Visitor’s Guide

The Marzo Igloo is starting to get visitor inquiries!  This is quite exciting!

In case you’re wondering when to visit – here is a (as far as I know, but I’m still new here and much of this is just what I’ve heard around town) month by month guide:

(I reccommend you fly into Anchorage and then rent a car / ride the train up to Fairbanks.  Alaska is BIG and the scenery and small towns along the way are spectacular and full of character(s).   If you are looking to experience Alaska and just come to Fairbanks … you will be disappointed.  Fairbanks … it isn’t pretty.)

March/ October: Ideal times for viewing the Northern Lights.  The light meter is falling into equal parts which means starry nights and sunny days (unless it’s cloudy).  Possible activities around our house: viewing the Northern Lights / shooting stars from Chena Hot Springs (a natural spring); dog mushing; cross country skiing (some of the trails end up at natural hot springs, others boast spectacular views); snowmobiling  … there is also a local ski hill (that would make people from Colorado laugh).

March: If you’re up for heli skiing / BIG mountain skiing – that would be further South from us.  All the locals here fly to Alyeska Resort in Girdwood.   Around Fairbanks in March you could see World Ice Art Championships which runs from February 22 to March 27. The first week of March is Iditarod time (the big dog sledding race).

April / May: “Break up” of the ice … means muddy.  All the snow that’s accumulated melts during this time and I’m told that it’s an ugly mess.  This is also when hungry bears emerge from hibernation.  Some people say it isn’t safe to wander outside.

June / July / August: LOTS of sunlight.   All the trains are running, road trip options are plentiful. Rafting trips down glacier rivers; kayaking through icebergs and seals; whale watching; guided tours to see bears eating salmon from waterfalls; hikes (with bear bells and bear spray and possibly a gun); you can go dog “sledding” through the park with a sled on wheels; cruise ships; fishing for salmon / halibut … all that is “AK” seems to fall into three short months. (On a personal note, even though this is the best time to be in Alaska, it is also wedding season / family reunion season for the proprietors of the Marzo B & B.   Sooo, book early!)

September: The shortest fall I ever did see. The changing and falling of the leaves lasted about 7 days – and it was a spectacular seven. And we saw a lot of Northern lights and stars and Moose during this time.   (It’s hunting season.  So, pack Orange).    The peak of the salmon spawn down South means LOTS of bears eating fish from waterfalls the first week of September.  If you’re up for this – I think you need to book your lodging at the bear reserve about a year ahead of time, or you can take a one day plane ride in and out of Katmai National Park …fun!

Novemburrr / DecemBURRR (it did not get above 0 for like 20 days – and was below 20 below for weeks) / January / February: Bite your pillow. Pack your prozac.  And your ear plugs.  And your Seasonal Affective Disorder Light. Prepare for long dark days stuck inside our cabin with two cubs doing the opposite of hibernation and without a single outlet.  God, help us.  (February 5th Yukon Quest dog race starts out of Fairbanks … ).

See you tomorrow (January 4) then?  Ok, great.



5 responses to “Visitor’s Guide

  1. Wow…sounds like we need to get our reservations in early. Also sounds like April/May could be a little muddy….hmmm…plus the bear thing. Oh well, neither threat of ugly mess or death can deter us.

  2. …sounds like a plan. We’ll need a minivan sized sled…

  3. Is September/October a better month to watch Northern Lights than March?

    • Hi Alice! I don’t know because I haven’t been here in March .. but speaking from my limited experience, Sept / Oct is a great time to see the lights.