Alaska is known for stunning views – but not just on land. The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, offer a spectacular light show to anyone willing to stay up to watch it. While the best times are in September and March, you will still be able to take your Alaska SUV rentals out to see the lights.
If you don’t want to go on a random chase, then guided tours to the lights may be your best bet. However, you’ll want to bundle up and bring along a little energy! This certainly isn’t a day trip.
When to see the lights
As mentioned, September and March are the best months. This is because the Earth is tilted at just the right angle in relation to the Sun to make the lights clearer and stronger. However, you’ll still get a chance to see them during other months of the winter, from mid-September to late April.
The best nights to take your Alaska SUV rentals are those with clear skies. Aim for between 10 pm and 2 am, as around midnight is the best time to see the lights. Like we said – you’ll want to bring some energizer with you!
On an inland plain or mountaintop will suit best. You want to avoid light pollution when hunting for the Northern Lights. This includes light from the moon. Odd as it may seem, overly bright light from the moon can wash out the Northern Lights to the point where you will barely be able to see them.
It’s best to go a minimum of a week before or after the full moon, and certainly not during the days the moon is at its fullest.
Where to see the Aurora
The further north you go, the easier it will be to see the lights. The best latitude for Aurora Borealis viewings is between 65° north and 70° north. Head to remote northern regions to get the best experience. In fact, you may even want to cross the border into Canada. Coldfoot in Yukon Territory will offer stunning views of the lights and landscape.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to get out of urban areas. Even the smaller towns and villages of Alaska have some light pollution, and leaving their outer limits will allow you the most promising view of the lights.
If you want to stay in America, you can see the lights near Fairbanks, Barrow, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. While other places will offer you glimpses of the light show, these regions will provide the most likely clear view. They also offer the benefit of plenty of daytime activities to enjoy! Glaciers, rafting, fishing, hiking, tours of historic places, and more are on offer in these towns.
Take a Guided Tour
If you’d rather not take your Alaska SUV rentals out by yourself to find the lights, there are tours you can join. Which one you join will depend on your own preference. But there are plenty on offer that span from just a single day to several days and include other opportunities like a dip in Chena Hot Springs. Here is a good place to look at which tour might be best for you.
What to bring
It’s important that you bundle up and bring extra blankets in your Alaska SUV rentals. Alaska gets cold in the winter, and sitting for long periods of time waiting for the lights can get mighty chilly. Bring extra blankets to bundle under, and even a heating candle if you want extra assurance. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to bring along some cocoa and broth in thermoses!
No Northern Light trip is complete without the perfect Alaska SUV rentals. Reserve yours from Avis today.