The beauty of Alaska is that every season offers something vastly different. While you’ll probably never be lounging on the beach in your swim trunks sipping a frozen daiquiri, our northernmost state does offer some of the most varied and enjoyable weather in the country.
Are you looking for clear, blue skies while the sun warms your skin during a long hike? That’s Alaska! Have you always dreamed of a glacial adventure across the tundra in sub-zero temperatures? They’ve got that, too. Alaska has something spectacular to offer in virtually every season.
Fall: Late August – October
Alaska is known for its foliage, and during the autumn months, the stunning trees do not disappoint. Fall is one of the best times for photographers to visit, since the scenery is alive with color. The weather is still mild, so outdoor activities are aplenty.
Afraid of bear encounters? Since the wildlife has been feasting and foraging for months in preparation of the deep freeze, they’re busy getting their homes ready as well. You’re less likely to see these animals and sightings are few and far between. This could either be a blessing or a huge disappointment, depending on your intentions.
Winter: November – Early March
Few places on earth are as magnificent as Alaska in the winter. If you can endure the arctic temperatures, there is other-worldly beauty to be seen. Snow, glaciers, frozen lakes, and darkness. In the northernmost parts of the state, they won’t see the sun for up to 67 days.
Who loves winter fun? Skiing, snow shoeing, dog mushing, and sledding are what keep tourists busy during these chilly months. If you can’t make it to Alaska during the winter but still want to see the glaciers, never fear. The tundra doesn’t completely thaw until June.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the stunning Aurora Borealis. You can experience this natural wonder all winter long. Shades of every color streak across the night sky and draw observers from all over the world.
Spring: March – June
When you get as cold as Alaska, the big thaw takes a while. To view it in action is simply breathtaking. Lakes and rivers begin to glimmer again, flowers are blooming, and animals are emerging from their hideaways. What was once still becomes alive again.
Since the temperatures are warming up and all of nature’s colors are flowering, spring is the perfect season to bask in the great outdoors. Since summer can get a bit rainy, visitors can still be outside all day and enjoy mostly dry days.
Summer: June – September
The most popular time of year for visitors, summer is the best season for hiking, fishing, and admiring Alaska’s natural beauty. The weather is mild and can get up to 80 degrees during the afternoon. Not to mention, there’s plenty of daylight, due to a natural phenomenon called the Midnight Sun. In fact, June 21st is the longest day of the year with 22 hours of daylight in Fairbanks.
If it’s wildlife you’re interested in, the animals are in full swing. They’re enjoying the beautiful weather and generous eating whether it’s catching fish or munching on wild berries. From bears to birds, everyone is out socializing.
We Love Every Season!
With so much to do, there’s really no bad time to visit Alaska. Each season offers its own kind of beauty. All you have to do is figure out which one to try first.