Ottsworld Aurora & Alaska Adventure Winter Tour 2025

I first traveled to Alaska in the summer – as most people do. I fell in love with the people and the landscape – I personally think it’s America’s most beautiful state and consistently falls in my top 5 places to visit in the entire world. I was always intrigued about how people lived there in the winter and what they did – so much so that I did my first Alaska winter trip in 2018.

That’s when I really fell in love with Alaska in the winter.

Since then I’ve been back 3 more times and it gets better each time! As I have shared my adventures there, I consistently get asked by readers to set up an Alaska winter tour.

I’ve finally found a company that I wanted to work with, Salmonberry Tours, that fits my travel mentality and could help me put a customized tour together! This Alaska winter tour includes the best and most unique winter experiences Alaska has to offer!

Why Alaska in the Winter?

Most people don’t think about going to Alaska in February.  After all, it’s the coldest, snowiest, and most remote destination in the United States.  But I’m not like most people.  I like to travel to the remote corners of our globe because that’s where you find the most epic experiences and environments. 

While most people dream of beaches to escape winter in February, I dream of the northern lights, sled dogs, hot chocolate, and snowcapped mountains. Winter in Alaska is when you find the real Alaskans, the full-timers, and the heartiest of locals. You’ll have the chance to meet them and spend time with this hearty bunch when you travel with me.

Aurora Viewing – Why Go in 2025

The northern lights are so prolific in the Fairbanks region and the Arctic that visitors who stay a minimum of three nights and are actively out during the late evening hours increase their chance of seeing the aurora to more than 80 percent! And that’s exactly why we’ll have 3 nights of aurora chasing in Fairbanks to start off the trip! Plus – there are good chances we’ll see the lights in Talkeetna, and Glacier View.

In addition, scientists have forecasted the next peak of solar activity (the solar maximum) will be reached in July 2025. As we approach the solar maximum, we’ll start to see more intense and more frequent aurora. So this even increases our chances further to see some spectacular aurora displays.

On one of the nights, we will also get specific northern lights photography instruction for those interested in learning how to photograph the northern lights.

You can read more about why Fairbanks and Alaska are the perfect places for Aurora viewing here.

Overview, Dates, and Costs

 If you’ve ever dreamed of experiencing the northern lights, mushing your own team of Alaskan Huskies, seeing North America’s tallest peak covered in snow, hiking on a glacier, and learning how to play the winter sport of curling – then skip the beach this winter and start knocking things off your bucket list with my Ottsworld Alaska Winter Tour February 2025!

The tour is a perfect mix of adventure and aurora viewing all while getting the opportunity to meet local Alaskans and learn how they live (and thrive) in the harsh environment.

Alaska Winter Tour Highlights

I have put together all of my favorite winter experiences into this tour. You’ll be immersed into the Alaskan culture and enjoy winter to the fullest!

Aurora Viewing 3 nights in Fairbanks where you can wait in the comfort of cabins

Snowshoeing in Fairbanks with a naturalist

Learn how to curl at the local Fairbanks Curling Club

Drive to the Denali Winter Visitor Center

Visit a Dog Kennel and learn all about mushing in Denali

Visit breweries, museums, and more in Talkeetna (optional flightseeing)

Visit a Iditarod Champion kennel and learn to mush your own team of dogs

Hike on the Matanuska Glacier

Stay in cozy winter cabins (optional snow mobiling)

Have our personal local guide and aurora expert throughout the entire trip

We start in Fairbanks and end in Anchorage which will give you a vast look at the state. See for yourself!

Dates: February 15-22 2025

Cost: Single Room = $5,454
Double Room per person = $4724 – if you are willing to share – this is a super deal!
Triple Room per person = $4508 – once again, if 3 people want to share!

All food and experiences are included!

Itinerary at a Glance

February 15 – arrive in Fairbanks Alaska -evening Aurora Chasing
February 16 – Snowshoeing and evening Aurora Tour
February 17 – Intro to Curling and evening Aurora Tour and special dinner with locals
February 18 – Drive Fairbanks to Talkeetna, dog sled ride and kennel tour, Stop at Denali Visitor Center
February 19 – Explore Talkeetna, Iditarod Kennel tour and mush your own team
February 20 – Optional flightseeing around Denali, drive Talkeetna to Glacier View
February 21 – Matanuska Glacier Hike, optional snowmobiling
February 22 – Glacier View to Anchorage, explore Anchorage, depart evening from Anchorage

Beginning/Ending Point

Fly into Fairbanks (FAI) on February 15, 2025
Fly out of Anchorage (ANC) on February 22, 2025 Afternoon

What’s Included

All lodging

All Transportation

All meals – No alcohol is included but can be purchased on your own

All listed excursions (3 aurora viewing tours, snowshoeing, curling lesson, 2 kennel visits, dog mushing, and glacier hike.)

Access to a full gallery of photos (shot by me!) of the entire trip, which you can use for personal purposes.

What’s Not Included


Alcoholic beverages

Flightseeing in Talkeetna (optional activity)

Snowmobiling at Sheep Mountain Lodge (optional activity)

Muskox Farm Visit (if time permits)

Tips for guides

Travel Insurance

I strongly suggest you get travel insurance for any of your travels. Here’s more info on travel insurance. I use Allianz Travel Insurance for my own personal travels and have always been happy with their service. I highly suggest the Annual plan they offer!

How to Book This Tour

I’d like to talk to you first to answer any of your questions prior to your booking. Therefore, follow these steps to book:

Send me an email at letting me know about your interest. We will set up a call to discuss any questions you have. This will be on a first-come, first-served basis – there are only nine spots available on this tour.

I will then put you in touch with Glenda from Salmonberry, where you can book your $250 deposit per person with her and secure your spot for this custom Ottsworld tour.

10 people are required for the tour to run. Please wait to purchase airfare until we can confirm 10 guests.

NOTE!! This is a small group tour with a max of 10 people. We must fill up the tour for it to run. So once you put down a deposit, it will hold your spot. We don’t suggest you get airfare yet until we can confirm a full trip.

Cancellation Policy and Fees

A $250 initial deposit is required to hold your spot.
Once the tour is confirmed with 10 people signed up, the full deposit (50% of the trip cost less the $250 already paid) will be due and non-refundable after October 1, 2024.

Final payment is due December 1, 2024.

If the trip doesn’t get confirmed with 10 people, then your $250 hold will be refunded.
You can cancel up to October 1, 2024 and be refunded your deposit. After October 1, 2024 trip costs spent to date are non-refundable.

I recommend getting Allianz Travel Insurance to cover your trip costs in case of cancellation or emergency. Get a quote now.

Detailed Itinerary for Winter Alaska Tour 2025

Day 1 Fairbanks

Arrive in Fairbanks and get checked in and ready for our first group dinner. After dinner we depart for a popular northern lights viewing location outside Fairbanks. Your local Alaska guide will share the science behind the lights and their significance to Alaska Native cultures, as well as history of the area and personal stories of living in the Great Land. This evening excursion includes a heated indoor rest area, snacks, Cup Noodles, and hot drinks to enjoy.

Dinner Included
Overnight Fairbanks

Day 2 Fairbanks

Sleep in and explore downtown Fairbanks on your own. Today we take a snowshoe walk where you will explore the boreal forest, moving through birch and spruce trees, including seeing iconic Alaskan dwarf spruce. We will walk through a winter wonderland looking for animal tracks, learning about local plant uses, and how plants and animals survive life in the cold. It may be winter but there are still birds, mammals, and plants to be found! 

Tonight after dinner we head out for more aurora chasing! We’ll go to a different location outside of Fairbanks to scan the skies for the brilliant northern lights. Once again a a heated indoor rest area, snacks, Cup Noodles, and hot drinks are provided.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Included
Overnight Fairbanks

Day 3 Fairbanks

Today we go deep into the local culture of curling! We’ll head to the Fairbanks curling center, meet local curlers, and get hands-on in this unique sport! It may look simple on TV – but you’ll be surprised at how challenging – and FUN – it is! We’ll even have a friendly group curling match to test out our new skills!

Tonight we have a very special treat – we’ll enjoy an exclusive evening with local Alaskans (Frank and Miriam), living off the grid! Your hosts and their canine companions open their home to you 25 miles from Fairbanks and the city lights. Enjoy the silence, remoteness and get a good glimpse of off-grid living. No matter if you sit in front of the huge panoramic windows from the comfort of the cabin or head outside to search for aurora, this will be a special evening. Frank is a professional photographer and will assist with aurora borealis photography. If the aurora is strong enough, Frank will take professional photos of you under the aurora.

There will be a variation of delicious food served to you throughout the evening. Typical Alaskan bbq has Frank’s Aurora Burgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs with the fixins. Don’t forget to try the Alaskan Salmon, corn on the cob, mixed salad and desert. Drinks: Soft drinks, coffee & tea and beer and wine are also included to make this evening more special than just an ordinary aurora tour.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Overnight Fairbanks

Day 4 – Drive to Talkeetna through Denali

Today we head south and enjoy the stunning landscape and views of Denali (hopefully if it’s clear!). Located on the edge of Denali National Park and nestled in a small stand of spruce forest, we’ll stop at Moondog Kennel – home to the friendliest group of working sled dogs around! Hailing from traditional freighting genetics and directly related to the Denali Park Kennel, Brian and Courtney will share with you what life on the tundra is all about. Enjoy a sled dog meet and greet, and cozy up on the couch with snacks and a group of retired dogs as you learn about the importance of freighting dogs, history of the Denali area and gain a better understanding of life as local mushers in interior Alaska.

If time permits, we’ll also stop at the Denali National Park Visitor Center and talk to the ranger about wintertime in the national park.

Arrive in the small town of Talkeetna and get cozy in your cabin! Here we can also look for northern lights down by the river – a short walk from the cabins.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Overnight Talkeetna

Day 5 – Talkeetna

Explore Talkeetna and it’s unique personality! Stop in at Nagley’s and meet Aurora – the feline mayor! Enjoy the museum and learn all about climbing Denali and the history of the region. Enjoy the shops along Main Street.

Today we’ll visit the home of an Iditarod champion (he won last year!), Dallas Seavey, and tour his kennel of active sled dogs. The tour begins at the kennel headquarters overlooking the dog yard and snowy boreal forest you’ll mush through. Highlights include the hook-up, sled driving demo, and a six mile mush on the same trails that Dallas trains with his Iditarod team. This time you won’t simply be riding – you will be mushing your own team of dogs!

Each two guests will share a dog sled and dog team of Alaskan huskies for your mini-expedition! For the first half of your ride, you will guide your team through the silent, snow capped birch and spruce forest, the only sounds are paws pounding, the sled’s runners gliding across the snow, and the occasional excited bark. Many photo opportunities will be available as you visit replica Iditarod checkpoints and race to the finish line under the burled arch!

After your ride, join us for a tour of the homestead, kennel operations and time with the younger husky puppies. Make sure you take plenty of photos with the future Iditarod champions before they’re famous! Finish this unique experience back at kennel headquarters, meeting other members of the professional mushing team and warming up with cookies and hot drinks.

If weather permits, there will be a chance to go on a flightseeing tour of Denali! This is an optional activity and aproximately $375 per person should be budgeted. For those interested, we’ll check weather for today and tomorrow for a possible flight!

Optional Flightseeing Tour

Mayor’s ‘Office’

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Overnight Talkeetna

Day 6 – Glacier View

Drive further south to the Glenn Highway – one of Alaska’s most dramatic drives and a personal favorite of mine! You’ll drive by glaciers, mountains, and wildlife. Our destination today is Sheep Mountain Lodge where you’ll get to stay in a cozy cabin with incredible mountain views.

Here you’ll have options to do snowshoeing on their trails, or even do an optional snow mobile tour.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Overnight Glacier View

Day 7 – Matanuska Glacier

A bucket list item for many – there’s nothing like standing in front of and on a glacier. The size and power of this magnificent natural wonder are humbling. We’ll spend a whole afternoon hiking on and learning about the Matanuska Glacier.

Today we explore Matanuska Glacier’s many incredible features, such as moraine and glacial blue meltwater pools, in Southcentral’s beautiful Matanuska Valley. Thousands of years old, this massive glacier is tucked up into the head of the Matanuska Valley. You will spend 2 hours trekking with our glacier guides by your side, learning how the Matanuska Glacier was born and how it shaped the landscape in the Matanuska Susitna Valley. Explore blue meltwater pools and awe-inspiring formations.
We’ll provide our helmets, a trekking pole (walking stick) and microspikes that attach to your shoes.

Stop at a local lodge for lunch and a beautiful view to round out the experience.

Optional snow mobile tour at Sheep Mountain Lodge that afternoon.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included
Overnight Glacier View

Day 8 – Anchorage Departure

We’ll leave Glacier view behind and set our sights on Anchorage this morning. We should get there in time to explore the city a bit, and maybe even see a moose wandering around (we did last time!). We’ll enjoy a going away lunch and then bid farewell.

Departure flight should be booked for afternoon 4PM or later.

Breakfast, Lunch included

I strongly suggest you get travel insurance for any of your travels. Here’s more info on travel insurance. I use Allianz Travel Insurance for my own personal travels.

Find out where to go in Alaska for fall color

Who Should Consider This Tour?

People who like to explore lesser-known places, and be adventurous and active.

People who are flexible.  You should be willing to exhibit flexibility, as itineraries may change due to weather, and the aurora may not come out – you should have a ‘willing to try new things’ attitude.

People who enjoy cold weather activities and being outdoors.

People who can hike at least 3 miles.

People who are okay with staying up late to view the northern lights. Often we don’t go out for viewing until 10 PM and get back to the hotel at 2 AM. But don’t worry – we give you time to sleep in the next morning with late starts the next day.

People who are amenable to traveling with others.

What will the Weather Be Like?

You might be surprised to find out that the coastal areas in Alaska don’t get as cold as you think – they rarely fall below 20F except for the occasional storm. Up in the Arctic areas, they don’t get much snow because it’s considered a desert.

However, Alaska’s interior (Fairbanks) does get cold and lots of snow. There you may experience temperatures dipping into the -20F and get lots of snow that will stick around all winter from October through March. All Alaskans know that you combat winter weather with the right gear. If you have the right gear – you can enjoy Alaska winter – even in Fairbanks!

Discover 7 of the best places to travel in winter for North Americans

What Winter Gear Will You Need to Be Comfortable?

I have written this post about what to pack for Alaska in the winter so please take a look at it – this will give you an idea of the gear to bring and probably include a number of things you hadn’t thought about! The key is layers and good boots.

I will provide a detailed packing list and can consult with you indiviually on what gear you’ll need. In addition, we’ll have a few group calls prior to the tour to talk about packing and other logistics.

You don’t need to go out and purchase a whole new winter wardrobe though for this trip – you can actually rent gear from Alaska Outdoor Gear Rental.  They rent quality gear that you can get delivered to your hotel in Fairbanks and you can return to your hotel in Anchorage. They have gear packages to rent or individual items. See more at Alaska outdoor Gear Rental.

What do People Say About Ottsworld Tours

“The Ottsworld Alaska Winter Tour is a bucket-list-checking good time!  The Aurora viewing, dog sledding, snow shoeing, moose viewing, curling, and glacier hiking all happen at a comfortable pace in breathtaking locations, mixed in with some of the best food and drink stops you can imagine.  Can’t say enough good things – – – go!” – Heather

“I could not have asked for a more incredible way to experience Alaska for the very first time than with Sherry Ott. Sherry’s knowledge of unique places and amazing people made it all come together into an amazing week!!  A small group of us were able to experience the off-beaten path and met the most genuine, authentic people willing to share their way of life in Alaska. It’s hard to put into words how this experience made me feel. I fell in love with Alaska….the place and its people!  It was all so magical, from seeing the aurora borealis, to snowshoeing in the peaceful, spruce and birch forests, to hiking on a glacier, and actually mushing dogs and dog sledding!!  There was a peace there I had been looking for.  It was definitely a trip I will remember forever!!  I am eternally grateful to Sherry for sharing her knowledge of this place.  I look forward to other trips Sherry may share, as I know they will be exceptional!!  ” – Debbie

“The winter Alaska trip with Sherry Ott was over the top in all respects, ie incredible guides, amazing meals and off the charts scenery.  The tour company, Salmonberry is a first class operation.  This adventure was neck and neck with the top ones of my lifetime!” – George

Led by Salmonberry Tours

What makes this ‘Ottsworld’ worthy? I must confess – that I am sort of a travel snob. I don’t like to do the ‘expected’ or see the typical sights; I like to seek out the unusual, and less traveled (which is why I love to go to Alaska in the winter!). I’ve worked together very closely with Salmonberry Tours to put together an itinerary that impresses even me!

Salmonberry is a local Alaska company, women-owned, and Alaska experts! And best of all they are small but mighty. I love supporting small, local operators when I travel – and I think you’ll love them too. They only hire guides who grew up in Alaska – no transplants – they are experts on the terrain, wildlife, and culture of the state. They will be our guide and driver as we explore the winter wonderland!

Extensions – Iditarod, Alaska train travel, and more!

You can also easily extend your trip on either end and spend more time in a specific area or I’m happy to suggest additional activities. Salmonberry has a number of additional day tours and great things to do around the area too.

The 2025 Iditarod is starting shortly after our tour concludes on February 26th! This is a great opportunity to stay and experience Alaska’s highlight of winter – the start of the Iditarod in Anchorage! Salmonberry offers special staring line experiences.

You can also choose to ride the Alaska Railroad Aurora Winter Train back to Fairbanks if you’d like a different perspective of the snowy landscape!

Or maybe you want to stick around Anchorage and continue the adventure! Here are my favorite things to do in Anchorage in the winter.


Feel free to contact me at with any questions you have about this tour, the experiences, what to pack, etc. I’m happy to answer anything!