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“Great Way to See the Aurora”
Review of Ski Land

Ski Land
Ranked #45 of 99 things to do in Fairbanks
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Ski Land, home of North Americas furthest north chairlift, offers downhill skiing and boarding on the weekends with nightly Aurora viewing in our warm lodge.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage
Conroe, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great Way to See the Aurora”
Reviewed 20 March 2014

At night, Skiland sets up for viewing the Aurora. There is a charge of $30 per person, but for that you get two warming huts with free hot coffee and tea or hot chocolate, cookies and brownies for a nominal cost. One warming hut has a big screen "auroracam" so you can set up your camera, then wait in comfort for the display to begin. Skiland is about 30 miles from Fairbanks on well maintained roads, even the smaller road from the highway to the resort. You may be tempted to stop just off the highway in the lower parking lot to watch the Aurora, but be warned - you will be competing with tour buses with their engines running for a viewing spot. Our advice is to proceed on to Skiland.

Visited March 2014
3 Thank Traveler595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Chicago, IL
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Northern Lights WIN”
Reviewed 27 February 2014

If your primary goal is viewing the Aurora and not spending a fortune doing it, this is a perfect fit. The lodge is basic--heat, clean bathrooms, tables & chairs, and they also provide tea and coffee. Troy, one of the proprietors, runs aurorawebcam.com, which is an invaluable resource for anticipating the Aurora and has an interesting archive as well. The webcam shows on a television real-time in the lodge.
There's plenty of open space near the lodge, so you can find your own spot to stake out. The first visit was with 10 others, and the second with about 30, and we didn't feel crowded either time. Another big win is the proximity to Fairbanks. I cannot imagine driving 90 minutes to Chena at 3am. Even when plowed, we found Alaska highways to be dark and icy, and moose-prone. 30 minutes to Skiland was just right.
Lastly, without Troy's friendly help, we wouldn't have captured pictures that will be lifetime treasures. His unassuming attitude and service made all the difference. It's got to be challenging staying up late night after night, dealing with people who are upset with you for reasons completely out of your control, and he seems to roll with it and keep offering kind words to everyone.
Based on two visits to Skiland, both for Aurora viewing, I highly recommend it for those visiting Fairbanks.

Visited February 2014
3 Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buena Vista
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nice friendly little ski area and aurora viewing site.”
Reviewed 29 July 2013

First, the ski area itself is small, but fun. Very friendly, decent rentals, helmets available, only open on weekends/possibly holidays.
Second at night the lodge is a fantastic place for aurora viewing! They charge a per person fee, but well worth it for staying warm and having huge windows and great views. Still need to dress very warmly since you will want to venture out when the lights get spectacular, then back in to thaw. Awesome experience, literally.

Visited March 2013
5 Thank retiredprofsuzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orange county, ca
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“I can brag "I've skied Alaska!" :-)”
Reviewed 31 March 2013

I literally hadn't skied in 10 years, but when I saw that there was a chance to ski Alaska while we were in Fairbanks to watch the aurora, I had to go for it. This place is not for rookies, and they warn you at the rental desk. Since it had been a decade, I stuck to the green runs Ellens & Little Dipper (which would be blue here in Southern California). It took me half a run down (lots of starting & stopping) to get my "ski legs" back and feel comfortable. The runs were groomed, wide, and uncrowded (and this was during their spring break, too!).. Great view of the White Mountains from the top. And, if you go after 2pm, you get $5 off. I ended up with just 2 runs (didn't want to push my luck while on vacation) and feel I got my monies worth. If you're an experienced skier, I highly recommend this.

Visited March 2013
5 Thank curlieque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great place to view Aurora and get pictures.”
Reviewed 22 March 2013 via mobile

We went to Skiland to view Aurora -- it was a great place to stay warm while waiting for the lights. It is close to Fairbanks and easy to find. They have closed circuit tv in the lodge so you can see what is going on outside while enjoying tea and coffee inside and can quickly get outside to take pictures of the lights. Very friendly people run the resort. I would definitely recommend.

3 Thank LAURIE G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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