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. Unlike other tour operators, we offer strategically priced tour options that allow guests to shift 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.
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 help 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!
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. Unavailable dates for Winter 2018/2019: December 3-13, 17-18 | January 5-8 | February 17-19, 21-24 | March 19-23, 26-29
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. 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 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.
Reserve a multi-night window for your tour to increase your chance of successfully photographing the aurora!
Tour rates start at $450 for a single person. Additional photographers in your group are charged $125 each and non-photographers $50 each. Reservations made less than 3 days in advance are assessed a $150 late booking fee—a small price to pay if you know the skies will be clear and the aurora active.
Guests may increase their chance of favorable viewing conditions during their tour by extending their tour window for $100 per additional night. Guests can shift their tour date within the window after they arrive at the Lodge to coincide with the optimal weather/aurora forecast, and they also have the option to book additional tours after their first tour is completed at a discounted rate of $200 per night during the rest of the window, availability guaranteed.
Guests may purchase additional tours for $300 per night outside their window if availability exists anytime during their stay. .
Example: A family of four with one photographer could reserve a single night for their tour at a rate of $600, but they choose to reserve a three-night window for an extra $200 ($800 total) to increase their chance of seeing a good aurora display. Conditions are great on two of the three nights and they decide to book an extra tour during their window for an extra $200 ($1000 total). A single, non-private Fairbanks tour could cost this family as much as $1200, and would not feature the same flexibility!
Each additional photographer: $125
Each additional non-photographer: $50
Add $100 per night to extend window for first tour.
Additional tours during window: $200 each
Additional tours outside window: $300 each
Late booking fee (applies if window is booked less than 3 days in advance): $150