Fairbanks is one of the gems of Alaska, its largest inland city and the ideal gateway to some of the state’s most impressive landscapes and vast wildernesses. Its exquisite blend of natural beauty and rugged adventure makes it an amazing place to visit for everyone, not just the most adventurous explorers out there. While some shy away from the more extreme elements of the Alaskan climate, the distinctive weather patterns over Fairbanks are undoubtedly part of its charm.
From huge snowdrifts and icily clear skies to nearly 24 hours of sun during the summer, the climate in this extraordinary location plays a huge part in any visit. So whether you are visiting Fairbanks as part of a luxury Alaska cruise or planning a longer trip to Alaska, here are a few of the reasons why the weather is so important on any adventure to the Last Frontier!
The Dance of the Northern Lights
The most amazing and magical aspect of Fairbanks’ climate is also one of its greatest attractions – the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. The city is within the ‘Aurora Oval,’ the area of the globe where this remarkable celestial spectacle is brightest and most visible. From September to April, the night sky in Fairbanks is lit up with vibrant, electric hues, and a visit to Fairbanks is one of the best ways to have (almost) a glimpse of this most beautiful natural phenomenon.
Winter Wonderland: Embracing the Chill
The cold weather of Fairbanks might be offputting to some, but it is one of its defining characteristics and definitely a reason to visit for others. As the old explorer’s adage goes: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes,’ so wrap up warm and enjoy the wonders that winter in Fairbanks offers.
From snowy adventures like dog sledding or ice fishing to thrilling activities like skiing and snowshoeing, the cold weather creates opportunities for unforgettable experiences. Plus, the dramatic scenery of Alaska’s interior looks even better when covered in a thick layer of white snow!
Summer Splendor: The Midnight Sun
Of course, not every aspect of Fairbanks’ weather is cold and frozen. During the summer months, Fairbanks is bathed in light for longer than almost anywhere else in the US, thanks to its northerly latitude. The midnight sun is an otherworldly phenomenon, and the longer days in May, June, July, and August mean there is more time for adventure!
While in other destinations, you might have to pack up your hiking boots or put away your kayak in the early evening; in Fairbanks, you can continue to explore for hours!
The Art of Preparation: Embracing the Elements
As we mentioned above, the key to enjoying everything that Fairbanks has to offer is to come fully prepared. Having the right gear and clothing is critical, and warm, insulated jackets, many layers, and good boots are essential during winter. During summer, the weather can be surprisingly warm but also constantly changeable, so adaptable, flexible clothing choices are important.
There’s no denying that the weather in Fairbanks is extreme. From the frozen, dark winters to almost 24 hours of sunshine in the summer, it is bizarre and baffling all year round. But from these extremes comes extraordinary beauty and fascinating excitement, from the Northern Lights to the midnight sun. Embracing Fairbanks’ weather is not about coping with the elements but celebrating the unique charm the weird and wonderful weather brings to the city.