An Alaska Summer Travel Bucket List

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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

An Adventure In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Alaska may be famous for its cold, snowy winters and chilly Northern Lights tours, but summer brings a whole set of new reasons for tourists to visit! From mid-May through September, the temperatures in Alaska are comfortable, the days are long, exciting outdoor activities are in full swing, wildlife watching is at its peak, and all seasonal businesses are open. If you’re looking for an adventure, Alaska summer travel has you covered.

Summer in Alaska begins in the south, along the Inside Passage. The warming temperatures move slowly north, bringing with them an increase in daylight hours. As spring gives way to summer, Midnight Sun Season lights up Alaska – literally! This northern phenomenon runs from April 22 to August 20 and brings almost 24 hours of daylight to the state. The endless hours of sunshine make summer an interesting time to visit Alaska, giving you hours of extra light each day to discover all this unique state has to offer.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska In The Summer?

Summer in Alaska is a time of boundless energy. The landscape is bursting with green, and the warm temperatures and longer daylight hours mean visitors have more chances to observe wildlife. But what is the best summer month to travel to Alaska? That depends on what you want to see and do!

  • June in Alaska – during the month of June, Alaska’s travel season begins in earnest. Cruises are up and running in all regions of the state, and the national parks are open for tourists. With Alaska summer travel heating up, tour operators begin offering flightseeing trips and floatplane rides, and the scenic Alaska railroad begins offering trips to remote wilderness lodges. Most regions of the state see daytime temperatures between 40-70 degrees, with the Arctic hovering in the 30s most of the time. Longer daylight hours mean there is plenty of time for wildlife viewing. During this month, harbor seals, beluga whales, caribou, mountain goats, black bear, and moose are very active and visitors will have a chance to spot each species’ young!
  • July in Alaska – for many people, July is the best summer month to travel to Alaska. The wildlife is fully active, cruises are in full swing, and all trails in the national parks are accessible. Land tours are operating at full speed and seasonal businesses are open for business. The only caveat is this is the busiest month of the tourist season, so if you are traveling in July make your reservations early! Visitors can expect daytime temperatures in most parts of the state to hover between 50-70 degrees, with the Arctic seeing warm period between 33-45 degrees. Salmon runs begin in July, bringing droves of visitors to Alaska’s rivers and streams to see the brown bears fish for this tasty treat. Puffins and other shorebirds begin migrating, too, and mountain goats dot the side of Alaska’s many steep slopes.
  • August in Alaska – as the height of the travel season ends, cooler temperatures move in and the brilliant fall foliage attracts photographers. Larger cruises shut down during this month, but most small ship cruises and land tours remain in operation. Wildlife is still active, and visitors can see humpback whales and orcas; bald eagles and loons; caribou, black bears, and grizzlies throughout the month. Temperatures in most parts of the state cool during the daytime to 50-60 degrees, with the Arctic dipping down into the low 30s.

5 Fun Summer Activities In Alaska

Alaska is vast, with an almost limitless number of places to visit and things to see. Fitting everything into one trip can certainly be daunting, but a tour guide or tour operator can help you plan a custom itinerary that will take your Alaska summer travel experience to the next level. If you want to plan your own trip, here are a few extraordinary activities to get the wheels turning!

  • Kayaking – if you want to explore Alaska by water, the Kenai Peninsula is your best bet! Seward, located on Resurrection Bay, offers easy access to Kenai Fjords. Paddling in Kenai Fjords is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Experience the awe-inspiring power of a tidewater glacier from below, while keeping a sharp eye out for birds and marine mammals who call these food-rich waters their summer home. It’s a good idea to hire a guide if you are inexperienced, however. The fjords are exposed to the Gulf of Alaska, and swells can whip up quickly during summer storms.
  • Snorkeling – yes, you read that correctly – snorkeling! In Alaska! Ketchikan, a small town that sits at the southernmost entrance to Alaska’s Inside Passage, is known for its snorkeling tours, among other things. Gear up with professionals, who will guide you through Alaska’s waterways to sea urchins, sea stars, crabs, sea cucumbers, and humpback whales. All levels of experience are welcome.
  • Glacier hiking – Alaska has so many glaciers that nearly 5 percent of the state is covered in ice year-round! Glaciers are located throughout the Inside Passage, Southcentral Alaska’s coastal waters, and in the high mountains of Interior Alaska. One of the most popular activities for tourists is glacier hiking. Glacier hiking tours are designed for a variety of experience levels, and can include trekking across an icefield, exploring an ice cave, learning technical ice-climbing skills during a multi-day workshop, or camping overnight on a slow-moving glacier! Popular glaciers for those who are traveling solo include Exit Glacier, Matanuska Glacier, and Mendenhall Glacier.
  • Biking – Kinkaid Park in Anchorage is a perfect place to enjoy mountain biking. This 1,500-acre park offers 25 miles of singletrack and a variety of trails for the avid cyclist to explore. The trails are welcoming for all levels of riders and do not involve any serious elevation gains. Just remember to keep an eye out for moose on your ride!
  • Fishing – whether you’re interested in fresh or saltwater fishing, Alaska’s fishing season peaks during the summer months. Some of the best places in Alaska to visit in the summer for fishing are Seward, Homer, and Kenai, although other locations draw thousands of visiting anglers, too. July is the best summer month to travel to Alaska for salmon fishing, and the second half of the month is when the Coho Salmon season begins. You’ll also be able to catch Sockeye salmon during July, as well as Halibut and Longfish once the saltwater fishing season hits its peak.

An Adventure To Remember

From fishing to kayaking to glacier hiking and wildlife viewing, Alaska has something for everyone. Summer in Alaska is the perfect time to see all that the state has to offer and is a truly magical time for visitors. Start planning your Alaska summer travel now, and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.