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Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks

star-4.5322 Reviews
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Fairbanks, United States
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Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon12 to 14 hours  (approx.)
Pickup from select hotels
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

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
Why you are seeing these recommendations
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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

Hmm...we can’t seem to find this place. Please check the spelling, or choose another location.

2:00 PM
Pickups commence from 2:00 PM. We will contact you the day before your tour with your exact pickup time. We can only pick up from addresses within the Fairbanks or North Pole city limits. We cannot pick up from the airport. If you are staying outside the city limits, we can pick you up at Walmart or another hotel location. Please call our office to discuss what options are available..
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:  
Hilltop Restaurant & Marketplace
Stop at Hilltop Restaurant & Marketplace. You can purchase extra drinks, snacks and food there but please order it for takeout.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Tolovana River
Your driver will pull over at several different spots, including the Tolovana River and Wickersham Dome.
Stop At:  
Dalton Highway Sign
The Dalton Highway Welcome Sign
Duration: 10 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
James Dalton Highway
Travel the remote Dalton Highway to Mile Post 115 to the Arctic Circle Campground.
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: 30 minutes
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. 
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Adult pricing applies to all travelers. We cannot accept bookings with small children due to possible hazardous weather conditions on the haul road.
  • 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 9 people for each passenger van. Bigger group bookings are possible and multiple vans 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 9 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Alaska Wildlife Guide LLC
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • 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:
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
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Arctic Circle and Northern Lights Tour from Fairbanks?
A:The policy on face masks and attendee health is:

  • 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.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "This is a long and expensive trip on a 2 lane dirt track (otherwise known as the Dalton Highway) to have your photo taken at the Arctic Circle sign." See review
  • "The temperature was -59, but it was all worth it." See review
  • "It is a long trip but it’s so worth it !" See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
322 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 322 reviews
star-3
Let down on the Aurora Experience
Angela_G
, Apr 2022
My bad review first: what we didn't like, was the driver never told us much about the drive as we were on our way, he talked non stop to the person in the front seat, but not to the entire bus. He would only pick up his headset and tell us random stuff that was pointless. And the experience was supposed to include the Aurora. We stopped once and actually got out to take photos, and it lasted all of like 5 to 10 minutes!!! The rest of the time, he would pull off, hop out and say nope no lights here! Funny because we heard the next day how incredible the lights were that night!!! I feel part of our money should be refunded because of this!!! This part sucked and was one of the reasons we chose this excursion in the first place!!! Our favorite parts of this experience were the scenery as we drove to the Arctic Circle, the frozen Yukon River, the comfort of a warm van with a driver who knows the road.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Great trip with great...
Tatiana_B
, Apr 2022
Great trip with great people around through great places. Special thanks to the guide. He is very friendly, professional, with great sense of humor, time management and knowledge background.
HelpfulHelpful2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Lots of firsts - Arctic Circle, Yukon River, Aurora Borealis
MaryJane_E
, Apr 2022
Dave and Cameron were great hosts for our trip up to the Arctic Circle and back. Numerous great stops for Aurora viewing. Lots of great info about the areas we visited and about Aurora photos. It was impressive that fourteen hours (2pm-4am) seemed to pass quickly.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
A trip into Magic
Alice_T
, Apr 2022
The views of the northern lights was more outstanding than I could ever imagine. Our driver was fantastic. The families we traveled with were friends by an hour into the trip. All stops were worth seeing.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Arctic Circle
Marci_M
, Mar 2022
So much snow and beautiful scenery along the way! Great driver and worth the long trip! Walk on the Yukon River!
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star-5
Great experience
Guankun_W
, Mar 2022
Guide is very nice and professional. He tries his best to hunt the aurora for us, which extends our trip for an extra hour. The time schedule is very reasonable. There is no doubt I will recommend this activity to my friends.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-1
Bumpy Ice Road in the Dark
Tomiko_W
, Mar 2022
A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!! No Nothern Light nothing but bumpy ice road ride in the dark. No sighting of wild animal’s, no audio system, could not hear(he did not explain much on the way to Arctic Circle) him many stops for his smoke breaks, total waste of money and time .
icon Response from Host , Mar 2022
We here at Alaska Wildlife Guide are sorry to hear that your experience on the Arctic Circle and Northern Lights tour was worthy of a 1 star review. On every one of our tours we do not guarantee seeing the northern lights as we cannot control the weather. There have been super clear nights that we have taken tours out and the aurora just does not come out. We also do not guarantee seeing any wildlife as they are on a schedule all on their own. This winter has been a very different winter compared to other years. We have gotten much more snow than we have in the past, along with freezing rain, the roads have a thick hard pack of compacted snow. When the state plows they sometimes will remove chunks of the hard pack that then causes unevenness on the roads. The state has been working on clearing the roads as quickly as possible and have been trying to make them less "bumpy" but there are definitely roads that are not fully smooth. Our drivers know the conditions of these roads and have been trained to take them at safe speeds to reduce the damage to both the vans and our guests due to the unevenness. We are sorry that you felt that the tour was uncomfortable for you. We take pride in our guides giving our guests 5 star worthy experiences and we are very sorry that your guide did not provide that to you. Your guide will be informed of your review and we will make every effort to rectify this for the tours going forward. If you would like to further discuss your experience with us please feel free to contact our office during normal business hours and we will be happy to speak further.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Steve was very good at...
Andrea_H
, Mar 2022
Steve was very good at getting us where we needed to go, we saw the lights a few times and he made sure we were all comfortable and safe! Thanks Steve!
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star-5
It was an espectacular...
Oscar_V
, Mar 2022
It was an espectacular experience, thanks to ur driver Frank , I recommend this trip , is while worthy every moment of the long drive , we did not feel the time spent on the trip because of the experience taking pictures and stopping on the way over there and back. Thanks Mr Frank for this experience.
HelpfulHelpful
star-5
Great trip
Xiaoling_S
, Mar 2022
It’s great trip . Very nice driver! Take us 15 hs trip. If I will come again here I will choice the same company! Thanks !
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star-1
A waste of my time
Elizabeth_C
, Mar 2022
Van was cramped with high step to enter. I had to pull myself up just to get to the bottom step. Driver had no mic and never introduced himself. Arctic Circle was OK. Northern lights were not. Driver had just passed a lookout when he saw the lights. He said he'd drive and pull over at the next place. He drove for 25 minutes instead of going back to the stop we'd just left. By the time we got out of the van the lights had started to fade and where he pulled off had a lot of trucks with red lights on, which made the snow look red. Photos with red snow were awful. Later he pulled over to point to the sky and say the Northern lights were over there. He was pointing to clouds!
icon Response from Host , Mar 2022
Elizabeth, we are sorry to hear that you thought that your experience on this tour warranted a 1 star review. Our fleet consists of Ford Transit 350 vans which are taller than normal vans. Generally there is a small step stool that is available to aid in people entering and exiting our vans due to the fact that they do sit a bit higher than normal vans. I am sorry if this was not utilized for you during the tour as we try to make this routine. The Ford Transit 350s are rated to carry 10 people, for us this is 9 guests and 1 guide. Due to the winter gear that most people wear for this trip, the accommodations can be a tad tight. Your guide that night is one of our most experienced guides on the Northern Light and Arctic Circle tour. He was at one point a trucker who drove the Dalton Highway regularly. Knowing this we trust him to make the necessary decisions to ensure our guests make it back to Fairbanks. Due to safety reasons we are unable to stop our vans and turn around in the middle of the Dalton Highway. All of our guides are aware of this and make every effort to find a safe location to pull off at to allow our guests to view the aurora, if they are out. With this comes the possibility that there are other people that have also pulled over to stop to view the lights. Again, we are sorry that you felt that your experience on this tour warranted a 1 star review. We will ensure our guide knows about this review so that we can make sure he addresses these issues. Please feel free to reach out to us during normal business hours if you feel the need to discuss your experience further. We hope you were still able to enjoy the rest of your vacation in our great state of Alaska and we wish you well on your future adventures.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Awesome Adventure
Liz_T
, Mar 2022
Wow.. what an experience! Our tour guide Frank was so cool, informative and got us to the Arctic safely there and back. A 14 drive is alot, but along the way we got to see the beautiful sunset, all the landscapes covered in snow,The Yukon frozen river, The Northern Lights were out but a bit faint do to the cloud coverage and Frank did everything he could to make sure we could catch a glimpse, and we also got a better understanding of the Dalton Highway.A sight you don't get to see everyday. It is a bumpy ride but I'm glad I can check this off of my bucketlist. It truly was an unforgettable moment. Thank you Frank for taking care of us. 3/5/2022 Elizabeth and Bobby
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
The scenary and the...
Doina_G
, Mar 2022
The scenary and the knowledge of the guide. All in all one of the best tours that we ever took. We will recommend this tour to anyone.
HelpfulHelpful
star-1
Save yourself the hassle
mlillianf
, Feb 2022
Very poor experience with this tour company and Viator. I entered a pickup location and heard back LESS than 24 hours before the tour the company could not pick me up. Apparently they said it was MY responsibility to ask if the pick up location was feasible? Doesn’t sound like a professional company whatsoever and my family has owned a successful business of 60 plus years where follow ups and this information is essential to keeping a good reputation. Nevertheless, we were unable to attend this tour at all, and they took $450 dollars and now won’t refund it. Nowhere have I seen the tour read that you, yourself will have to check in with them about the location.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
True Alaska Experience
donny_g
, Jan 2022
We had a unique trip. Everything that could go wrong with the weather did. We got hammered by snow. Stuck for 20+ hours North of the Arctic Circle. Spent the night in a bunkhouse in Coldfoot AK. But we enjoyed the trip. Stuff happens & things go wrong but seeing how a tour operates handles those things determines how good they are. Alaska wildlife got us home safe & we saw more than we payed for.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Great experience!
Mary_S
, Dec 2021
My sister and I took the arctic circle trip. We had an amazing time. Everybody was so friendly. Jake was an amazing driver in difficult conditions. We made informative stops at the pipeline, the Yukon river, the Dalton Highway, and the Arctic Circle. Jake even found a moose and her baby a”in the rare hour of sunlight, so that we were able to pull over and see them walk across a field. My sister and I had hoped to see the northern lights and a moose. We can say we saw both! The food was great. The experience on the Dalton Highway was amazing. It was very hot in the van so make sure that you dress in easy to remove layers. It’s a dry cold so it really isn’t very cold, even when it’s 40 below zero. We definitely overdressed.
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star-5
Once In a Lifetime Experience
Nilesh_P
, Dec 2021
This was hands down the most unique experience I have ever had. Our tour guide was amazing! She was so knowledgeable and answered ever single question we had. Driving up we were a little skeptical but once we got to the attic circle we were able to take breath taking pictures! And we saw SO many shooting stars. If you come to Alaska and you have time to only do one thing, it should be THIS adventure. Also heads up, if you stop for a bathroom break USE IT!
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-1
Bad experience on the tour
Anh_T
, Nov 2021
Bad experience on the tour !!!! It is a Scam !!!! Not worth it to pay for this tour. First, The van had all old bad tires and not even snow tires. We had an exploded tire on highway 15 mins away from our hotel. What if it was exploded on the ice Dalton highway when it was going uphill? We were nervous and felt unsafe. The trip was about 2 hours behind because changed the tire and waited for another van. The van was full of people and not comfortable with no mask wearing enforced. The lunch sacks were horrible and dry, and were not passing out until 8:15pm. We were hungry and thirsty. Our 2 young daughters of 9,10 yrs old were hungry, thirsty and tired and they felt to sleep. I asked for water , and food, then the driver said he forgot. The trip was approximately 14 hours and only 1 bottle of water is provided per person in the lunch sack. That means from 2pm we got on the van until 815 pm, we did not have water to drink. The tour guild was talking low and we could not hear from back. The tour guild focused on 1,2 persons on the front and ignored others. Overall, the tour is boring, tired, thirsty, and nothing to see or good views for pictures. We did not see aurora like we saw ourselves at the creamer’s field or Murphy Dome.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
Dear Anh, we are so sorry that you did not have a good experience with us last week. Unfortunately, tires break sometimes in our extreme temperatures but we are glad that we were able to immediately react, so you did not have to wait for too long. However, Jake, our guide offered everyone, including your family, to buy extra drinks and snacks at the first rest stop, to make the waiting time up to you, but it was declined, and it was repeatedly mentioned that everything would be fine. Our tires are all studded winter tires and perfect for this type of weather, however, I made the decision to switch the vans to be able speed everything up and to get you back on the road quicker. Of course it also has happened on the Dalton highway before, just like with anyone driving on this road, and in this case, the guide would have just changed the tire. We are very sorry and apologize profoundly, about how the meals and drinks were handled, which is absolutely not okay. We will talk to our guide about this and will make sure that this is not going to happen anymore. The Sandwiches, (which so far all of our customers loved and enjoyed) Snacks and the water, as well as extra water bottles, should be available for anyone at any time and free to use. We also have free masks to use for everyone, however, we cannot enforce the mask wearing for our guests (which is stated in the description at the time of booking), because we do not have a State Mandate at this moment, however we try our best to keep everything as clean as possible, and if even just one person would like the guide to wear a mask, he/she will without any further questions. If you still have any questions or more concerns, please give us a call. We need to hear about it, to make improvements, and we are very thankful for anyone who speaks up and gives us a call after the tour if anything is going wrong. We will take any feedback serious, no matter what the concern is.
HelpfulHelpful2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
Spectacular
owie_b
, Nov 2021
It was a lifetime experience raydine our tourguide so amazing very nice and make sure we got to see aurora
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star-5
Bucket list accomplished
Shiulan_L
, Nov 2021
The guide for Arctic Circle David is awesome and he took the extra effort to make sure we see Northern Light since that was our goal
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful

Product code: 5957ARCLIGHT

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