Welcome to Fairbanks!
Alaska's second largest city sits in the interior of the state, just 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle. But don't let its location fool you - expect warm summers and abundant produce at farmers markets, with the Midnight Sun shining for over 21 hours in the height of summer. In winter on the shortest day, the sun is only above the horizon for just under 3 hours, but dawn and dusk are long, as the sun moves at such a low, flat angle in the sky. There are numerous opportunities for dog mushing and skiing, and the long winter nights provide many hours watching the magical aurora borealis. Regardless of the time of year, each season provides a different way to experience The Golden Heart City.
Take a hike in Chena River State Recreation Area, where the classic Angel Rocks Trail, at mile 48.9 Chena Hot Springs Road, offers a short day hike (3.5 mile loop) up a steep ascent leading to beautiful views of the Interior. Other hikes in the area include Granite Tors (2 and 15 mile loops) and Chena Dome Trail (30 mile loop).
Head south of Fairbanks to the Chena Lake Recreation Area. Located at 3780 Laurance Road in North Pole, this recreation area is not what you might expect in Alaska’s Interior. The park has designated swimming areas with sandy beaches and day-use picnic sites, boat rentals, fishing docks, and hiking trails. In the winter ice fishing and winter trail hiking and cross-country skiing are available.
Try your luck at gold panning in the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Nome Creek Valley Gold Panning Area, located at mile 57.3 along the Steese Highway, offers a four mile stretch for recreational gold panning. Strike it rich with a pan and shovel!