Aurora borealis over Clearwater River in Delta Junction, Alaska.

Aurora borealis over Clearwater River in Delta Junction, Alaska.

I offer Aurora Borealis Photography Tours for guests staying at the Lodge at Black Rapids, located at 63.5° N latitude in the mountains of the Alaska Range south of Delta Junction, Alaska. The Lodge is the perfect place to stay for those trying to see and photograph the aurora due to its beautiful mountain setting, its high latitude, and lack of light pollution. (Fairbanks, where most tourists stay, is 100+ miles from the mountains and has tons of light pollution.) The Lodge and I team together to provide your group a private experience viewing and photographing the aurora with flexible tour options to suit your needs and budget. Guests can also enjoy other activities during their stay including snowshoeing, ice fishing, dog mushing, flightseeing, exploring ice caves, and more! 

The Lodge and I recognize that your best chance to see and photograph an impressive aurora display during your Alaska visit is by staying several nights in a dark location, not by picking a single night in advance and hoping both the aurora and weather cooperate. Unlike other tour operators, we offer strategically priced tour options that allow guests to move their tour date or book additional tours at discounted rates once the weather and aurora forecast become more certain. This increases your chance of seeing the best aurora display possible during your tour as well as capturing better pictures—and without having to drive 200 or 300 miles in one night! On non-tour nights, you can simply step outside the Lodge to view the aurora without having to drive on icy roads in subzero temperatures to escape city lights. (I will help you plan your shooting locations if you are comfortable venturing out on your own, as well as provide aurora alerts during your stay.)    

Our tours are best suited for serious photographers who want more control over their shots as well as clients who desire a private experience seeing and photographing the aurora. I'm a professional photographer who licenses and sells prints of my aurora photography, unlike some of the amateur tour operators you'll find in Fairbanks. If you don't know the name of the photographer who will be instructing you, or they don't have a professional gallery of photos for you to examine, be cautious! I focus on helping clients achieve artistic aurora shots, not just standard "trees-in-foreground" shots, and I'm happy to provide individualized advice before and after your tour to make your aurora photography quest successful. If you've got a particular shot in mind, I'd like to help you achieve it. And yes, if conditions permit, I will take your portrait under the aurora, or show you how to take your own!

See the Aurora Borealis Photography Tours FAQ for more tour details. Feel free to contact me with any questions.


 Family portrait outside the Lodge at Black Rapids.

Family portrait outside the Lodge at Black Rapids.

Private Tours

Every tour is private and booked on a first-come, first-served basis via the Lodge. I'm able to provide hands-on instruction in the warm comfort of the Lodge before we head out into the dark and cold, and you're in charge of how long we stay out! It is recommended you check tour availability prior to booking your stay by calling the Lodge at 907-388-8391 or contacting me. A base rate is charged for the first person in your group, while additional members of your group are charged based on whether they are a photographer or a non-photographer. (We don't believe friends and family just coming along for fun should have to pay the same rates as those receiving photography instruction.) Our private tour rates can be thousands of dollars cheaper than private tours in Fairbanks, while groups as small as two people may find our rates even cheaper than some NON-private tours! 

Maximum group size: 6. Please inquire for larger groups. Additional people can be added to your tour at the listed rates after initial booking up to the maximum of 6; no refunds are given for guests who decide not to go on the tour or who decide not to bring a camera.

All tours are NON-REFUNDABLE. Tours may be canceled due to severe weather or unsafe travel conditions, but not for cloudy weather, snow, or cold temperatures. If a tour is canceled, guests are provided a full refund or the option to shift their tour without charge to another date during their stay if availability exists. See the Aurora Borealis Photography Tours FAQ for full details. Trip insurance is recommended for guests who are not able to complete their tour due to illness, travel delays, or other qualifying reasons.

Tour Rates

 

Date-specific Option 

If you are willing to take a chance that the aurora or weather might not cooperate during your tour, we offer a date-specific option which costs less than our flexible-date option. Under this option, your tour date cannot be exchanged for a different date after booking. It is recommended you book your tour date for as early as possible during your stay so that even if the aurora doesn't show up during your tour you will be prepared to capture the aurora during the remainder of your trip. As long as there is availability, guests may purchase additional tours on other nights during their stay for a flat fee of $300 each at any time; however, other guests will be free to reserve tours on the other dates during your stay before you, and I may be unable to accommodate short notice requests due to schedule conflicts.

1 Person: $450 (3-day advance booking required.)
Each additional photographer: $125
Each additional non-photographer: $50
Late booking fee (if booked less than 3 days in advance): $300
Additional tours: $300 each

 Frozen lake approximately 10 miles north of Black Rapids.

Frozen lake approximately 10 miles north of Black Rapids.


 Mountain view approximately 20 miles north of Black Rapids.

Mountain view approximately 20 miles north of Black Rapids.

Flexible-Date Option 

The weather and aurora are simply too unpredictable to guarantee successful aurora sightings far in advance, so we offer a flexible-date tour option that promises guests a better chance at successfully viewing and photographing the aurora during their tour. Guests reserve a tour window of three or more consecutive nights during their stay and then choose whichever night during that window conditions appear best for their tour as the weather and aurora forecast become more certain. Guests may purchase additional tours for just $200 each on any night during their window, or $300 each for any nights outside their window.

1 Person: $650 for a 3-night window; add $100 for each additional night in window
Each additional photographer: $125
Each additional non-photographer: $50
Additional tours during window: $200 each
Additional tours outside window: $300 each
This option must be booked at least 3 days in advance of first night of window.

 

Call the Lodge at Black Rapids at 907-388-8391 or email thelodgeatblackrapids@gmail.com to reserve your tour today!