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Northern Lights in September: Alaska’s Natural Phenomenon

Seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska in September is among the best reasons to come to this magnificent area in this autumn month.

This incredible phenomenon known as Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights is only visible in the far northern hemisphere and consists in a natural light show on the dark ski.

September is the first month of the peak season of chasing Aurora Borealis in Alaska, United States and Fairbanks is the most popular destination for this.

Aurora Borealis in Alaska is visible in and around the town of Fairbanks but if you want to boost your chances of seeing the lights then you can book a tour which goes beyond the Arctic Circle.

Seeing Aurora Borealis in Alaska in September

Most travellers heading north to Alaska over the winter months come to witness the polar lights but surprisingly winter might not be the best time to see the show as the clouds might cover the sky for many nights on the row.

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On the other hand, the spring month of March and the autumn month of September are considered by experts as the best time to travel close to Auroral Oval to chase the lights.

The main reason is that the solar activity is increased during the equinox ( around the date of 20 of September and March) so you have higher chances to spot the lights.

During this time of the year, the magnetic field of Earth and the solar wind are in sync, so you have higher chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis in Alaska in September.

Another condition to spot the lights on the sky is to have a clear sky, without clouds and September ticks this box, too.

During the winter months, there are many cloudy nights as the snow continues to fall and cover the landscape, which diminishes the chances of spotting the magnificent light show on the sky.

And there is another thing we should take into consideration when talking about the best time to spot Northern Lights in Alaska in September and this is the road conditions.

You need to travel far from any light pollution to spot the lights and the Arctic winter is very cold and snowy with many dangerous roads.

So that is why you might end up in the hotel room as everything around you is closed because of bad weather.

September, on the other hand, is an autumn month with milder temperatures and better weather conditions than winter.

So, you can adventure and rent a car to chase Northern Lights or to book a tour somewhere close to the Arctic Circle to admire the lights, as we did.

Based on the research we made we decided we will travel to Alaska in September to see the Aurora Borealis and it appeared to be a smart decision.

We stayed at A Taste Of Alaska Lodge , a wilderness lodge very clean and spacious, located 30 miles away from Fairbanks.

We rented a car to explore the area during daytime and chase the Aurora Borealis in Alaska in September.

We hiked in Denali National Park and we take a bathe in Chena Hot springs.

By the time the night falls, we prepared our cameras and dress warmly to stay many hours outside to view the Northern Lights dancing in the sky.

Part of our Alaska travel was the Aurora viewing but there were also the adventure tours we booked with some local companies.

Besides Northern lights viewing, there are plenty of outdoor adventures to try during daytime like ice fishing, dog sledging and skiing.

The roads were still in good conditions so we were able to move around to explore the area during daytime and chase the Northern Lights during the night.

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We always took with us a warm blanket, some hot tea and many batteries for our camera.

We were lucky to catch up some really amazing scenes with the Green Lady dancing in the sky.

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Is September a good month to go to Alaska?

Maybe you are wondering why we chose to chase Aurora Borealis in Alaska in September and why not in December.

Well, there are multiple reasons why we do that, reasons which I will name below beside the higher chances to see Northern Lights in Alaska in September.

1.The prices and number of tourists

September is considered to be shoulder season, so the prices are lower and there are plenty of options to choose from when talking about accommodation and restaurants.

Not to mention that the crowds of tourists have gone and you can have the magnificent scenery just for yourself.

You can even choose to take a cruise around the area as it is less crowded and cheaper than in June, July or August.

2. Autumn colours are incredible

Autumn colours in Alaska are beautiful and completely different than anywhere else on Earth as the tundra turns red.

The colours of the fall are yellow and red and the beautiful smell of the tundra is very hard to describe in words.

The most amazing time of autumn is when the peaks are covered in snow and the forest still glows red and orange.

This early snow is called by locals Termination Dust and marks the end of the summer and the beginning of winter.

3. Weather is still friendly with humans

The winters are extremely long and cold in this part of the world, but September weather is still friendly with us.

Northern Lights in Alaska in September

The weather is also perfect for chasing Northern Lights as the days are shorter and the number of hours of dark increases.

The temperatures are around 60 degrees Fahrenheit ( 15 degrees Celsius) during daytime and negative during the night.

September is a time of dramatic transformation and the autumn colours peak by mid-September when there are also higher chances to see the Northern Lights because of the autumn equinox.

So go ahead and plan your trip to September in Alaska as this is one of the best periods to see the Northern Lights in this part of the world!

Logistical tips and tricks for your trip

Book your accommodation
We always use as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

When we go for longer trips around the world we get Globelink Insurance as it offers a good cover for an affordable price.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected costs caused by medical events like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.