The Northern Lights in Alaska 

Photos by Abe Kislevitz

A couple years ago I joined some friends on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska to view the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis has always been a fascination of mine and it was the perfect opportunity to cross it off the bucket-list! I was not prepared for the nocturnal schedules, long hours in the freezing cold, and low odds of actually seeing the aurora…but on the few nights that it appeared, it was the most mystical thing I have ever witnessed on earth. To this day I have never seen anything else as enchanting as the Northern Lights. 

The days were literally a daze because we’d be up until 5am every night waiting to see the lights and driving around to different spots. We’d sleep in super late and then manage to take a walk to explore Fairbanks. Fairbanks is not exactly the most attractive tourist destination but we found plenty of things we liked, including a beautiful river bank and an epic thrift store. 

One night we decided to check out the Chena hot springs a short ways out of Fairbanks. I had seen plenty hot springs but this was more like a giant pool hot spring with colored lamps glowing through the steam and interesting rocks to climb. It was this evening, on our drive back to the hotel, that we saw the most epic Northern Lights of the entire trip. 

The lights begin to faintly shimmer in one section of the sky. Then they glow stronger and more colorful, in greens and purples. Suddenly they begin to take over the whole sky in swirls that shimmer across your vision. It looks like what I’d imagine a human soul would do if it wanted to dance. If you ever have the opportunity to seek the Aurora Borealis, it’s worth it. If you wait 4 long nights in the freezing cold and finally get 1 hour of shimmering, green skies…it’s worth it. 

Let me know if you plan to see the Northern Lights yourself one day, and where you’d like to see them!

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