Where to go from Anchorage
For the Anchorage city areas, you can head to the favorite spots of Flattop and the Glen Alps parking area. It overlooks the city and you can see the aurora above the city lights. Another good place is Earthquake park and Point Woronzof. With the lights of the city toward the east, you can see the lights looking north. Abbott Loop Community Park is open with less light pollution. From downtown, the Captain Cook monument facing the water, Ship Creek area, and down by the water facing north coastal trails (Do not walk on the beach! It is mud, not sand. It is dangerous!). If the aurora is higher in the sky, the Potter Marsh area is good, as well as Beluga Point and Portage Valley. There are many areas in Anchorage with few or no streetlights. The aurora can be seen from anywhere in the city when the lights are overhead. The areas mentioned are good if the sky near your house or hotel is not dark enough. Sometimes during big events, downtown Anchorage can see the aurora just fine!
JBER, head toward the back of the base, Otter Lake, 6 Mile, or at the very least away from streetlights and security lights. Watch for security and respect the rules if that particular area is closed at night. Remember to look to the north, and possibly low on the horizon.
Mt Baldy Trailhead, Skyline Dr and Hiland Dr overlooks Eagle River. This area can get very icy in the winter so be prepared. The Mt Baldy Trailhead parking area is a very popular spot and can get crowded during an expected aurora display. Use courtesy and TURN OFF YOUR LIGHTS when you are parked. This includes lights inside your car. Beach Lake in Birchwood and almost the entire area of Birchwood area are great spots that is not too far for locals.
Hatcher Pass is a great place to catch the lights as it is far from city lights and has select views toward the north. The upper and lower parking lots within Hatcher Pass Independence Mine parking lot and area,
Wasilla and Palmer
The Trunk Road and Clark-Wolverine Rd areas/sections of town, as well as areas north of the main part of the city have little to no light pollution and are great places to go if you cannot go far. Find a public parking area. This suggestion is meant for locals. Do not park on private property.
Eklutna Tailrace is a great spot. Watch for a closed gate.
The Knik River area is popular and wide open. There are many parking areas. Check out this area in the daylight.
The Knik River Bridge area has great views. 61°30’15.2″N 149°02’02.0″W Swimming Hole: From the Old Glenn Hwy, head to the Knik River Bridge. Turn on Knik River Rd and drive 1.6 miles. See map above. This entire area is great for aurora watching.
Beach Lake state park closes at 11 pm. The cops will run you out after that time