From Fairbanks, it's a 6 hour drive to the southern border of the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle is a geographic ring marking the area where on the winter solstice, the sun never rises, and on the summer solstice, it never sets. The further north you go, the more sun-less (or all-sun) days.
I did a day trip to the Arctic Circle via a tour bus with the Northern Alaska Tour Company (which I would highly recommend, if you're considering a trip to Alaska).
The only road that connects Fairbanks with the northernmost tip of Alaska is the Dalton Highway, which was featured a few years ago on the reality show Ice Road Truckers.
Pretty much the only thing we saw on the Dalton Highway were the truckers, most of whom were in a big hurry and were hurling by our pokey tour bus. I've never seen the show, but I got a taste of the camaraderie (as well as the bawdyness) from the CB broadcasts between the truckers and our van driver: "Northbound, oversize coming up." Southbound, I'm behind you. Two more behind me." There was also some raunchy Christmas humor, which I won't repeat here!
This is how almost the entire 200 mile trip looked: miles and miles of snow-laden spruce, birch, and aspen trees. The only services on the road were outhouses a few hours apart.
The origins of "Deadhorse" and "Coldfoot" are probably self-explanatory!
The Dalton highway crosses Alaska's longest river, the Yukon, which is frozen over in the winter. We made a pit stop to walk across the river, and make some snow angels.
The famous Alaska pipeline, which runs from the northern tip of Alaska to the south, comes in and out of view along the highway. That's me underneath the pipeline.
Destination reached: The Arctic Circle
The night ended with another sighting of the Northern Lights, although this one wasn't nearly as dramatic as the first one I saw at Chena Hot Springs. It was much paler, with just a hint of green. But the stars alone were spectacular!
Fairbanks to Arctic Circle via Dalton Highway, Alaska