In 1902, Felix Pedro found gold in what is now the Fairbanks area and thousands of prospectors swarmed to Interior Alaska in search of the “mother lode.” Nearly a century later, Fairbanks (population 32,000) is the trade and transportation center for Interior and Arctic Alaska. The city is home to a full array of visitor services including lodging, restaurants, shops, and tour options. The parks and public lands in and around Fairbanks, including the popular Chena River State Recreation Area, provide outdoor recreation opportunities including wildlife viewing, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, and more.
In the summer, visitors can enjoy more than 20 hours of sunlight a day during Midnight Sun season. In winter, the long nights make for some of the best opportunities for northern lights viewing in the state. One of the most quintessential winter experiences in the Fairbanks area is gazing at the northern lights while soaking in Chena Hot Springs.
The region’s smaller towns have their own unique charm and history. In the North Pole, it’s truly Christmas year-round. The historic gold rush town of Circle provides access to the might Yukon River and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. Nenana was the original terminus of the Alaska Railroad and is famous today for the Nenana Ice Classic, a popular statewide content in which entrants guess the date of ice breakup on the Tanana River for a chance to win the pot, usually over $300,000.
Fairbanks Area: Cities & Towns
- Chena Hot Springs
- Manley Hot Springs
- North Pole
Fairbanks Area: Parks
Local Climate & Weather
For Alaska's day-to-day weather, it’s best to plan for a bit of everything. Learn more about weather in this area.