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10 Great ALASKA Northern Lights Hotels & Resorts

alaska northern lights hotels

In this article we look at 10 great Alaska Northern Lights hotels and resorts that you can book now.

While there are many accommodation providers across Alaska, with so many options to choose from, it’s good to have a bit of help sorting through it all. So, here we have compiled a list of the 10 most popular and ‘best’ hotels and resorts designed with aurora borealis watchers in mind, to spark your imagination.

All of these hotels, lodges and resorts offer some benefit to northern lights hunters, all with one special and important trait in common… which we’ll discuss further down.

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FAIRBANKS ALASKA Northern Lights Hotels & Resorts (Top 3)

In this section we have shared three of the most popular Fairbanks AK Northern Lights hotels and resorts. Fairbanks is probably Alaska’s most famous aurora borealis tourism spot, and as such, there are many other accommodations in Fairbanks too – don’t let us stop you from exploring other options!

The main thing to keep in mind when choosing accommodation in Fairbanks is that there will be light pollution in the city itself (learn why light pollution is a problem in this article). The options below are located away from the city, meaning you should be able to see the aurora from the accommodation itself. When considering other options not listed here, you might want to factor this into your decision-making.

fairbanks alaska northern lights hotels
All three of our favorite Alaska northern lights hotels are located in the wilderness around Fairbanks.

Aurora Borealis Lodge – Alaska Northern Lights Hotels

The Aurora Borealis Lodge is situated a mere 20 miles outside of the city of Fairbanks and provides one of the most awe-inspiring views of the Alaskan wilderness and the northern lights.

You will find the majestic Aurora Borealis Lodge just outside of Fairbanks. This family-owned destination is situated only 20 miles north of the city, at the top of a high ridge that overlooks the surrounding countryside. From its unique vantage point, visitors to the Aurora Borealis Lodge have a virtually unobstructed view of the nighttime skies, without worrying about light pollution from nearby Fairbanks. It is an ideal location to hunt for the natural phenomenon when the conditions are just right. During the peak season, from August to April, tours are available to take guests out to hunt for the northern lights.

Aurora Villa – Alaska Northern Lights Hotels

For those looking for a place to get away from it all, the Aurora Villa is the perfect mountainside destination to sit back, relax, and hunt the nighttime skies for the aurora borealis.

Situated only half an hour away from Fairbanks, high in the mountains, the Aurora Villa is a very popular destination for those seeking a place to get away from it all and view the northern lights. During the daytime, guests can head out to Chena River, or even to the nearby Birch Hill recreation center. There are a plethora of things to do in and around the area surrounding the villa. The Aurora Villa features private rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide some of the most amazing views of the surrounding landscape. Guests can stay cozy and warm, as they look out at the vast Alaskan wilderness during the daytime, and peer up at the nighttime skies as they hunt for the elusive Northern lights.

Borealis Basecamp – Alaska Northern Lights Resorts

The Borealis Basecamp is the original northern lights igloo hotel and is situated just outside of the city of Fairbanks. Each year, thousands of people make their way to the Borealis Basecamp for the purpose of viewing the auroras.

Known as one of the most popular destinations in North America for viewing the northern lights, the Borealis Basecamp Is Located Just outside of the City of Fairbanks. This particular destination features a number of fiberglass domes dotting the landscape and providing guests with the ability to privately view the elusive auroras.

The basecamp is off-grid and produces its own power on-site. Nevertheless, each of the massive fiberglass domes features a 16-foot-wide window that stretches across the northern part of the dome top. This allows visitors to the base camp to relax in their warm beds as they stare up at the night sky awaiting the appearance of the northern lights.

anchorage alaska aurora borealis resorts
In the Winter months, Anchorage is a popular spot for skiers and aurora borealis hunters alike.

Other Alaska Northern Lights Hotels & Resorts

Aurora Inn & Suites – Northern Lights Hotel Alaska

Situated along the same latitude as Fairbanks, Nome provides one of the most unique vantage points for viewing the northern lights in Alaska.

While many people hunting for the northern lights make their way to cities like Fairbanks and Anchorage, others visitors to Alaska prefer an oceanfront escape. The Aurora Inn is located in the quiet city of Nome, overlooking the frigid Bering Sea. The 52-room hotel provides a welcomed retreat from the frozen winter landscape. Located at the edge of Nome, the Aurora Inn provides a number of activities that will keep just about anyone busy all day long. Guests can rent SUVs, late-model trucks, and even stampede vehicles. There is even a sauna located within the hotel, that is open 24 hours a day.

Alyeska Resort – Alaska Northern Lights Resort

Situated at the top of a nearby mountain, a mere 40 miles away from the city of Anchorage, the Alyeska Resort provides its visitors skiing by day, and aurora hunting by night.

The Alyeska Resort is one of the most popular ski destinations in Anchorage. Situated 40 miles outside of the city, the château-styled resort receives more than 650 inches of snow every single year. Located high above the city, the resort is the perfect destination for those wanting to hunt for the elusive Northern lights. Although there are a number of different locations around Anchorage to choose from, the Alyeska Resort is far enough away from the city lights, to reduce the chances of light pollution interfering with the viewing experience. In order to make sure you do not miss the auroras, simply call to the front desk, and staff will happily reach out to you when they appear in the night skies.

Boreal Lodge – Alaska Lodge/Chalet

Situated within a village that was established during the gold rush, the Boreal Lodge is a truly unique destination for those wishing to view the northern lights from a historic gold rush settlement.

The quaint little village of Wiseman is located more than 270 miles north of the city of Fairbanks. It is the nearest city to Coldfoot Camp, which is a very popular destination for those hunting the elusive northern lights. The village was established back in 1907 in order to provide for the needs of the prospectors who sought their fortune and fame in the Koyukuk valley. Back in the day, the Valley was a popular destination for prospectors, due to the placer-rich creeks that meander their way through the wilderness.

At one point, the village of Wiseman was home to more than 250 residents and even had its own post office, roadhouse, and general store. As one of the northernmost communities established during the gold rush, the village of Wiseman is one of only a few settlements located within the Brooks Range, that still exist today. For those looking for a truly unique destination to view the aurora borealis, the Boreal Lodge in Wiseman is a perfect choice.

The Inn at Coldfoot Camp – Northern Lights Hotel Alaska

For those who are looking for a truly rustic experience in the Alaskan wilderness, the Coldfoot Camp provides a truly unique experience that cannot be found at any other destination in Alaska.

Coldfoot Camp is one of the more popular destinations north of Fairbanks. The camp itself is situated close to the Gates of the Arctic National Park and provides some of the most awe-inspiring views of the Alaskan wilderness. The area surrounding the camp is known as the Brooks Range, and over the years has become one of the most popular bases for rafting, hiking, fishing, and exploring during the summer months.

But many people also make their way up to Coldfoot Camp during the winter months, as it offers some of the most awe-inspiring views of the northern lights. Guests can spend the day on a backcountry tour, or even go for a dog sledding adventure. There is a nearby trucker’s stop that is the only place in the area to eat and get the supplies you need for an amazing adventure in the wilderness.

Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge – Alaskan Lodge/Chalet

First established back in 1974, the Iniakuk Lake wilderness Lodge is one most remote destinations for viewing the aurora borealis in North America.

Situated more than 200 miles north of the city of Fairbanks, the Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge is a popular choice for those seeking a truly Arctic experience. The Lodge is located 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle and provides some of the best views of the Alaskan wilderness and of course the northern lights.

There are no roads or rails that go to the Iniakuk Lake wilderness Lodge, as the only way to reach it is by seaplane. Since 1974, this popular Lodge has prided itself on being one of the most remote aurora hunting locations in North America. When you are not staring up at the nighttime skies, there are still a number of different things to see and do throughout the day.

Sheldon Chalet – Alaskan Lodge/Chalet

There is only one true destination to view the aurora borealis while inside the Denali National Park, and that is the popular and romantic Sheldon Chalet.

The Sheldon Chalet is the perfect destination for anyone seeking to view the northern lights. This destination is located within the Denali National Park and is situated a mere 10 miles from the summit. The hotel itself is surrounded by towering mountaintops, which create a truly surreal experience of the auroras that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world. The chalet provides awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. You will also find that the chalet is staffed by a world-renowned chef, who provides guests with tantalizing meals that make the whole experience that much more magical.

Top of the World Hotel – Northern Lights Hotel Alaska

The Top of the World Hotel is the perfect destination for those who want to head deep within the Arctic Circle in order to view the northern lights.

Originally known simply as Barrow, the town changes its name in 2016 to Utqiagvik, which was the original tribal name for the region. It is the northernmost point in the United States and the northernmost city in North America. It is also home to the amazing Top of the World Hotel. Here, at the northernmost point of Alaska, well inside the Arctic Circle, visitors to the town will experience 24 hours of darkness for more than 2 months every winter.

This provides guests to the region, with some of the best opportunities to view the elusive northern lights. The best time to visit the Top of the World Hotel, however, is during the late fall or early spring when there are still several hours of daylight every single day. This way, you will have plenty of time to visit the quaint city during the daytime and stare up at the nighttime skies as you hunt for the elusive auroras.

Final Thoughts on Alaska Northern Lights Hotels & Resorts

That completes our list of the top 10 Alaska Northern Lights hotels and resorts. While we have shared the most popular accommodation options, this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are, of course, heaps of accommodation options to choose from beyond these, from camps and rustic cabins to luxury hotels.

All options in this list have been specifically chosen because of their benefit to aurora borealis hunters. One trend you may have noticed amongst all of them is their location. They are generally secluded and away from cities, and for good reason. Light pollution. Keep this is mind as you choose the best northern lights hotel or resort for yourself. If you choose a hotel in the middle of the city you may not see the aurora from your room, but this may not be a concern if you are happy with travelling out in the evenings in your car or taking night tours.

But if you want the opportunity to see the aurora from where you’re staying, or even right from your hotel room, you need to pick accommodation that is outside of the city where the sky is much darker. You can learn more about choosing the right place to see the lights in our article here.

Now that you’ve decided on somewhere to stay, just make sure that you pick the right months to travel in Alaska to see the northern lights. You don’t want to disappoint yourself by travelling at the wrong time of year (hint: don’t go in summer).

Happy travels!

NOTE: This article was updated on 11 March 2024 to update links and include additional photos.

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