Fairbanks is the largest city in central Alaska, and the second largest city in the state as a whole. It’s one of the liveliest, most interesting, and most exciting spots Alaska has to offer, and is a great place to begin any Alaskan adventure.
Thanks to its location in the very heart of Alaska, Fairbanks is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. It is the ultimate gateway to the Last Frontier’s rugged beauty and offers a plethora of thrilling experiences and exciting adventures that cater to all ages and levels of expertise.
Whether you’re embarking on one of the best Alaskan cruises for families or planning a road trip into the wilderness, Fairbanks has something for everyone. Here are a few of the best outdoor adventures that Fairbanks has to offer.
Alaska is one of the world’s greatest destinations for hikers, and Fairbanks offers an array of awesome trails that cater to almost everyone, from novice hikers to experienced trekkers. Explore the tranquil trails of Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, where you can spot migratory birds or take on a more challenging hike on the Angel Rocks Trail, which offers panoramic views of the Chena River Valley from bleakly beautiful granite outcrops.
The rivers and lakes surrounding Fairbanks are a haven for fishing enthusiasts, and if you like your food locally sourced then there’s no better way than to catch your own! Cast your line into the clear waters of the Chena River and haul in rainbow trout and Arctic grayling. If you’re visiting in the winter, try your hand at ice fishing for a unique taste of traditional Alaska.
Rafting and Kayaking
The waterways around Fairbanks are beautiful and imposing, with rapids, white water, and enough twists and turns to satisfy the most hardcore of adrenaline junkies. As a result, they are perfect for kayaking and rafting, as you can enjoy the thrill of paddling down rapids and falls surrounded by the breath-taking views of the Alaskan wilderness. These water-based adventures offer a unique perspective of Fairbanks and its surrounding natural beauty.
Dog sledding is an intrinsic and important part of traditional Indigenous Alaskan culture, something practiced for centuries, and a past-time, sport, and mode of transport deeply rooted in Alaskan heritage. It’s a great way to experience the history and culture of the Alaska Natives, as well as an exciting experience in its own right. Whether you choose to glide through snow-covered trails or experience dog sledding in the summer months on wheeled sleds, this adventure provides a glimpse into the lives of Alaskan mushers and their incredible canine companions.
The Northern Lights
While not an outdoor activity in the traditional sense, witnessing the Aurora Borealis is a breath-taking natural phenomenon that Fairbanks is famous for and something that should not be missed. Plan your visit during the winter months for the best chances of experiencing the mesmerizing dance of colours across the night sky. Numerous tours and lodges offer dedicated aurora viewing experiences to ensure you have the best opportunity to witness this magical display.
While its network of scenic trails mostly attracts hikers, the glorious landscapes around Fairbanks are also perfect to explore on two wheels. Cycling enthusiasts should jump at the chance to pedal their way through the city’s trails, taking in stunning river views and lush forests. Whether you’re a leisure cyclist or an avid mountain biker, Fairbanks offers diverse biking options for all skill levels.
In Fairbanks, the opportunities for outdoor adventures are as vast as the Alaskan wilderness itself. From hiking to fishing, dog sledding to witnessing the Northern Lights, the city’s offerings cater to all interests and preferences. So, gear up for an outdoor escapade that will leave you with cherished memories of Alaskan splendour.