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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
Can I Visit Alaska In Winter?
Winter in Alaska can be harsh, but there is no denying the beauty of the long, snowy season. Unlike the lower 48 states, Winter in Alaska runs roughly from October through March! Temperatures vary from region to region, but the inland areas can get pretty chilly – with many days below freezing. It may sound crazy to head north into a land of snowy mountains for your vacation, but there are many good reasons to visit Alaska in winter, including amazing tours to see the Northern Lights in Alaska.
The Best Winter Month To Visit Alaska
Now that you know you can visit Alaska during the winter season, you might be wondering which month is better for your trip. Depending on the activities you want to pursue, there are better times to visit. For example, December and January are the darkest and coldest months of the winter season. However, Alaska is a very festive place around the holidays, with lots of holiday markets and seasonal events in every town, so it can be a good time to visit. (Travel can be expensive during the holiday season, though, so keep that in mind before you book a trip!)
But late February and early March are peak visiting times for those who want to experience a winter in Alaska. During these two months, the snow is at its peak, days are a bit longer, and temperatures are slightly warmer than earlier in the winter season. March is also one of the best times of year to book a Northern Lights Tour Package. The aurora activity is at its peak during this month, especially around the spring equinox! Many Alaska winter travel packages include Northern Lights viewing opportunities, so check to make sure that yours does, too!
How Cold Does Alaska Get In The Winter?
Like many states, Alaska’s temperature varies by region. Before you start packing for your trip, take the destination into consideration. If you are heading to a coastal region, you will need less winter gear than if you are planning to visit the Arctic Circle!
- Fairbanks is located in the coldest part of Alaska above the Arctic Circle, with an average high temperature in January of around 0 F and an average low of -15 F. During the winter season, the sun is pretty weak and does not warm the landscape very much. Periodic cold snaps mean that the temperature can get as low as -50 F on occasion, but it can also warm up above zero at times. Fairbanks is one of the best places to see the Aurora Borealis during the winter months, and many tour companies will offer a Northern Lights Tour Package based out of this northern city!
- Anchorage is warmer than Fairbanks, but still has cold winters! Average highs and lows in the early part of the winter season are above 0 F but below freezing (32 F).
- In Juneau and the rest of Southeast Alaska, snow is not guaranteed, especially in town. The temperatures hover around freezing, but it snows only periodically (except at higher elevations). Juneau is similar to the Pacific Northwest, with cloudy, wet winters. If you’re looking for tours to see the Northern Lights in Alaska, Juneau’s clouds will make it difficult to see the Aurora Borealis.
Top 5 Winter Activities In Alaska
Can you visit Alaska in the winter? Yes, you can! But many people want to know what they can do in Alaska during the winter season. Here are the top five activities you don’t want to miss in Alaska during a winter vacation:
- Visit Alaska’s national parks – Alaska’s parks are tourist attractions even in the winter! Denali offers skiing, biking, snowshoeing, and educational programming throughout the winter season. Kenai Fjords National Park offers skiing, biking, snowshoeing, or tours to Exit Glacier. Glacier Bay National Park is open year-round, with minimal services, but the wildlife sightings make it worth visiting.
- Ride the Rails – Alaska winter travel packages on the Aurora Train are a unique experience! The Alaska Railroad runs full steam ahead in the winter, giving tourists access to some of the state’s best winter landscapes. Ride the train to Fairbanks for an Aurora viewing trip, head to Talkeetna for a snow-filled view of Denali Mountain, or book a multi-day trip to the Arctic Circle to experience winter in the Far North!
- See the winter wildlife – there’s nothing like searching a snowy trail for white hares and ptarmigans, Alaska’s state bird. Or, search the mountainside for eagles, moose, and Dall sheep, who are still active during the winter months. You can even head to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to learn more about native wildlife or book a wildlife tour with a tour company to guarantee wildlife sightings.
- Get outside! If you’re an active person who loves the outdoors, especially during the winter months, Alaska is the place for you! There are plenty of options to enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest during an Alaskan Winter. Some of the most popular activities are skiing, dog sledding, snowboarding, snow machining, tubing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, kayaking, fat biking, ice climbing, snowshoeing – and the list goes on!
- Search the skies for the Aurora – for a budget-friendly Northern Lights tour package, look no further than Alaska! Fairbanks is one of the best places to view the Aurora as it is often dark and clear, but you can see the lights as far south as Anchorage any time during the winter. The best way to see the Northern Lights is to book a guided tour with a local Alaskan company. Most companies offer Alaska winter travel packages that include opportunities to see the Aurora Borealis. A guided tour is your best bet to find the lights and learn some tips on photographing them.
Avoid The Crowds In Winter!
Alaska’s winter travel season is a lot slower than peak tourist season, but that means that you will avoid the crowds and save money! One of the best reasons to search out Alaska winter travel packages or tours to see the Northern Lights in Alaska during the winter months is because it will feel like you have the whole state to yourself. As an added bonus, you’ll have the rare opportunity to really get to know the locals, who often stay away from more crowded areas during tourist season. The chance to see Alaska in the winter and meet people who make their lives in the snowy North can’t be beat, so consider a winter vacation to Alaska for your next trip!