Best Time to Go to Alaska Depends on You

July 1, 2013 by

Alaska in the summer

The best time to go to Alaska will depend on what you want out of your trip. Most tours run from mid-May to mid-September and some hotels and day tours offer special discounts during shoulder seasons.

So if you’re vacationing on a shoestring, the best time for you would be during the shoulder seasons which consists of the first weeks in May and the last weeks of September.

Glacier Bay and College Fjord July

Glacier Bay and College Fjord in July

June 15 – July 15 the Ideal Time to Visit Alaska

The main consideration for most people is the weather. If you’re looking for the best time to visit Alaska weather-wise, June 15 – July 15 is said to be the best, though when it comes to weather there is no guarantee.

Alaska summers are rainier than the rest of the U.S. and it gets rainier as the summer progresses. In August the chance of rain averages a little more than 50%.

Summer temperatures in Alaska are nice with daytime highs ranging between 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll still want to bring a light jacket, even for a summer vacation, because temperatures dip at night with lows ranging in the 40s and 50s.

May and September it can get even cooler. However, temperatures vary depending on the region you plan to visit.

Alaska Bird Ridge trail in May

Alaska’s Bird Ridge trail in May

Best Time Based on Activities

Along with weather, another factor to consider is what you plan to do while you’re in Alaska. If your vacation includes hiking in the high country or Arctic regions, the tundra doesn’t melt until late June.

Alaska is also known for its mosquitoes, and if you want to plan to go to Alaska when you’ll experience the least mosquitoes, the best time to visit is the last week in August or the first week in September. By this time, nighttime frost will have killed off many of these pesky nuisances.

As you can see, there is no one best time to go to Alaska. The time of year to visit Alaska is the time that’s best suited for what you plan to do and your budget.

Photo credits: jprime84, masherwould, Alaskan Dude

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