Worth the trip to BRW?

Old Feb 6, 13, 9:22 pm
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Worth the trip to BRW?

My wife and I are headed from DCA-ORD-ANC-FAI in March to see the northern lights. We're also considering taking a day trip up to BRW since neither of us has ever been north of the Arctic Circle (this is our first trip to Alaska). I've got plenty of AS miles, and am wondering whether it's worth the 25k it'll cost to go to BRW (the flight up in the morning only has full flex available, so it's 17.5k up, and 7.5k back on the super saver award). I'm guessing there's not a lot to do up there, but it would be cool to say we've been north of the circle. Interested to hear what the FT community had to say.

Also, we've got a 5 hour layover at ANC on our way home on Mar. 16 (from 6-11 PM). Any quick near-airport getaways? Or should we just wait it out in the Board Room?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 9, 13, 3:22 pm
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I took a day trip to BRW in September two years ago and found it well worth it. I don't think it would be nearly as much fun in March though.

Sounds like you are traveling in mid March. Be sure to visit the ice sculptures from the Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks when you are there. Visiting in both daytime and at night is great - different perspective with the lights on them.

Not sure how much time you are allowing yourselves in FAI for the Northern Lights but I would plan on 5-10 days minimum to give you the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

If it weren't the evening in winter, I would say to rent a car and drive along Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage. But that time of year and that time of day is very tough. I would probably just wait at the airport.
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Old Feb 10, 13, 3:17 pm
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You might also look at availability for Kotzebue - OTZ. Personally I'd prefer Kotzebue - smaller, easily navigable. Still above the Arctic Circle, still on the Arctic Ocean, a very interesting place. Probably a few minutes' longer daylight in March, too.
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Old Feb 10, 13, 7:46 pm
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We did it, and recommend it. Just one night, and we stayed at the King Eider Inn, which is just across the street from the airport, and which I would highly recommend as compared to the other places we saw. You can walk the whole town in a few hours, and then we took an excursion in a Hummer to the Ocean. We saw plenty of whale bones etc. but no polar bears. When we were there, Barrow was "damp" meaning that you can bring alcohol in, but you can't but it there. So if you want a nightcap, you might want to get something in Fairbanks. Maybe it's changed since then. When we went, you could still carry on a bottle.
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Old Feb 11, 13, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by PIONEER View Post
We did it, and recommend it. Just one night, and we stayed at the King Eider Inn, which is just across the street from the airport, and which I would highly recommend as compared to the other places we saw. You can walk the whole town in a few hours, and then we took an excursion in a Hummer to the Ocean. We saw plenty of whale bones etc. but no polar bears. When we were there, Barrow was "damp" meaning that you can bring alcohol in, but you can't but it there. So if you want a nightcap, you might want to get something in Fairbanks. Maybe it's changed since then. When we went, you could still carry on a bottle.
Did you go in the winter like the OP is planning?
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Old Feb 12, 13, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by fti View Post
Did you go in the winter like the OP is planning?
I've been there in mid-May when temps were in the single digits, not counting the 20+ mph wind. Daylight was 24 hours but everything else said winter.

I've enjoyed my trips to BRW...neat place if you're in to adventure travel in the far corners of the world.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 8:42 am
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I was there in July (took a picture of the sun looking like it was 4:00 in the afternoon...at midnight) and occupied 24 hours easily (although at a relaxed pace). Lots of walking around, borrowed a friend's truck and drove up to the northern end of the road (unfortunately, didn't make it out to the point itself , ate a couple expensive but decent meals, wandered through the heritage center and--almost more interesting--the grocery store (to ogle at the insane prices)...definitely would recommend it as a memorable trip. You might not enjoy the walking around part as much in March, though.
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