The 6 Best Places To Visit In Alaska In Summer

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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

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
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Spending Your Summer Vacation In Alaska

Alaska is the United States’ 49th – and largest – state. While it is famous for its snowy landscapes, wintry weather, and frigid temperatures, summer in Alaska offers visitors plenty of opportunities to explore the state’s outdoor attractions. If you want to visit Alaska in summer, keep reading to learn more about the six must-see places to add to your itinerary!

Alaska mountains in the summer

Five Reasons Why You Should Visit Alaska In The Summer

North America’s crown jewel of wilderness is a great place for outdoor types to explore. From epic hikes and outdoorsy fun to campfires under the midnight sun – Alaska is one of the best places to visit during the summer months! Here are a handful of reasons why you should visit Alaska in summer.

  • Alaska has the coolest summer temperatures in the entire United States. Enjoy mild weather while exploring the state’s outdoor attractions.
  • The Midnight Sun – this phenomenon guarantees you’ll see 16-24 hours of daylight (each day) during your visit. That leaves you with plenty of time to pack adventure into your trip!
  • Summer is the prime time for wildlife viewing in Alaska. If seeing bears or whales is on your bucket list, the summer months will deliver both!
  • Hiking – there’s no shortage of hiking trails in Alaska, and with longer daylight hours you can hike late into the evening without worrying about losing light.
  • You can enjoy Alaska’s greatest feature – its incredible wilderness – without worrying about aggressive snowstorms, inaccessible backcountry, and shuttered facilities.

Alaska's Mild Summers Make For Great Outdoor Exploring

Alaska, with its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife, offers a unique outdoor exploration experience during its mild summers. From hiking through thick forests to kayaking along tranquil coastlines, you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Last Frontier. With extended daylight hours allowing for more time to explore, witness breathtaking glaciers, and spot majestic whales. Whether camping in pristine wilderness areas or floating in crystal-clear rivers, Alaska's mild summers provide the perfect temperatures for unforgettable outdoor adventures. Every journey into this vast wilderness promises new discoveries and unforgettable memories.

Alaska's Summer & The Midnight Sun

Alaska's summer is a unique time of the year when the sun shines almost continuously, leading to the phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun. During this period, which typically lasts from late May to late July, the sun does not completely set, creating extended daylight hours and a surreal, dream-like atmosphere. This natural wonder allows both locals and tourists to engage in a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing well into the late evening hours. The endless daylight also brings a festive energy to the region, with communities celebrating the season with various events and festivals. Visitors flock to Alaska during this time to witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Midnight Sun, providing a truly unforgettable experience amidst the stunning landscapes of the Last Frontier.

Alaska's Summer Offer Optimal Wildlife Viewing

Alaska's summer is the perfect time for wildlife you to witness many animals in their natural habitat. With almost 100,000 glaciers, rugged mountains, and vast tundras, the state offers a diverse range of ecosystems that are home to iconic species such as grizzly bears, moose, bald eagles, and humpback whales. The extended daylight hours during the summer allow for optimal wildlife viewing opportunities, whether it's observing bears catching salmon at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park or spotting pods of orcas in the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park. Whether you're exploring Denali National Park, cruising through Glacier Bay, or hiking in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska's summer promises unforgettable encounters with some of the most magnificent creatures on earth.

Hiking During Alaska's Summer Season

During Alaska's summer season, hiking enthusiasts flock to the state to explore its stunning landscapes and vast wilderness. With endless daylight hours, you get the chance to traverse through the Alaskan trails surrounded by breathtaking views of towering mountains, sprawling glaciers, and pristine rivers. From the iconic Denali National Park to the serene Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska offers a variety of hiking experiences for all skill levels. While exploring the Alaskan wilderness, you should be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions, rugged terrains, and encounters with local wildlife. The summer season, typically from June to August, provides the best opportunity to embark on unforgettable hiking adventures in the Last Frontier.

What Are The Best Places To Visit In Alaska?

There is no shortage of exciting destinations to visit in Alaska, but we’ve listed five of the best places to visit in Alaska in the summer below. Keep reading to learn more about each place and a sixth extraordinary place to visit, winter or summer!

  • Ketchikan harbor in Alaska during the summerKetchikan – located on the southernmost entrance of the Inside Passage, this little seaside town is surrounded by temperate rainforests, majestic granite cliffs, and rocky fjords. Ketchikan is the state’s fourth-largest city and is known for its commercial salmon fishing and indigenous Haida and Tlingit heritage. It is also known for its totem poles, which decorate the city. Every year between May and September, Ketchikan welcomes approximately one million cruise ship passengers, a deluge that turns the town into something of a tourist circus. Some cruisers stay in town, ferrying between souvenir shops and Ketchikan’s emblematic totems. Others jump on boats or seaplanes bound for the Gothic majesty of Misty Fiords National Monument, a nearby wilderness area. But whether you stay in town or explore the surrounding area, Ketchikan is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Alaska in summer!
  • Katmai National Park – if bears are on your must-see list, Katmai National Park and Preserve is the place for you. Katmai is home to the famous Brooks Camp, where visitors can watch bears catch salmon in the nearby Brooks River from the safety of the camp’s viewing platforms. If you’re planning to visit Alaska in summer, consider adding at least a day trip to Katmai National Park to your itinerary to see the coastal brown bears in action.
  • Glacier Bay National Park - covering 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep sheltered fjords, Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Alaska's Inside Passage and one of the world’s largest international protected areas. Glacier Bay is home to more than 1,000 glaciers, and visitors can see a glacier up close from the many cruise ships that sail through the park. You can also see puffins, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, and even the occasional humpback whale or brown bear while cruising the park’s frigid waters and enjoying the glacier-carved landscape.
  • Kodiak - located 30 miles off the Alaskan coast, Kodiak Island (also known as the Emerald Isle) is the second-largest island in the country. Although Kodiak Island is best known for its premier bear viewing opportunities, it also attracts visitors hoping to see gray whales, Steller sea lions, and roaming bison. Kodiak’s verdant landscape and abundant outdoor opportunities make it a popular choice for nature enthusiasts, but its harbors and docks are a great place for the avid angler to hand out and watch local fishermen unload their daily catch.
  • Talkeetna – this quirky little town is reportedly the inspiration for the television show “Northern Exposure.” Located just outside Denali National Park, visitors to Talkeetna can enjoy the sleepy town’s collection of art galleries, restaurants, and artisan shops or head over to Denali for some typical Alaskan activities like fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. If Denali is too intimidating, the Talkeetna Lakes Park Trail system is located just three miles from downtown Talkeetna and is a great place to hike and mountain bike through the dense forest. You can even book a charter and enjoy some local fishing, too! With its mix of artsy activities and outdoorsy adventure, Talkeetna is truly one of the best places to visit in Alaska in summer.

An Adventure At The North Pole

Do you believe in Santa? If you’re a big kid at heart, make sure you plan a stop at the North Pole – even if you visit Alaska in summer! Don’t confuse this quaint village with the geographic North Pole. This tiny community of 2,700 people is just a 15-minute drive south of Fairbanks and features holiday decorations and trimmings year-round. Explore streets with festive names like Kris Kringle Drive and Mistletoe Lane, or visit the Santa Claus House to pick up a few Christmas-themed souvenirs. Indulge in a little holiday cheer at this uniquely Alaskan experience, even if it is 80 degrees outside.

From the North Pole to the southern region of the state, Alaska offers a little bit of everything – for everyone. So if you visit Alaska in summer, plan to have the adventure of a lifetime. No matter what itinerary you pick, get ready for a uniquely Alaskan good time!

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