A Guide to Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks is Alaska's year-round city of light. In the summer, the Midnight Sun brings some of Alaska's warmest weather and nearly 24 hours of daylight. When winter arrives, Fairbanks offers front-row seating for the northern lights, as well as prime snow conditions for a variety of winter sports. This gold rush frontier town offers adventure any time of year.
With days that are close to 24 hours long and temperatures that can soar up to 90° F, Fairbanks is Alaska's hot spot. The Midnight Sun shines on a variety of activities, from river rafting and gold panning to salmon bakes and midnight golfing. Fairbanks offers visitors a glimpse of the Alaskan lifestyle. Visitors can visit the log cabin of a veteran musher and play with her sled dogs, learn about gold rush history, or ride a sternwheeler riverboat to a Native Alaskan village. Summer season is typically mid-May to mid-September.
In addition to the many attractions of Fairbanks, the city also serves as a gateway to Denali National Park, 120 miles to the south, and to Arctic adventures in the north. Fairbanks is the starting point for trips up the Dalton Highway, a route that crosses the Yukon River, the Arctic Circle, and the Brooks Mountain Range on its way to Prudhoe Bay. The highway crosses some of Alaska's most rugged, untouched country.
Fairbanksans take advantage of any opportunity to celebrate, and a typical Fairbanks calendar is filled with a variety of events. Summer Solstice, June 21, is celebrated with a downtown street fair, festival, fun run and a midnight baseball game played with no artificial lighting. In July, Fairbanks celebrates its heritage with Golden Days, a commemoration of the discovery of gold in 1902, and the World Eskimo Indian Olympics featuring traditional Native Alaskan games, competitions and dances.
When the Midnight Sun sets, the aurora borealis lights up the Fairbanks sky. Visible here from late August to mid-April, Fairbanks is one of the best places on earth to view the northern lights. In fact, researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks issue a weekly aurora forecast, predicting where and when the aurora will be most active.
Winter days are filled with adventure. From November to early April, Fairbanks offers consistently good snow conditions for mushing, snowmachining, cross country and alpine skiing, snowshoeing, and more. Fairbanks winters also produce ice, and lots of it. The World Ice Art Championships, held here each March make good use of the ice, with sculptors from around the world producing larger-than-life sculptures from Fairbanks ice. After spending a day playing in the snow, try a soak at one of our local hot springs resorts.
Dog mushing reigns supreme here with sled dog champions such as Susan Butcher, Rick Swenson and Mary Shields making their homes in Fairbanks. Visitors can easily take a ride in a dog sled, learn to drive a team themselves or watch premiere sled dog events such as the Yukon Quest, held here each February, or the Open North American Sled Dog Championships held in downtown Fairbanks each March.
Whether driving a dog team down a wooded trail or enjoying the scenery under the summer sun, Fairbanks gives visitors a sense of life on the Last Frontier.
For more information, visit the FCVB web site at
Copyright © Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau. Used here with permission.