Winter in July

"Alaska at 40 Below" is a cold room and museum tour

By: By Christopher Batin

Summer travelers now have a great way to learn about Alaska's frigid winters, without making a special return trip in the dark and cold of December.

"Alaska at 40 Below" is a cold room and museum tour operated by The Riverboat Discovery that is open to visitors in two locations; one at the Denali Princess Resort outside Denali National Park and Preserve and the other at Steamboat Landing in Fairbanks.

The various hands-on activities are popular with visitors, who don a parka and enter the cold room, where they try blowing soap bubbles in the frigid air or tossing hot water into the air and watching it crackle and hiss into vapor before it hits the ground.

Travelers will find a similar experience at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, where "40 Below Fairbanks" opened last year. Guests can expect to have their photos taken sitting in a chair carved out of a block of ice, or the ever popular task of using a frozen banana to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. Tours range from two to five minutes, and the on-site staff can also advise visitors on cold-weather motor oils, arctic housing construction, and survival tactics at frigid temperatures. Those who prefer the summer's warmth can linger outdoors.

40 Below Fairbanks
(907) 347-5451