Fairbanks, Alaska is a place unlike any other. For most of the year, there is snow on the ground, but during the Summer and Fall, beautiful parks and fields explode with the color of changing leaves, against a backdrop of mountain peaks and rich valleys. Whether you live in Fairbanks or are planning a visit with the four-legged members of your family, Fairbanks has enough pet-friendly attractions to go around.
The Fairbanks Dog Park is an exceptionally large park, covering over twenty acres. Half of that land is a natural wooded area, good for quiet walks through the forest. Open year-round (and with special winter lighting added in 2010), the park is heavily used by locals and is continuing to grow.
Leashed dogs are allowed to take part and enjoy the area for no additional fee at the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Be aware that the park is unlike others, with no set campsites, roads, or paths. It truly is a vast expanse of wilderness that is open to exploration, and a long stay in the park will require wilderness skills. Adventurous dogs will love the rough terrain, wild rivers, and wide open fields. You might even get to see a herd of caribou or the northern lights!
Fairbanks Dog Park is a 20-acre park located at 2401 Davis Road in heart of Fairbanks. It was created by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and sponsors annual fundraising events like Dog Day to support the operation of the park. The park has three fenced areas to provide some off-leash freedom for your furry friend. Agility equipment adds to the exercise opportunities, and are also used for training and demonstrations. The ½ mile walking trail is also a popular way for human and dog to get out and enjoy the sweet sounds and smells of nature. The park is open for twenty-four hours.
The Downtown Dog Park is located at 2nd Street near the Carlson Center, a large sports complex. This dog park is operated by the nonprofit organization Fairbanks Dog Park, Inc. The site is leased from Fairbanks Borough. Though it is now labeled a temporary site, its popularity and sheer amount of visitors from the community makes its closure very unlikely. This off-leash fenced park gives dogs and their human companions time to socialize. Dogs of all sizes and breed are allowed play in the snow packed park. The nonprofit uses the park as a way to help rescue dogs become better socialized. The park is open 24/7.
Pioneer Park celebrates the history of Alaska on its 44-acre grounds. Dogs are welcome to come with their humans, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells. The park is free and open year round. Dogs must be on leash during their visit. The park provides numerous stations for doggy clean-up. It also has outdoor picnic areas where dog and human can enjoy some food from one of the numerous restaurants in the park. This park abounds in attractions like carousel rides, train rides, and miniature golf. Many of these attractions charge a fee, and may only be a great sight for your four-legged friend. There is plenty of space, though, for a great workout or walk. The Park is located at 2300 Airport Way and is owned and operated by the Fairbanks North Star Borough.
Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, located in northern Fairbanks at 1300 College Road, spans 2,200 acres of fields, forests, and wetlands. The refuge has numerous trails that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dogs on leash are welcome to explore the many trails and get better acquainted with many migratory birds and other animals that make their home at the refuge. Guided tours of the trails are also offered during the summer at no charge. Waste stations are provided for that necessary clean-up. The refuge includes a Visitor Center, and is also the site of an historic dairy farm.
Pike’s Waterfront Lodge, located at 1850 Hoselton Road near the Fairbanks Airport, overlooks the beautiful Chena River. Most of its rooms have a breathtaking, scenic view. The lodge has four pet-friendly rooms for the traveling dog looking to give its paws a rest. Paws and feet both may need some rest after a day exploring the Alaskan wilderness or even just after a more leisurely stroll on the lodge’s river walk. The lodge does charge a traveling human companion a fee of $25 per dog, and up to three dogs may share a room. The lodge offers all the amenities of home such as a fridge, microwave, and tv. The restaurant at the Lodge offers some special human fare, and humans can work up a sweat in fitness and steam rooms. A winter night wake-up call to view the Northern Lights is available on request.