanks Ice Museum. This museum is open year-round and can take you thru the historical past of carving and the competitions. As well as – in the summertime they provide lessons so you possibly can learn to carve your personal ice artwork!

Extra Info: Fairbanks Ice Museum | Ice Alaska – Ice Carving Championship and Ice Park

29. Snow Machining

Whereas in Fairbanks, be sure to attempt to journey across the Alaska wilderness like a neighborhood – on a snow machine! We name them snowmobiles within the decrease 48, however if you wish to slot in whereas touring in Alaska – you higher name it a snow machine!

There are a variety of locations the place you possibly can guide a tour – from a couple of hours to a snowmobile multi-day tour. If you wish to simply get your toes moist and see what it’s like, then take a look at Rod’s Alaskan Information Service. They provide various totally different excursions and you may mix them with issues like ice fishing or canine sledding.

Fairbanks Alaska Winter Chena hot springs

I did a half-day tour with them and I used to be actually impressed with the standard of their tools and the extent of instruction. They are going to present the entire heat winter gear you want together with boots and gloves. The snowmobiles are additionally in actually nice situation. I additionally cherished that they gave you time by yourself to simply zip across the lake and have a look by your self with out having to at all times observe the group!

Extra Info: Rod’s Alaskan Information Service Snowmobiling Excursions

Now you’re all set to expertise winter and summer time adventures in and outdoors of Fairbanks!

The place to remain in Fairbanks

Springhill Suites

This can be a very nice resort situated in Downtown. It’s an ideal location to have the ability to stroll to all of these nice ethnic eating places, and bars, get presents, and the Ice Museum. Plus, it’s near the river and you are able to do various good walks across the river.

Fairbanks Springhill Suites

Test costs and availability for the Springhill Suites Downtown | Learn evaluations for the Springhill Suites on TripAdvisor | Seek for different inns in Fairbanks

Pike’s Waterfront Lodge

Situated on the banks of the Chena River – this huge lodge is a superb location for the airport and the prepare station. It has a stunning restaurant related to it and within the winter they even have some particular aurora viewing areas arrange the place you possibly can hold heat whereas ready. There’s at all times quite a lot of hustle and bustle at this lodge!

pikes waterfront lodge fairbanks

Test costs and availability for Pike’s Waterfront Lodge | Learn evaluations for Pike’s Waterfront Lodge on TripAdvisor | Seek for different inns in Fairbanks

Bear Lodge at Wedgewood

That is additionally a reasonably large resort usually utilized by cruise corporations in the summertime. The resort is sweet and it’s situated by many issues on this listing – like Creamers Discipline, Wedgewood Wildlife Sanctuary and Trails, and the Vintage Automotive Museum.

Test costs and availability for Bear Lodge at Wedgewood | Learn evaluations for Bear Lodge at Wedgewood on TripAdvisor | Seek for different inns in Fairbanks

Lodging outdoors of Fairbanks

If you wish to get actually off the crushed path, then go spend an evening outdoors of Fairbanks on the Lodge at Black Rapids.

Lodge at Black Rapids – a Fashionable-Day Roadhouse

A 2 hour drive south of Fairbanks you’ll go deep into the Alaskan wilderness and historical past on the Lodge at Black Rapids. This spectacular lodge made from slate and timber was made by hand by house owners Annie and Mike Hopper.

Alaska winter Black Rapids
Visiting an ice cave close to Lodge at Black Rapids

It took them 10 years to construct it! Now it sits completely perched on a hill overlooking the Black Rapids Glacier located on Richardson Freeway, what was the previous foremost freeway between Anchorage and Fairbanks. Nevertheless, now because the new Parks Freeway has been constructed, this route by way of the Jap Alaska Vary has turn out to be the highway much less traveled and is seldom seen by vacationers.

Uncover all of the issues to do in Anchorage in Summer season or Winter

As well as, this route was additionally dwelling to historic roadhouses that had been constructed to serve vacationers again in 1904 touring the Valdez-Fairbanks path. In actual fact, Annie has a ‘labor of affection’ venture presently restoring the previous Black Rapids roadhouse that sits slightly below the brand new lodge.

Black Rapids Lodge is type of like a modern-day roadhouse; a spot to cease, get a heat meal, a cushty mattress, and native hospitality. However in contrast to conventional roadhouses, you’ll need to keep some time as a result of Annie and Michael have an unbelievable listing of out of doors winter adventures so that you can pattern.

Among the best actions they provide is a snowshoeing journey to a close-by ice cave. Black Rapids equipped the entire gear and are comfortable to lend further heat climate gear should you want it. You are able to do these hikes or snowboarding independently or rent a neighborhood information by way of Black Rapids.

The rugged luxurious lodge is simply the way you need to spend your winter in Alaska; having fun with the outside after which having a heat, comfy place to return ‘dwelling’ to with a bit pampering. It’s a spot the place you’ll really feel instantly at dwelling.

Keep at The Lodge at Black Rapids for a weekend and have a number of adventures! Learn evaluations for The Lodge at Black Rapids on TripAdvisor

See my tales on different ‘underdog’ cities and areas you shouldn’t overlook

Canmore Alberta Canada
Thuringia Germany Street Journey
Southern Queensland Australia
Costa Brava because the ‘new’ Tuscany

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