Alaska is one of the coldest states in the US. During the winter, the average temperature in Alaska is 28.1°F (-2.7°C) and can drop as low as -30°F (-34°C). The Fairbanks area has some of the state's hottest and coldest temperatures, with summer highs of 90 °F and winter lows of -50 °F. However, Alaska has spectacular scenery, wildlife, and some of the world's wildest landscapes, from gliding past icy glaciers and epic mountain peaks to spotting humpback whales and bears. Hence, If Alaska is on your bucket list of places to visit in 2023, we have compiled for you in this post the best times for you to visit this spectacular state based on the different climates and activities to engage in while visiting.
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What is the best month to go to Alaska?
The ideal season for most visitors to visit Alaska is the summer. The weather is predictable for making outside plans, and the days are long with temperatures at their peak.
What is the cheapest time to visit Alaska?
The most affordable period to visit Alaska is from early November until mid-December. During this time, Anchorage has the most recognizable seasonality curve and is often the least costly city to stay in, with midsummer being the most expensive time to visit.
How many days do you need in Alaska?
Seven and ten days is enough for you to enjoy all that Alaska has to offer with plenty of time for day-long guided excursions along the way. If you're doing a land-only tour, you can travel from Kenai Fjords National Park to Denali National Park in seven days.
When can I see the northern lights in Alaska?
The northern lights season in Alaska lasts from late August to late April, with a peak in March. However, this is a season that is better known for its long, dark evenings than for solar activity.
ALASKA IN JANUARY
Although January is undoubtedly the coldest month of the year, it is also getting busier, especially in Alaska's Interior, where you may take advantage of discounts on hotels and vehicle rentals. Also, in the village of North Pole, which is close to Fairbanks, you may still catch a glimpse of Christmas in Ice through January 7th. During this time the average temperature at night is between -30°F and -20°F, while the daytime ranges from 30°F to 40°F. Lastly, the Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival is takes place during this month, you can drink beer and wine from nearby wineries and breweries while seeing the northern lights.
ALASKA IN FEBRUARY
In February, the days get longer and longer. By the end of the month, you will have a full 10 hours of daylight with Denali's shiny snowy summit shimmers. This snowy summit is like a mirage on the horizon with clear skies during the day, and becomes much more noticeable (which happens increasingly often as spring approaches). Prices in Alaska are lower in February because there are fewer visitors. Lastly, you want to be as prepared for the weather as an Alaskan. They believe that bad attire is the only thing to blame for bad weather.
ALASKA IN MARCH
One of the best months to view the Northern Lights in Alaska is March. For those who like to look up at the stars, the shorter evenings also mean that the skies are getting clearer. For wintertime activities like dog sledding and snowshoeing in Fairbanks, plan for up to 15 hours of daylight. Also, during this time Winter seems to be giving way to spring, especially when moose, lynx, and caribou begin to move more and leave distinctive tracks and prints in the snow. Lastly, the first whales start to arrive in Alaska after finishing their lengthy journey from Baja California.
ALASKA IN APRIL
A lot of hotels and recreation centers close their doors in Alaska in April. It's not the optimum time for winter activities because of the melting snow. There is less likelihood of viewing the Northern Lights because the nights are shorter. Alaska's benefits in April, you ask? It's a good time to see the state as it is known by the locals. Tourists are less drawn to the mid-melt sceneries, but many Alaskans take advantage of the opportunity to celebrate the first visible trails and reviving shorelines by donning their hiking boots and hopping into their kayaks.
ALASKA IN MAY
In May, Alaska begins to have longer daylight hours than the lower US states, so it opens for business. Also, since the tourist season is just getting started, costs are lower and fewer people are visiting. During this time, spring is brief and fleeting, but you'll get a taste of it in May. If you're unsure of what to do in Alaska in May, wildflowers along the coast make for picturesque excursions, and bear-watching begins as grizzlies come out of hibernation with curious cubs in tow. As the month comes to a close, Anchorage experiences some mild temperatures, with a high of 13°C. Even more so than the summer, May has the driest weather.
ALASKA IN JUNE
Aside from having what feels like 24 hours worth of events and festivals, June is one of the finest months to visit Alaska because of the 24 hours of sunlight that may be experienced depending on where you are. With nearly boundless vision and temperatures in the south of 20°C, it's a terrific time to see whales and bears. In this breathtakingly rugged national park, there is only one road, and it opens in June. Even the most northern trails typically get access by the end of the month. The worst of mosquito season is coming to Alaska in June, be beware.
ALASKA IN JULY
In Alaska, summer continues into July. As schools break out, this is a fantastic time for families to visit Alaska, and things get busier. In Alaska, wildlife is especially active in July, making it a great time to look for bears, whales, and orcas. The sun is out for virtually the entire day, though you'll notice that it sets a little earlier than usual, at 10 o'clock. One of the finest months to see bears and beware of mosquitoes, so don't to pack mosquito repellant when visiting at this time.
ALASKA IN AUGUST
The number of visitors in Denali National Park declines as the weather cools and the days grow shorter, which is good news if you want to observe animals quietly. Beginning in the north and quickly moving south, autumn begins to creep in around the middle of August. As the weather cools, insects stop bothering and begin to disappear. Also, with kids returning to school, Alaska's peak season comes to an end in August. By the end of August, the Northern Lights are once more audible.
ALASKA IN SEPTEMBER
The shoulder season offers some hotel and excursion discounts, fewer visitors, no bugs, fall foliage, and northern lights viewing around mid-September. It also has fewer people. Additionally, it may be rainy and chilly, and the days are shorter. Although not always. We occasionally experience stunning Indian Summers. Locals refer to September as a gamble because of this.
ALASKA IN OCTOBER
In October, when the bears are tucked away in their dens and the whales have moved on to warmer waters, wildlife viewing in Alaska comes to an end. This month is the last of the warm weather before the snowy, gloomy months arrive. If you want the hiking trails to yourself, October is a fantastic time to travel to Alaska, however, they will start to close in the middle of the month to make way for the winter sports season. Additionally, some of the first snow falls in October.
ALASKA IN NOVEMBER
It can be difficult in November. It's a period of waning light (in Anchorage 8.5 hrs. to 6). Even if it's chilly (the 20s and 30s), there is not enough snow until the last week of the month for winter activities. November is a fantastic time to visit if you want to see the northern lights and don't mind only taking short winter trips.
ALASKA IN DECEMBER
If you go to Alaska in December, you won't just see the Northern Lights; snowshoeing routes, enormous Christmas trees, and cabins are all decorated with bright fairy lights. For dog sledding, the snow is deep enough. When visiting Alaska in December, keep in mind that it is extremely cold there and that Fairbanks has 3–4 hours of daylight each day, with that number decreasing as you travel farther north. While lynx tracks may be visible as they chase after snowshoe hares, bears are not to be found on the paths. It's best to warm up at the hot springs near Fairbanks.
And there you have it, the best times of year to visit Alaska to enjoy its breathtaking views and weather, depending on your preferences and trip objectives. Is there anything else we should know about visiting Alaska? Let us know in the comments below!