the bright starry nights of southcentral and the interior of alaska are nature’s perfect backdrop for dancing northern lights, also known as aurora borealis. the aurora is actually the glow of solar particles blown into the earth’s magnetic field more than 60 miles above the earth’s surface at speeds up to 35,000 miles per hour.
auroras are natural light displays in the sky, usually observed at night and can be incredibly bright, multi-hued and fast moving. the most common color is a brilliant yellow-green. colorful northern lights displays can produce red, blue and purple patterns. displays usually occur about sixty or seventy miles above the earth’s surface - about ten times higher than a jet aircraft flies - and can extend hundreds of miles into space.
typically, autumn, winter and spring are the best seasons for viewing northern lights. the best displays tend to be accompanied by sub-zero temperatures and moonless skies. and, the best hours are often near midnight. of course, no one can guarantee when the aurora will be out. visitors who wish to spot the northern lights should plan to spend a few days because the aurora is, like the weather, variable.
Only in Alaska! Ask for a Northern Lights Wake-Up Call and our front desk staff will call and notify you during the night when the Northern Lights are out. Available on request via the Front Desk, please dial “0” to sign up.