best time to visit Alaska

What is the Best Month to Go to Alaska?

Choosing the best time to visit Alaska depends on what you’re looking for. Alaska has always drawn people in with its breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and untamed wilderness, unlike anywhere else in the US.

best time to visit Alaska

From the majestic Alaska Range to the stunning fjords of the Inside Passage, there’s a wealth of natural beauty and outdoor activities to enjoy all year round.

But if you’re thinking of visiting this vast and remote state, it’s important to know the ideal time to go, what to expect, the best month to plan your trip, and if it’s pricey to visit.

Let’s go into the details to help you plan your Alaskan adventure.

Best Time to Visit Alaska

Alaska is awesome at any time you visit, but most of the tourists prefer going there in the summer months, especially in July, which is the busiest.

The abundance of tourists in Alaska during the summer season turns the area into a perfect destination for travel, accommodation, sightseeing, and adventure experiences.

The best time to visit is during the summer from May 10 to September 15, when temperatures range from the 60s to the low 70s.

There are 24 hours of daylight, nature is in full bloom, rivers are rushing, and wildlife viewing is at its best.

My favorite time of year is normally mid-June to mid-August with 24-hour daylight, temperatures between 60-80 deg, and mostly sunny weather with little rain.

Rain usually begins from the last week of August to the first week of September; after which, things become quiet until the first week of September, when snow starts falling on higher areas.

Winter is from October to March, and during this time, low temperatures, snowfall, and darkness are experienced.

It probably is not for the faint-hearted, however, there is a special place that is reserved for those who have experienced an Alaskan winter.

Spring is a great choice for those who seek to explore the world under milder conditions and with fewer people around.

Fall is only about 3 months long, from September to mid-October. There is a chance that mosquitoes can be annoying, particularly in the early part of the season.

Thus, it is recommended to bring insect repellent if you are going to visit during this period.

Things to Know for Summertime Travel to Alaska

Here are some key things to know about visiting Alaska in the summer:

1. Temperature

During the day, temperatures range from 60°F to 80°F, with refreshing cooler nights dipping into the 40s to 50s°F. In May and September, it’s a bit cooler by about 5°-10°F.

May is the driest month, with only a 25% chance of rain, but it gets rainier as summer progresses, with about a 50% chance of rain in September.

2. Daylight

June 21 marks the longest day of the year, with about 19 hours of daylight in Anchorage, 18 in Southeast Alaska, and a whopping 22 in Fairbanks.

From late May to late July, it’s light almost all night, with sunlight even past 10 pm for about a month before and after that.

This means you have plenty of time for activities under the Midnight Sun.

3. Wildlife Viewing

The best time for wildlife viewing is from May to September. Bear viewing starts in May but peaks in July. Moose can be seen year-round.

Gray whales migrate from March/April, humpbacks are present from May to September, and orcas can be spotted year-round.

Fishing is excellent throughout the summer, and bugs usually emerge in early June and disappear by early August.

4. Hiking

Trails at lower elevations near Anchorage are usually snow-free by May and in the mountains by early June, with good conditions lasting until mid-October.

Closer to the Arctic, it’s best to wait until the end of June for hiking.

5. Summer & The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are not visible during most of the summer because it doesn’t get dark enough at night.

If you’re interested in experiencing both summer activities and the Northern Lights, plan your visit between August 15 and September 15.

Which Month is Ideal for Travel to Alaska?

best time to visit Alaska

July and August are the best months for traveling to Alaska because they are the most beautiful and pleasant periods of the year.

In July, which is the most visited, there is a high inflow of tourists, despite it being the peak time.

The weather is good with sunny days and short nights, perfect for you to be out there exploring and you will see a lot of wildlife in action.

If you want to save a few bucks and avert the crowds, May is a good month to plan your trip.

Prices drop and fewer tourists are compared to the top of summer. May also sail from Seattle to Alaska on extended voyages.

The July-August period is the high season for tourists, with the middle of June being the hottest time of the year.

Summer activities are in full bloom and the bus tours along the Denali Park Road, which are usually kicked off in mid-May, are also in full swing.

Ferry season starts from May to September, with small ship cruises commencing as early as around mid-April.

The periods of the shoulder seasons (May and September, respectively) are the periods of discounts for hotels, tours, and cruises, 10 to 25% off, even though they are the rainy periods of the year.

Although there are some 4 or 5 days of warm sunshine in April, May, and June, these can continue into September.

April is among the best months for the residents as the sun decides to be generous by shining with the night being interrupted by the daytime.

It is a time of joy when the snow melts and you can see the first fresh blossoms of nature and hiking routes at sea level.

Is a Trip to Alaska Expensive?

It is worth mentioning that, on average, the price for a 7-day trip to Alaska is about $3000 per person, which makes it $400 per day on average.

This count is arrived at by analyzing several itineraries. With our trip planner, any traveler can get a customized cost estimate for their planned trip.

Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, is the perfect time for you to visit Alaska, from August 21 to April 21, also called the Aurora Season.

A perfect trip to Alaska would take you 7-10 days for it to be complete.

Contrary to the fact that October may not be the best scenario for the first time in Alaska because of the temperatures falling, there are still some benefits.

With fewer crowds, one tends to have more of the vast wilderness, and the hiking is equally great, as long as the trails don’t get obscured by snow.

September is great for a visit to Alaska. Fall comes after summer and nature gets redouble colors every year in this season.

Alaska is a place that has something to offer to everyone. However, the best time to visit Alaska depends on your taste.

For most of the warm weather and the long days, summer from May to September is recommended if you are planning for outdoor adventures.

August through April is the best time for you if you want to see the sky colored green, blue, red, and yellow by the Northern Lights.

Every season brings in unique adventures, and so if you are the one who prefers the craziness of summer or the calmness of autumn, there’s a perfect time for all to discover Alaska’s splendors.

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