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Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks

star-4.5
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Fairbanks, United States
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From US$225.00

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icon14 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Regular temperature checks for staff
Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
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Overview

Go far off the beaten track on this small-group tour that takes you along one of the world's most isolated roads. Travel into the Alaskan wilderness along the Dalton Highway from Fairbanks to the edge of the Arctic Circle. On the way back, keep your eyes peeled for the Northern Lights.
  • Afternoon and nighttime tour from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle
  • Travel the remote Dalton Highway, seen in Ice Road Truckers
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off, food, and warm drinks included
  • Small-group tour limited to 8 people provides a more personalized experience
Saved to wishlist!
Local guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off, within city limits of Fairbanks and North Pole
free Snacks and water
free Sandwiches (vegetarian option available, please advise at time of booking)
free unlimited Hot drinks, like coffee, tea, hot chocolate
personalized Arctic Circle Certificate
Gratuities
no gluten free or vegan meal option available. You are welcome to bring or buy your own lunch and snacks.
cold weather gear

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
The first pick up occurs at 2:00 pm. Please give us a call 24 to 48 hours before tour to obtain your exact pick up time.
If you are using Alaska-Wildlife-Cabin-and-Hostels as your accommodation, you can hop right into our tour vans.
We can pick you up from any address inside the city limits of Fairbanks or North Pole. If you do not see the right option to choose from but you are inside the city limits, please leave the address in the comments.
If you are staying outside the city limits, we can meet you at the Walmart parking lot in Fairbanks.

Departure Time

2:00 PM
Journey along one of the world’s most isolated roads from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle on this 14-hour tour through the Alaskan wilderness. Following afternoon hotel pickup in Fairbanks, travel with your informative guide along the Dalton Highway, technically Alaska Route 11. You’ll stop occasionally to stretch your legs and snap memorable photos of key sites. Plus, keep your eyes open for Alaskan wildlife like foxes, moose, or possibly even bears, wolves or lynx.

Dalton Highway runs north-south through Alaska, almost to the Arctic Ocean, and parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Stop along a section of the pipeline in the community of Fox, and get a good look at its construction while learning about its controversies and environmental impact. One of the world’s largest pipeline systems, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was built in the 1970s to carry crude oil from Prudhoe Bay 800 miles (1,287 km) south to Valdez.

Back on the Dalton Highway, drive over the EL Patton Bridge, the only bridge in Alaska that crosses the Yukon River. With an impressive length of 2,295 feet (700 meters), the bridge carries not only vehicle traffic but also the pipeline. Take a picture of the bridge and then stop again further down the road to admire Finger Mountain that offers views of the alpine tundra. 

When you arrive at the edge of the Arctic Circle, pose for commemorative photos around the sign displaying your latitude of 66°33’ north. Absorb the natural beauty around you and enjoy the provided sandwiches, coffee and homemade hot punch.

Then, climb back aboard your vehicle to begin the drive back to Fairbanks. At this time, it'll be about two to three hours before midnight, an ideal period to start watching for the northern lights. If they do appear, your driver will pull over at several different spots, including the Tolovana River and Wickersham Dome, to give you ample time to marvel at and take photos of this natural phenomenon.

Your Fairbanks northern lights tour concludes with hotel drop-off in the early morning hours.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Alyeska Pipeline Viewing Point
We begin our 14-hour long journey to the Arctic Circle with a convenient pick up at any hotel or address inside the city limits of Fairbanks or North Pole. Settle into your seat and relax on the 200 mile (322 km) journey down the back roads of Interior Alaska. We provide free snacks and drinks to ensure your utmost comfort in our climate-controlled vans.   Take a trip back in time as you travel down the Dalton Highway. Featured on the TV show Ice Road Truckers, the Dalton Highway (technically Alaska Route 11) runs north-south through Alaska, nearly all the way to the Arctic Ocean, and parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. It’s one of the most isolated roads in the United States and provides some beautiful Alaskan scenery for you to enjoy during the ride. With sweeping views of mountains and valleys, you will see the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS), one of the largest pipeline systems, transporting thousands of gallons of oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, up close.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Dalton Highway Sign
The Dalton Highway Welcome Sign
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Hilltop Restaurant & Marketplace
Stop at Hilltop Restaurant & Marketplace. You can purchase extra drinks, snacks and food there but please order it for takeout.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Yukon River Camp
Enjoy the journey across the Yukon River, as you catch a glimpse of the wildlife that inhabits Sub-Arctic Alaska. With sweeping views of mountains and valleys, you will also see the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline System (TAPS), one of the largest pipeline systems, transporting thousands of gallons of oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. You'll have the chance to get out for quick photos. Then a bit further down the road, stop for another photo op at Finger Mountain, where views of the alpine tundra await.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Arctic Circle Sign
Upon reaching the Arctic Circle, one of the five markers of latitude, (Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Equator and Antarctic Circle), at which the sun never rises during winter solstice and never sets during summer solstice, you will be met with a glorious site.  Hop out and stretch your legs, take a short walk and and learn some interesting facts about the cultures of the Indigenous people whom have inhabited this remote area for more than 9.000 years.  Your guide will set out free sandwiches, coffee, hot chocolate and tea for you to sip while you take in your surroundings. At this point, it'll be about two to three hours before midnight — start watching for the Northern Lights, which hopefully Mother Nature won’t keep to herself on the night of your tour. If they appear, your driver will pull over at a few different locations, so you have plenty of time to snap photos and stare up in wonder at this natural phenomenon. (No guarantee) Your guide can explain what causes this mystifying and incredible atmospheric event. • We hope you understand that we cannot guarantee a natural phenomena like the Northern Lights or a clear sky. Therefore we are not able to give out refunds in case of the non occurrence of the Aurora or a cloud covered sky Then hop back in your tour vehicle to start the return journey to Fairbanks. Free unlimited beverages and other snacks are provided. Your tour ends with hotel drop-off in the early morning hours of the next day.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Adult pricing applies to all travelers. Please no small children!
  • Please dress appropriately. The temperatures can reach extreme conditions during the winter month and we recommend to dress in layers.
  • Please note that the Northern Lights are a natural occurrence and therefore cannot be guaranteed! (no refund possible)
  • The weather conditions are in no way predictable in our area and we will not offer a refund in case of too many clouds.
  • Exact schedule and itinerary of stops are subject to change based on daily conditions and Northern Lights activity on the day of your tour
  • There is a possibility of cancellation due to dangerous weather and/or road conditions. If this occurs, an alternative date or full refund will be offered
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required. We are not able to provide gluten free or vegan options.
  • Type of transportation: climate controlled Van
  • The group size is limited to 7 people for each Transit Van and up to 10 people in our mini coach. Bigger group bookings are possible and multiple Van's will be used in this case.
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • It is mandatory for every customer to rotate seats at least a few times on this tour.
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Alaska Wildlife Guide LLC

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
See all safety measures taken by Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks?
A:
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks?
A:
The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 10 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks.
Q:
I am a vegetarian / I have allergies / I am gluten or lacto free.
A:
Just let us know any dietary requirements in the 'Special Requirements' box in the Traveler Details section during checkout. Or you can let us know after booking by visiting 'Manage my Booking' and emailing us there.
Jul 2019

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
201 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 201 reviews
star-4
First time visiting the arctic circle!
Janet_O
, Nov 2020
Overall we had an enjoyable tour, and appreciated how the guide followed covid precautions and sanitation practices meticulously. We were picked up at 2:30pm and as we started the tour, the sun was starting to set which made the snow covered landscape look magical. It was a small group as there were only 4 people and the guide on the tour. We stopped at the pipeline and then at a truck stop to get fuel and some delicious pie. Unfortunately, as the evening progressed the windows in the van got extremely foggy and icy, so it was not really possible to enjoy the scenery during what seemed to be a glorious sunset. We were disappointed the guide didn't find a place to stop to take in the view, but she provided ice scrapers and offered sanitizer to clean the windows, which didn't really work. After the sunset it was several hours of riding on the dark bumpy highway, then we stopped by the Yukon river, but it was too dark to appreciate any scenery. The stop had a restaurant and gift shop which was very quiet and empty due to decline in travel. The guide offered the opportunity for us go sledding, but it was very dark and cold, so we all declined. We reached the arctic sign around 8ish and took some pictures. There is not much else to do as the sign is in the middle of nowhere, so we got into the van for the drive back. On the way the guide made several stops to check for aurora, but unfortunately we didn't see any activity. We were back in our hotel at 12:30am so the tour ended earlier than what we expected. We were fine with this though because we felt like we had spent the day riding roller coasters and were exhausted from the long ride. This tour was quite the experience and we're glad we took it. That said, we probably wouldn't go on it in the winter again, but perhaps in the day time to truly appreciate the scenery.
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star-1
If you read one review read this one
Jshermanphoto
, Nov 2020
Please read this review if you want an extremely honest assessment of this tour. It began great with pickup at our hotel by a kind driver. No one was forced to wear mask during the trip, which I found odd given the covid regulations. This trip is a 100% scam, please please don’t waste your time and money on this experience. The Dalton Highway is known to be rough but this tour operator, Alaska Wildlife doesn’t take that into consideration when choosing what to transport you in. They have comfortable mini coaches in their fleet but they don’t want to put wear and tear on it so that pack as many people into a old Ford transit van that is packed full of rock hard bench seats with no cushion. You will feel like you went through a meat grinder even before you reach the halfway mark of your trip. Please take note before booking and if you choose to do this experience use another operator that takes your comfort into consideration. Especially with the premium price you pay for this trip. When reading the description it sounds like a great adventure but I will describe it in short. You stop at the side of the pipeline for a few minutes, you stop on the side of the road a couple of times to look out at the surroundings then you stop at the Arctic circle sign for a photo. This as well was a horrible stop as there was snow where the sign was so we had to walk from the road to the sign, the driver said it’s 20ft but he was way off it’s quite a bit further then that. On the way back we did not see the Northern Lights, though at this point we were having a horrible enough of an experience it didn’t matter. Avoid Alaska Wildlife as your tour operator if you value comfort at all. For the price you pay it’s a total scam and you get to feel like you where in a meat grinder afterwards. I requested a refund afterwards but got a email that my concerns where addressed during the trip. What? No. Please please choose another vendor if you choose to go on this tour. There are far better options available and I can be reached directly with any questions.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2020
Thank you for sharing your opinions with us. We are sorry that you were not satisfied with the tour like the other guests (on the same tour) were. As we could see your biggest concern was the uncomfortable Ford Transit Van, please allow us to explain why we are using these vans. The Transits we are using are way more comfortable than Ford’s previous model the Econoline E350 (most likely used by all other tour companies). The E350 has bench seats. The Transits we use have comfortable single seating. The Dalton Highway is for the most part an unpaved road in a very unpredictable harsh terrain with often unforeseen weather conditions, especially during winter. To ensure that our customers will have a safe and enjoyable tour, the fleet must be chosen with safety as priority. The Transits offer you both, safety and comfort. In addition, these are 12-passenger vans. Including you, there were a total of four guests on this tour. So, everyone had plenty of room. The mentioned Mini Coach is also a Ford Transit with the exact same seating. However, the Mini Coach is taller, and thus extremely sensitive to wind. Especially in winter, we often find stronger winds with blowing and drifting snow in the higher elevations, so for your safety we do not choose the Mini Coach. A few days prior to your tour there was unusually heavy snowfall in the Interior of Alaska with blizzards on the Dalton Highway. As the Arctic Circle is a very remote location, the focus from DOT is to keep the main road (Dalton Highway) open for the semitrucks to support the oil fields in Prudhoe Bay. Parking lots and pullouts surely do not have this priority. The fact that the parking lot at the Arctic Circle sign is not plowed was unusual, but we have never had a customer feel uncomfortable about walking up to the sign. We offer free bagged lunches, and our customers just love the freshly made (that very morning) sandwiches which come with cheese, turkey, lettuce, and vegetables. You even can choose between a non-vegetarian and a vegetarian option. They have never been stone hard. We know about the risks of COVID-19, and our whole team takes extreme care. All vans are cleaned and sanitized before a customer joins the tour. We provide two different hand sanitizers, one only for the guide and one bottle just for the customers. Additionally, our guides sanitize the interior of the van as well as any hard surfaces multiple times during the tour. To each of our guests, we offer a free facemask if customers do not have their own. Your guide asked you, before the tour started, to wear a mask, but all of the guests did not want to do so. As wearing a mask in the State of Alaska is not mandatory, your guide had no other options. We are surely not happy that you did not enjoy the tour as you might have imagined. If you ever come back to Alaska, give us another chance, and we will show you why over 1000 customers rated our service with five stars and why we received the highest TripAdvisor Reward -- Travelers Choice 2020.
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star-5
Artic Circle experience tour
Julio
, Nov 2020
Just Amazing... And about your tour guide Jake, 100% recommended. Wonderful experience since the beginning to the end.
icon Response from Host , Nov 2020
Good to hear! Thank you for your recommendation.
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star-5
Divine norther lights sky
Li_Zheng
, Sep 2020
This tour was wonderful. We hit all goals we set out for. Our tour guide Ms. Lynley was so great! She is very knowledgeable, skillful, enthusiastic, and considerate. While helping a stalled vehicle on the Dalton Highway to get back on the road, she still manage to get us to the Finger mountain at the perfect timing for the sunset display and photo ops in Artic circle. The trip's finale is needless to say the divine northern lights show and the gorgeous stary night on the way back to Fairbank! We absolutely love this tour as well as Ms. Lynley's tour guidance!
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star-2
Disappointing and unsafe
Jacqueline_T
, Mar 2020
The vehicle for this tour was inadequate for the Dalton highway in winter (2-wheel drive passenger van). We felt that we had spent money for something that the tour company should have known was a gamble. We got stuck on the Dalton highway in the snow, and had to be rescued by a trucker. We did not even make it halfway there and ended up back at our hotel room by 11 PM. But that may have been serendipitous because we had a 7:30AM flight in the morning and had scheduled it that way because the description said the trip was over by 3am. Even the tour guide thought 3 AM was unrealistic. The tour guide her self was an incredible person, and kept us safe.
icon Response from Host , May 2020
Yes, even in this one-in-a-million occurrence, our guide rose to the occasion and kept everyone safe and comfortable. (Note the other 5-star reviews for the same tour in the same van.) Sometimes Mother Nature prevails, despite our best efforts. Sorry you were disappointed.
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star-5
Highlight of my trip
Matt_Ruggz
, Mar 2020
Such an AMAZING experience! Don’t let the bad reviews here and there discourage you from booking this tour. Our guide was absolutely incredible and knew so much about the history of Alaska and the dalton highway. Even though we did not see the lights, all of the other activities along the way to the arctic circle made up for it several times over. We got to go sledding out on the Yukon River!! Our guide stopped probably a dozen times looking out for the lights even though the weather did not look promising. If you’re visiting Fairbanks, BOOK THIS TOUR.
icon Response from Host , May 2020
Thank you for that positive feedback. Hopefully next time the weather will be more cooperative with the Aurora. Glad you enjoyed your Tour.
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star-5
Great tour.
Bonnie_B
, Mar 2020
They did a great job. Picked us up on time, provided snacks, stopped to take breaks and made it to all the stops on the trip with plenty of time to explore when we stopped.
icon Response from Host , May 2020
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed your Tour.
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star-5
We got a crest viewing of the lights.
Sharla_H
, Feb 2020
Was a very long day but worth it when we saw the lights. Our tour guide was very helpful and determined. No Even at 1:00am and -35 she was still stopping so we could try ana find the best light show .
icon Response from Host , May 2020
Glad you enjoyed your Tour. Thanks.
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star-5
Family fun times
Diane_J
, Feb 2020
OMG, Bob and Nick gave a fantastic tour. Telling us all about the names of the curbs, the rolling hills, the ghost trees and the Artic Circle. We stopped along the way to talk pictures, and if we didn't stop Nick would take our cameras and get different shots from the window. Bob made many stops before we found the best view of the Northern lights. They were magnificent. The temperature was -59, but it was all worth it.
icon Response from Host , May 2020
Yes, Bob and Nick are stars! Glad you enjoyed your Tour. Thanks.
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star-5
Best guide ever
vforiginals
, Jan 2020
Grace was the best guide. She was very easygoing and extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the trip from history to flora to fauna to truckers. We did not see the lights but Grace got out to look at every opportunity. See made up for not seeing the lights with her personality and excitement about the trip. Dress very warmly and get ready for an adventure. ( a long ride in a van with several truck stops) Going at night was wonderful. If you like to look out the window great trip for you. Went with my husband and a friend.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Hello from North Pole, we are really glad that you had a great time with Grace and appreciate your great review. Even without seeing the Lady Aurora. Greetings from the AWG team
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