Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time of year to see the Aurora Borealis?
That’s a great question! The best answer is the aurora can be visible any time it is dark outside. The aurora is out 272 days a year, and is caused by various factors, including space wind, cloud coverage, and so on. How strong the aurora will be is random, and can change rapidly. One thing can be sure- Borealis Basecamp is the best place to see the aurora. We are separated from the light pollution of the city, and up high enough that the weather here can be very different from the weather down in Fairbanks, giving us a great advantage.
How do I get to Borealis Basecamp?
We have two shuttles a day that depart Fairbanks, one at 11:00am and one at 3:00pm. If neither of these times work for you, please contact us and we can work with you on arranging a custom shuttle. If yo’d prefer to drive yourself, please be aware that Borealis Basecamp is located in the Alaskan back country, and depending on the weather driving conditions may vary. If you have vehicle troubles, Borealis Basecamp cannot assist with the recovery of your vehicle, and it is highly advised that our guests use our shuttle program.
If you choose to drive, you can find us from the Johansen Expressway in Fairbanks, turn left onto the Steese Highway (AK2-W). From there, keep driving straight for 24.6 miles, until you see Himalaya Road just after mile marker ?. From Himalaya Road, drive straight until you see a Borealis Basecamp sign at a fork on the road, and turn right. As you drive down Himalaya Road, you may see a sign that says Aurora Bear – that means you are almost here! Keep driving and you will see a large Borealis Basecamp sign to the right of the road – turn right here, and you have arrived.
How far away from Fairbanks is Borealis Basecamp?
We are about 45 minutes to an hour away drive from the city – just about 30 miles!
How many people can fit in one room?
Our igloos comfortably fit two people per night, and we can add in a third bed for an additional cost of $100 a night. Three people is max occupancy per room.
What should I bring to Basecamp?
Definitely some winter gear! It would be wise to bring a good pair of winter boots, snowpants, a jacket, a hat, and a scarf. If you’re interested in photography bring along your camera too – the aurora is not visible on most phone cameras! We always have tripods available for rent at the front desk to make sure you get the best photos possible of the aurora.
Is the road to Borealis Basecamp dangerous?
The Elliott Highway can be very icy in the winter time, and the side road to Basecamp is steep in some areas – this is what allows us to be secluded from the outside world, and what gives us a great view of the aurora. If you decide to bring a rental car to Basecamp, it is heavily advised that you get one with four wheel drive, snow tires, and have plenty of experience driving in inclement arctic weather. If you do not have these things, we advise you to book a shuttle with us!
Please note if your rental car is stuck in the snow, Borealis Basecamp cannot tow your car out.
Will you wake us up when the aurora is out?
Absolutely! Each room is outfitted with a special aurora alarm that is staffed until 1am. When our front desk staff sees the aurora, you will be instantly notified.
Can you accommodate specialty diets?
Absolutely! With advance notice, we can cook for a variety of special diets. Please let us know if you are vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, are on any special diets, or have any allergies at time of booking and we can make sure we have the supplies to serve you!