When’s The Best Time To Visit Alaska?

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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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Alaska Adventure Planning 101

Before you book your flight to the Last Frontier, you will have to decide when the best time to visit Alaska is – for you! Conventional wisdom says that the best time to visit Alaska is between mid-June and mid-September. The warmer weather and long days during the summer months make this a particularly pleasant time of year, with temperatures between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, this means you’d be visiting Alaska during peak tourist season! In addition to the crowds, many hotels, cruises, and guided tours charge more during these popular months. So, even though many people would tell you that visiting Alaska during the summer season is the way to go, it depends on your budget, the things you want to see, and how fond you are of crowds.

When's The Best Time To Visit Alaska In Summer?

Most Alaska vacation tours are offered only during the summer months, which coincide with the main tourist season. Additionally, many of Alaska’s national parks and tourist attractions do not open before May 15 (and will close by September 15). If you ask a seasoned traveler when's the best time to visit Alaska, most will vote for summer, citing the long days (especially the Midnight sun) and the warm and dry weather.

They will also list all of the summer activities Alaska has to offer visitors outdoor adventures like hiking and fishing or wildlife tours and glacier cruises.  For a truly immersive experience in Alaska, here's a list of activities to try during the summer months:

  • Hiking – there’s nothing like hiking in Alaska. Whether you pick a quick day trip or a longer guided excursion, the mountain vistas, glaciers, wildflowers, and wildlife encounters guarantee you a scenic hiking trip like you’ve never experienced.
  • River rafting – explore Alaska’s pristine glacial waterways with an easy river rafting float trip or a more challenging white water rafting tour.
  • Flightseeing – Alaska’s long history with bush planes and float planes means that you can see the state from a bird’s eye view. Flightseeing tours allow you to photograph or take videos of Alaska’s mountain ranges, tundras, and forests while keeping an eye out for wildlife.
  • Kayaking – get up close and personal with marine wildlife on a guided kayaking tour or an independent sea kayaking trip. Explore glaciers from below and get a unique view of Alaska’s landscape from the water.
  • Wildlife viewing – not all Alaskan wildlife is active year-round. During the spring and summer months, you can see brown bears, Dall sheep, mountain goats, whales, migratory and resident birds, caribou, beavers, puffins, Sandhill cranes, and Canadian geese.

When's The Best Time To Visit Alaska In Winter?

Many people want to know when's the best time to visit Alaska to see the Northern Lights. The answer is simple – winter! Northern Lights trips are typically best made in late fall and winter/early spring, although this phenomenon can be seen throughout the winter months on nights with clear skies.

If staying up late to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis is not on your bucket list, there are plenty of other things to do in Alaska during the long, cold winter! You can explore the stunning ice caves, go dog sledding, or relax in natural hot springs to make the most of your winter visit to Alaska. Here's a list of some uniquely Alaskan activities you don't want to miss during your visit:

  • Dog sledding – don’t miss out on one of the most unique outdoor adventures in Alaska! You can go dog sledding year-round, but there’s nothing like zipping over the snow in a sled pulled by a powerful team of dogs. Learn the ins and outs of dogsledding from an experienced guide, or visit in the early spring to cheer on the dog sled teams during the Iditarod.
  • Northern Lights – as mentioned above, winter is the best time to see these magical lights dancing across the Alaskan sky. And the best place to see the Northern Lights is in Fairbanks or above the Arctic Circle. Alaska’s Interior and Arctic regions are among the most active spots in the world for these lights, making a truly special memorable experience for all.
  • Hot springs – get out of the cold and into a hot spring in one of Alaska’s many warm mineral springs. You can visit Chena Hot Springs, near Fairbanks; Manly Hot Springs, in an old mining town along the Elliott Highway; Circle Hot Springs, 130 miles from Fairbanks; Goddard Hot Springs, one of the first natural springs discovered in Alaska; or Torcadero Soda Springs, a uniquely carbonated spring located near the remote town of Craig.
  • Winter sports – Alaska is perfect for everything from Nordic skiing to alpine skiing, snowshoeing to snowboarding, and ice fishing to ice climbing. With a winter that runs from October through March, the answer to when's the best time to visit Alaska for winter sports is easy!
  • Wildlife viewing – although Alaska’s brown and black bears hibernate during the winter months, the polar bears can be seen above the Arctic Circle. Also active are Alaska’s wolves, bald eagles, caribou, moose, fox, and lynx. There are many designated spots for eagle viewing, but other animals can be found simply by hitting the snow-covered trails just outside of many towns.

So, When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska?

It may seem like a tough decision to make, but the answer is simple – any time is a good time to visit Alaska! The breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and unique culture make every moment spent in Alaska truly unforgettable. But to figure out when’s the best time to visit Alaska for YOU, first decide what activities you want to do and what natural attractions you want to see. This will help you start planning your Alaskan adventure and help make your dream of seeing Alaska’s pristine wilderness come true.

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