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Why Visit Alaska?

Alaska, the largest and northernmost state in the United States, is celebrated for its stunning natural beauty, rugged wilderness, and unique wildlife. Located in the far north of North America, Alaska is known for its vast expanses of pristine landscapes.

Alaska’s landscapes are diverse, with towering mountain ranges like the Alaska Range and the dramatic coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. Its history is marked by the indigenous cultures of Alaska Natives, Russian colonization, and its eventual purchase from Russia by the United States in 1867.

view from a nature park where the field is covered with pink flowering plants, and in background are icy mountains during the best time to visit Alaska.

Mike Redwine/Shutterstock

When Is the Best Time to Visit Alaska?

The best time to visit Alaska is during the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October. During these months, the weather is generally mild and sunny, with fewer crowds and lower prices than during the peak summer season (July and August).

Here are some of the benefits of visiting Alaska during the shoulder seasons:

  • Mild weather: Alaska has a subarctic climate, with cold, long winters and cool, short summers. The shoulder seasons offer pleasant temperatures, making them ideal for sightseeing, exploring, and enjoying the outdoors.
  • Smaller crowds: The shoulder seasons are less crowded than the peak summer season, so you’ll be able to enjoy Alaska’s popular tourist attractions without having to deal with large crowds. This is especially important if you’re visiting popular destinations like Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Glacier Bay National Park.
  • Lower prices: Prices for flights, accommodation, and activities are generally lower during the shoulder seasons than during the peak summer season. This means you can save money on your trip without having to sacrifice quality.

Here are some specific examples of how you can enjoy the most of Alaska during the shoulder seasons:

  • Spring (April to June): The weather in spring is typically sunny and mild, with occasional showers. This is a great time to visit for wildlife viewing, fishing, and hiking. You can also enjoy activities like kayaking, whale watching, and visiting the hot springs.
  • Autumn (September to October): The weather in autumn is also typically sunny and mild, with occasional showers. This is a great time to visit for leaf peeping, hunting, and fishing. You can also enjoy activities like hiking, biking, and visiting the museums.

While there are many great times to visit Alaska, if you’re looking for the best weather and the most opportunities to enjoy the state’s outdoor activities and attractions, then we recommend visiting during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.

Average Temperatures by Month Average Temperatures by Month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Fahrenheit 15° 17° 23° 35° 47° 56° 61° 59° 51° 38° 26° 17°
Celsius -9° -8° -5° 13° 16° 15° 11° -3° -8°

Climate in Alaska

Summer Season Climate
Summer Season in Alaska

Alaska's summer season, from June to August, offers mild and pleasant weather, with temperatures typically ranging from 50°F to 70°F. It's an ideal time for outdoor adventures, wildlife viewing, and exploring the stunning natural landscapes. The extended daylight hours provide ample time for exploration.

Rainy Season Climate
Rainy Season in Alaska

Alaska experiences rain throughout the year, but the late summer months, particularly from August to September, see slightly more precipitation. However, there isn't a distinct rainy season, and the weather can vary greatly by region.

Winter Season Climate
Winter Season in Alaska

Alaska's winter season, from December to February, is cold, with temperatures ranging from 0°F to 30°F. This period is great for winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling, and witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights. It's also an excellent time for experiencing Alaskan culture and traditions.

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AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief