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Anchorage Northern Lights Tour

Full Day
Winter, Spring, Fall
Activity Type
Northern Lights, Photography

Embark on our Anchorage Northern Lights Tour to view and photograph the aurora borealis in and around the greater Anchorage area. We pride ourselves on offering intimate, small-group trip experiences.

This Anchorage aurora tour will leave you in awe – and planning your next trip back to magical Alaska.

Tour Description

The  phenomenon of aurora borealis is one of the most amazing natural wonders on Earth. Join us on our Anchorage Northern Lights Tour to view and photograph these spectacular swirling lights in and around the greater Anchorage area.

Our team uses innovative technology to forecast aurora viewing conditions. Each night’s tour location is chosen to maximize your chances to view the lights, with tour locations chosen based on weather forecasts, aurora strength, and driving distance from Anchorage. Our team of experts will get you to the most strategic location possible to witness the northern lights.

This tour is designed for anyone with an interest in viewing the aurora borealis.  Our tours include web-quality aurora portraits and basic photography instruction.

Greatland Adventures is proud to utilize a fleet of comfortable tour vehicles as traveling base camps. Tours generally depart between 8-11 p.m. and return between 3-6 a.m., depending on the season and forecast conditions. You will receive a forecast call from our aurora team between 3-5 p.m. on the day of your booked tour. This call will let you know what time pick up will be that night, estimated driving distance, and our expected return time. We will also discuss anticipated cloud cover, and any other potential challenges we might face that evening. If conditions are unfavorable and a tour is not recommended that night, we will work with you at that time to rebook to another night, based on availability.

Choose your preferred date via our online booking platform. We will ask for your arrival and departure date/time, and any potential additional nights you have available to join a tour, during the booking process. We gather this information from all of our guests so we may help to maximize your chances of seeing aurora while visiting Alaska!
Our minimum age to join this tour is 13.

Season: August 21st through April 14th

Want to make this Anchorage, Alaska Northern Lights Tour a private experience for you and your close friends and family? Explore our Private Northern Lights Tour option.

In an effort to reduce our footprint, we are no longer providing single-use plastic water bottles. Please bring a reusable water bottle! Fresh Alaska water will be available to all guests throughout your tour.

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Book direct. Best price guarantee!*

  • Experience the star-filled beauty of Alaska winter nights away from city lights.
  • Create lasting memories with portraits and photos.
  • Personalized forecast service. Know before you go!
  • Services of a professional Alaska aurora guide
  • Aurora forecasting service
  • Web-quality photographs and portraits
  • Transportation in a clean and comfortable tour vehicle
  • Snacks and hot drinks
  • Hotel pick up and drop off in Anchorage
  • $325 per person from Feb 15 – March 30, August 21 – September 30, and December 15 – January 4
  • $295 per person for the rest of the season

Maximize your aurora-viewing experience by booking multiple nights with us! Here’s how it works:

  • Book your preferred night of the Northern Lights Tour
  • When you receive a confirmation email, look for the discount code and link for booking additional nights
  • For additional nights, book with a 20% discount
  • Or, add your name to the standby list for a 50% discount if space becomes open (all standby seats will be offered after 5 p.m. on the available day)

NOTE: These discount offers are only available after booking your first fully-paid aurora tour with Greatland Adventures

  • Departure Time: 8-11 p.m.
  • Duration: 8 Hours

Gratuities for Guides (Recommend $20 per person)

Please Note:

  • Private Tours may be available upon request for such scenarios as children under 13, early morning flights, marriage proposals, guests with mobility issues, or other unique circumstances.
  • We require a 2-guest minimum to operate a tour.
  • Tour pick up and drop off is available at Anchorage hotel locations only and NOT available for private residences (ie Airbnb or VRBO) or Alyeska Resort. For guests staying at other locations, we can drop off at the nearest hotel to your accommodation.

The aurora can be visible anytime we have adequate darkness; from late August through mid-April.  The main obstacles to finding auroras are cloud cover and light pollution. We will drive for up to three hours beyond Anchorage to find clear, dark skies.


Understanding the Moon’s phases and chasing aurora

A common question among interested aurora viewers relates to the Moon and its many phases each month. Lunar cycles may affect one’s ability to view the northern lights, but not necessarily in a negative way. Greatland Adventures aurora guides are experts at positioning guests in the optimum location for the best chance of viewing the lights, and the Moon can provide a stunning backdrop for shadows and wintery nighttime photography!

Below is a breakdown of the Moon’s lunar phases, what they mean, and how they may affect your aurora viewing experience:

New Moon – The new moon phase lasts for 10 days when the Moon is positioned directly between Earth and the Sun. Illumination of the Moon is less than 20% during this time and as such there is minimal light cast on Earth’s landscapes, making aurora and stargazing excellent when forecasts are positive for clear skies and solar storms. However, landscape photography and videography are generally more difficult during this phase due to the diminished lighting of the moon.

Mid-Moon – A mid-moon phase is the period of the moon cycle when the Moon’s illumination is between 20-80%. During this 10-day phase, the moon has minimal effect on aurora viewing or stargazing.

Full Moon – A full moon happens over 10 days when the Moon’s illumination is 80-100%. During this phase, the Moon lights up a night landscape and mild auroral activity will be difficult to see. However, when auroral displays are strong, a full moon phase allows our eyes to more easily perceive the true colors of the aurora, especially the greens and pinks. Additionally, landscape photography and videography are enhanced during this phase due to the extra ambient light from the Moon.

Vacations to Alaska don’t always fall on the calendar’s “perfect” time for spotting aurora, but rest assured that our local guides take into account the lunar phases and will make every effort to find the best viewing locations to maximize your aurora adventure.

  • What is a forecast call and how does it work?

The forecast call is typically made between 3 and 5 p.m. on the day of the tour. Please read this page for a full detail on our forecast call.

  •  What will you tell us during the forecast call?

Here are three possible scenarios for guests during the “forecast call” from the Greatland Adventures office:

The tour is confirmed: This means a 90% or greater probability of success exists. When conditions look favorable, we confirm a tour and give guests their pick up time during the forecast call. At that time we can also answer any questions and let you know the general plan for the night. Historically, on nights we confirm a tour we have a 90% success rate.

The tour is canceled: A tour is canceled if there is less than a 10% probability of success. On nights with extreme cloud cover or severe weather, we will cancel the tour and issue a weather cancellation for a full refund. (Note these nights are rare.)

Guest discretion: If we believe the possibility of aurora-viewing success is between 10-90%, we will openly and honestly discuss the conditions with each guest and help them make the decision to join or cancel for a full weather cancellation refund.

  • What if we don’t see northern lights during the tour?

If the tour is unsuccessful at producing photographic evidence of the northern lights, a guest will be given a complimentary tour for any night up to 1 year from their departure date (subject to availability).

  • Should I do my own forecasting before receiving your call?

You can do your own forecasting out of your interest but we don’t recommend you making the decision based on it. We often hear from guests who try their own northern lights forecasting, and end up canceling their planned tour for fear of the aurora not showing up or losing the deposit. Please know that our first priority is serving you, our guests; in fact, one of our core values is “honest and fair in all our interactions”. We are professionals at forecasting aurora viewing conditions, and do our best to put every guest in the best possible location at the best possible time. If conditions look even a little bit less than favorable, everyone has a chance to opt-out.

*Book direct with confidence. We guarantee you will receive the best price when booking directly on our website or we will refund the difference + $10!  Must show proof of a lower price found elsewhere for the same product and the same departure. Offer valid for tours operated by Greatland Adventures only. Offer not valid for 3rd party products.



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