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Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour from Fairbanks

Fairbanks, United States
Book online or call: (888) 651-9785(888) 651-9785

From US$175.00

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icon10 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English


Pair aurora borealis with spa treatments and you get a northern lights experience like no other. This night trip from Fairbanks takes you to Chena Hot Springs Resort for an exciting but relaxing array of activities. Discover eye-popping sculptures at the on-site Aurora Ice Museum, and then unwind in the resort’s legendary mineral water baths. When the conditions are right, a guide takes your small group to the best locations to watch for the ethereal northern lights, with warm beverages in hand.
  • Small-group tour of Chena Hot Springs Resort and the northern lights from Fairbanks and the North Pole
  • Explore the resort’s Aurora Ice Museum, home to intricately carved sculptures and an ice bar
  • Soak in the outdoor hot mineral springs, hot tubs, or indoor pool
  • Witness the aurora borealis at one of the best viewing locations in the area, known for its high concentration of lights and clear skies
  • Snacks, meals, and additional beverages are available for purchase at the resort’s Aurora Café
  • Round-trip transport from Fairbanks and North Pole hotels provided
After evening pickup from your Fairbanks or North Pole hotel, take a leisurely drive northeast of the city, perhaps spotting a fox, beaver, or moose along the way, before reaching Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Engage in a variety of activities while you wait for the sky to darken to view the northern lights. First, tour one of the most unique museums you’ll ever visit, the Aurora Ice Museum, constructed out of over 1,000 tons of ice and snow. Marvel at ice sculptures by world-renowned carvers Steve and Heather Brice, whose work includes life-size jousters on horses and a two-level tower with a circular staircase.

Fancy a drink? Head over to the museum’s bar, settle in on a caribou fur–covered stool and purchase a cocktail poured into a martini glass carved out of ice. For food, check out the offerings at the Aurora Café or the Chena Hot Springs Resort Restaurant (own expense).

Or, put on your bathing suit and work on loosening those knots in your back. Slip into the resort’s hot springs, which swirl with lake water averaging 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) all year. Escape to an outdoor hot tub and unwind under the stars. A heated indoor pool is also available.

Then, dress warmly and meet your guide for a small group outing to watch for the northern lights. You’ll be taken to prime viewing locations at Chena Hot Springs, a great spot to witness the green and purple ribbons of light dazzling the sky. If you prefer to be indoors, you can see the action from inside the Aurora Café. Either way, you’ll be holding a warm drink as you gaze at the celestial wonder.
 Afterward, enjoy transport back to your hotel, with a commemorative certificate of your viewing experience at Chena Hot Springs Resort.
Stop At:  
Aurora Ice Museum
Dress in warm winter layers before being picked up from your Fairbanks or North Pole hotel and transported to Chena Hot Springs Resort, located roughly 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast of Fairbanks. On your 1.5-hour drive, keep your eyes peeled on the passing landscape for wildlife that might include a moose, beaver or fox. Once you arrive at Chena Hot Springs Resort, enjoy an array of activities as you wait for the prime time to view the northern lights. First, follow your guide to the Aurora Ice Museum, which is crafted from more than 1,000 tons of ice and snow. Kept at a cool 25 degrees F (-7 degrees C), the museum houses intricate ice sculptures created by world- champion ice carvers Steve and Heather Brice. Their two-story observation tower includes a circular staircase, life-size jousters on horseback, an ice outhouse and more. If you’d like, purchase a drink served in an ice-carved martini glass inside the museum’s bar, where you can relax on caribou fur–covered stools and warm your hands by the ice fireplace.
Duration: 60 Minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Chena Hot Springs Resort
After wandering through the cool museum, don your bathing suit and enjoy entrance to the resort’s legendary namesake hot springs. The revitalizing mineral water lake soothes muscles with its warm temperatures, which averages 106 degrees F (41 degrees C) year-round. You can also soak under the stars in an outdoor hot tub, or head indoors for the heated pool. Between your evening activities, you can always slip away to the Aurora Café or the historic Chena Hot Springs Resort Restaurant, where you can purchase meals, snacks or beverages. When the conditions are right, bundle up and join your expert guide for a small-group outing to view the aurora borealis. Your guide leads the small group around Chena Hot Springs, one of the best places on earth to witness the green and purple illuminations loop across the night sky. Wait and witness the celestial wonder with hot beverages in the late evening, when viewing opportunities are the highest. The lights are also visible inside the cafe's Aurora room, which serves as a comfortable and warm location for viewings. After taking in the northern lights, your guide will return you to your hotel. Note: We can never guarantee the Northern lights sighting. It is a natural phenomena and cannot be controlled.
Duration: 540 Minutes
Admission Ticket Included

Traveler Photos


130 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
, Jan 2020
It was amazing. Lindley our tour guide was great. Told us so much information and tried so hard to see the lights. It seemed like she went out of her way to make sure we saw a great show. We did!!!! She was funny and friendly and so knowledgeable.
Great time!
, Dec 2019
My husband and I had so much fun during this tour. Our tour guide, Brian was so knowledgeable about the area and made sure he accommodated everyone on the tour..everything was planned out perfectly! Will book again! :)
Awesome experience
Friki L
, Sep 2019
We loved the tour, especially our guide Lynley, she is so awesome, she took us to the best places to see the auroras, we Saw them dancing and beutifil colors. Chena waters are just increíble!!!!! Must do this tour.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Hello from North Pole, Thank you for your review of your tour and guide Lynley. When you are able to see the Northern Lights dance it is always a great time! Warm Regards, Amber
Amazing experience
, Sep 2019
My boyfriend and I did this tour last night and had an awesome time! Our guide was Linley and she was very knowledgeable, kind and easy going. She have us plenty of photo opportunities and tips on things to do at the lodge. We were picked up in our hotel, then took the scenic drive out to Chena Hot Springs,it was about an hour and a half. When we arrived, we were given a tour of the place and then we went to the ice museum which was really cool and interesting. We opted to get the Apple martini in the ice glass and it was really delicious. Afterwards, we had dinner at the lodge which was tasty, then went into the Springs for a while. We met with our guide around 11:30 as instructed, by then the northern lights started to appear, so she took us to a isolated location and we got quite the spectacular light show. After the lights dimmed down a bit she took us to a few other spots and made every effort so that we could get great views. I highly recommend this tour to anyone looking to visit Fairbanks, it was a wonderful experience.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2019
Hello from North Pole, Thank you for the review of your tour and guide Lynley. We always love to hear feed back on how everyone's tour went! Although we can never guarantee that anyone will see the lights, It sounds like you had an amazing show to watch! Warm Regards, Amber
Great Tour
, Jan 2019
We booked the ‘Northern Lights and Chena Hot Springs Tour from Fairbanks’ through Viator and had a great experience. My husband and I flew into Fairbanks for a quick weekend get-away in January and wanted to do as much as possible, with the Chena Hot Springs & viewing of the Northern Lights being on our list. We don’t have any experience driving in the snow so this tour was perfect since it includes hotel pick-up and drop-off. The tour is owned and operated by Alaska-Wildlife-Guide and Ricky was our tour guide. He is retired from the military, have lived in Fairbanks for some time, and had a plethora of knowledge and stories about Fairbanks. Upon booking the tour, I read that it may not run if there weren’t enough people in the group. When Ricky arrived at our hotel, he informed us that we were the only two on the tour so we had a nice private tour. We’re so grateful that the tour still went on since we only had 48 hours there. Ricky provided us with all of the details & tips about the Aurora Ice Museum and Chena Hot Springs. While we were enjoying our time at the resort, Ricky was tracking the Northern Light activity so he could alert us when they appeared. After we toured the Ice Museum, had dinner, and enjoyed the hot springs, Ricky took us to the best viewing spots to see the Northern Lights. The forecast predicted above average northern light activity and we were able to see some lights. The lights weren’t as bright as we hoped but if we were to stay up until 3AM with Ricky, we would’ve probably seen more vivid lights. We were very sleep deprived so we called it an early night (headed back around 1:30AM). We had an amazing time and highly recommend this tour for those on a time crunch. We cannot thank Ricky enough for the great experience! Tips for the hot springs: The store at the hot spring sells bathing suits for men & women, slippers, and towels (we forgot to bring our bathing suits). Also, don't forget to bring bath towels, shower slippers, 50 cents for each locker (in quarters). For the Ice Museum, don't forget to bring a picture ID if you’d like to purchase the cocktail inside.
, Jan 2019
Suzy was an awesome guide: tons of info and lots of laughter. Magical New Yers Eve: ice museum and appletinis in ice glasses, snowing outside, over to excellent dinner, hot springs were amazing e with the fireworks timed perfectly, finished with three amazing stops on the tour van ohoto auroas. Suzy helped all of us with our various cameras and did some heart stopping shots herself, which she shared. A fabulous trip. And, Viator reps on the phone were personable and knowledgeable. Very impressed over all.
Just OK
, Dec 2018
While the tour was exactly as described I felt the price was to high for what it covered. Our tour director and driver was Bob. He went to every effort he possibly could to make it a wonderful experience. He went all out to help us (my sister and I are Seniors), carried things for us, stayed with us the entire time. I realize it would have been different had there been more people on the tour, but he was wonderful. Our main reason for being here was the Northern Lights, but that goal was not to be. I am not sorry we took this tour, but would not take it again.
Great all around
, Nov 2018
We absolutely loved this tour. Suzie was great, informative and entertaining. Hot springs were perfect but could spent some of their profits to clean up the indoor pools area. Ice museum was beautiful as well We chased the northern lights and finally found them
Great Memories!
Arnold M
, Aug 2018
Clark, our tour guide, very informative on the area, assisted and answered all of our inquiries. We lucked out with a great night of viewing the Northern Lights. The Hot springs was well worth it as well.
A great evening at Chena Hot...
Caterina M
, Apr 2018
A great evening at Chena Hot Springs! We visited the reindeer on the property, went into the Ice Museum had an appletini- yum, dinner at the restaurant, and a dip in the hot springs. The water was hotter than I expected, so could only stay in for about 15 minutes. Our tour guide, Ricky, was great. He provided lots of information on the area and wildlife. It was a cloudy night so we were not able to see the aurora but Ricky made many stops along the way back just in case the lights were visible. Thank you for a great evening!

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