We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

San Francisco Bay...
Level Contributor
47 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

I am looking for aurora viewing partners to see aurora borealis in the nights March 7th, 8th and 9th.

My hotel nears FAI airport. I have booked a compact car. If you are interested in viewing northern lights hit me up kragilan@rediffmail.com.

North Carolina
13 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

Which hotel are you staying at? Some friends of mine are talking about staying at Dale and Jo View Suites so they can see the Aurora right from there room.

San Francisco Bay...
Level Contributor
47 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

I will stay Extended Stay Deluxe-Fairbanks which is $49 per night through wwww.hotwire.com. I booked a room in the city because it is flexible to visit Ice Art Championships, Univ of Alaska museum and Sled Dog Race during day time.

Options to view aurora borealis.

1. Self drive to Chena Lake recreation area next to North Pole. It is free.

2. Self drive to Mt. Aurora from the city. Heated waiting room: $20-25 per person.

3. Pick up service to Mt. Aurora. It is approx $65 per person minimum two persons.

I am travel alone so I hope I can join others to view aurora borealis. I booked a front wheel economy car.

Mentioned in this post
Alaska
Alaska
United States
Noname
Level Contributor
47 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

Wow! Are you really this brave to invite people you meet on line to get to your car at night?

Bring lots of warm clothes. It was 70 degrees below zero last week. Did you find out how to keep your car alive when is this cold outsides?

New York
Level Contributor
3,404 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

I wouldn't consider any of your "aurora" viewing options you have listed above. I suggest, instead, with you having a car to just get out and DRIVE the Steese, just past the Chena Hot Springs exit, over the hill and pull over. This is my preferred viewing spot when I stay in Fairbanks. Forget about your other options and especially the tour add on.

Be prepared for no viewing, 3 days isn't enough time. I go for 2 weeks to hedge my odds, and one trip only had one day of views out of the 14. DAILY check the web predictions of the Fairbanks U Geophysical site. The Fairbanks library is a gem, if you have some down time.

Even with highly active predictions- it won't matter unless you have clear nights, meaning full views of stars and NO clouds. Even a full moon will impact the view.

Mentioned in this post
Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.
Level Contributor
272 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

Being alone at night in the subzero cold can be a bit intimidating. For my own aurora watching I drove as far as the truck weigh station at Fox on the Steese Highway. Going a bit further to Cleary Summit could have been better.

I did drive to Cleary Summit during the day, and so I know that it is within the capabilities of a rented Honda Accord with regular M&S tires.

I know that it is possible to get connectivity with Verizon at Cleary Summit. The T-mobile coverage map shows that there should be roaming connectivity there, but I have not done any experiments on that. My own experiments in other locations have shown the accuracy of coverage maps to be variable.

Mentioned in this post
Steese Highway
Steese Highway
142 Reviews
Fairbanks, AK
New York
Level Contributor
3,404 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

I've stayed at Cleary Summit. But they will "kick"you out now, if near the ski area and don't pay.

In my experience you get the same viewing from my above reference on the Steese, that is 20++ miles,one way less driving.

Mentioned in this post
Steese
Steese
Alaska
Fairbanks, Alaska
Level Contributor
666 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

The old Cleary Summit Lodge just burnt down so do some checking before going out there. From the news it sounded like an old one (maybe there is a new one?) so I don't know.

San Francisco Bay...
Level Contributor
47 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

Thanks for the information provided. How are road conditions to the Steese? I am worrying about a front wheel drive economy car is not suitable up/down on the hills especially in the dark nights.

Mentioned in this post
Steese
Steese
Alaska
Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.
Level Contributor
272 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

Well, you do have to drive carefully. I drove to Cleary Summit during the day Jan 7, 2007 in a rented Honda Accord. As I recall slope was up to 6% in places. I didn't get stuck, but that potential risk is cause for some anxiety about driving alone, especially at night. Temperature was about -25°F that day. Warmer isn't necessarily better, because ice can be more slippery when it's closer to the melting point.

One of my first stops after picking up the rental car at FAI was at Fred Meyer. There I bought some road flares and some cheap floor mats (theoretically useful to use as traction pads if wheels are spinning on ice). I never had to use them.

Fairbanks, Alaska
Level Contributor
82 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Looking for aurora viewing partners in the nights

Just drive careful and you should be fine. I live in Fox near the areas previously discussed. Personally I would drive to Clearly Summit for aurora viewing.