Day 1 – Fairbanks
Fairbanks is accessible via commercial airliner from many cities in the Lower 48 and via Anchorage. Upon arrival, check in to a cozy lodge or modern hotel, and be sure to ask the front desk for an aurora wake-up call – if the lights are out, they’ll ring your room so you can run outside and get your first glimpse! If you have time today, pay a visit to the University of Alaska Museum of the North to view its extensive natural history and art collection. Before you travel, be sure to check the Fairbanks event calendar to see what’s happening when you arrive.
Day 2 – En Route to Coldfoot Camp
Today you’ll join a tour by bus along the famed Dalton Highway (featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers” show). The all-day drive will offer plenty of opportunities to stop for photos, including at the mighty Yukon River, along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and upon crossing the Arctic Circle. Upon arrival in Coldfoot, you’ll be checked in to your base for the next two nights at Coldfoot Camp. Although it was established in the late 1800s as gold miners flooded the region, Coldfoot wasn’t much of a community until construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline began in the 1970s. Located halfway between Fairbanks and Prudhoe Bay, it made a convenient stop for truckers hauling supplies, and they soon began dropping packing crates and other materials that could be used to build a formal truck stop there. Coldfoot Camp was the result, and the center pole in the building still bears the carved initials of the truckers that raised it.
Day 3 – Coldfoot
Due to its location, Coldfoot is one of the best places on earth to witness the aurora, so be on the lookout when it gets dark. During the day, Coldfoot Camp offers plenty of activities to keep you entertained, including an excursion into the Brooks Mountain Range (the far northern end of the Rocky Mountains), a dog-sledding experience with a local musher or a trip to nearby Wiseman for more aurora viewing opportunities.
Day 4 – Fairbanks
Fairbanks is accessible via commercial airliner from many cities in the Lower 48 and via Anchorage. Today you’ll hop a plane back to Fairbanks, where you can find plenty more to do (just see all the events mentioned above) or head from there to other Alaska winter destinations.