Snowmobiling in the Boreal Forest

As tired as we were, staying up all night to see the aurora, and doing two tours per day… when a free afternoon presented itself, we couldn’t let the opportunity go to waste.

“What other Alaskan activity have we not yet experienced?”

“Hmm…what about snowmobiling?”

Exciting. Snow themed. Through the Alaskan woods. Chance of (finally) seeing a moose?

We were all in.

After searching online for a good tour company who would take us on with less than a day’s notice, we chose Fairbanks Snowmobile Tours.

I was amused at the policy: “We will cancel any tours if the weather is -30 or colder.”

Trust me, we would cancel if it was -30 too.

We opted for the 1.5 hour Wildlife Refuge tour, as we were all newbies on the snowmobile and eager to see some moose.

Don was ready with plenty of snowmobiles when we arrived and quickly got us suited up to ride. GoPro mounted on my helmet, we set off to explore.

The Boreal Forest is this fascinating refuge for plants and wildlife. With over 160F variance in temperatures from summer to winter, anything that survives here has to be tough.

There are more moose per square mile here than anywhere else near Fairbanks. In fact, Don all but guaranteed we’d see one – but as our luck would have it (for the whole trip), not one moose sighting.

We did see a fox right away though and chased him through the snow for a good five minutes. The tour took us over little frozen ponds, through the gorgeous birch trees, a miniature forest made of 3 inch tall permafrost hardy trees, and beaver dams.

It was a fascinating way to see these unusual forms of wildlife, up close and personal, with Don explaining all kinds of things about the animals and plants.

He also brought us to a snow “race track” where we could race one another. Despite my skills at Mariokart, I am abysmal at steering a snowmobile. Everyone had a good laugh at my multiple forays into deep snowbanks, getting covered in waves of snow.

While this is an expensive excursion ($165 for our tour per person), it was so much fun and resulted in great GoPro footage. It was a unique experience and very peaceful in the forest. When we would stop and shut off the engines, it was so silent and surreal.

I highly recommend booking a tour with Don at Fairbanks Snowmobile Tours!

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