In late August, thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate through Fairbanks. For people who only picture Alaska as a cold, dark country that hardly ever sees sun, you are in for a very pleasant surprise. More than a million tourists visit Alaska each year for rare experiences that are almost completely foreign to the other 49 states: Brilliant colors that flash across the night sky like UFOs, a soaking wet 800-pound grizzly using razor sharp talons to spear spawning salmon, or a pack of panting silver huskies pulling a sled 1,500 miles across the frozen tundra. Alaska is busiest from mid-June through mid-August, which is also when you will likely experience the best weather. There also are some truly bizarre community events to check out, like the Cordova Iceworm Festival in February, the Mid-March Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic in Nome or the April Piuraagiaqta Spring Festival in Barrow. For a chance to see the northern lights, travel in late August and September. Daytime highs range from 60°F - 80°F. October, November, April -- From Southcentral Alaska northward, snow and ice arrive sometime in October; in Southeast Alaska, these are the months of cold, unending rain. September in Alaska. Visit Juneau from April to November to see humpback whales and orcas navigating the northern Inside Passage. There is absolutely no obligation to buy, and the service is completely FREE! For the best rates, travel in May or September. July is the absolute peak of the tourist season, when you must book well ahead and when crowds are most prevalent. Where Will You Travel Next? Crowds are rare after Labor Day. The rates at this time are also lower as winter is not the most coveted by all tourists. Alaska is home to one-of-a-kind events such as the Tesoro Iron Dog Snowmobile Race in mid-February, the March 50-km Tour of Anchorage Nordic Ski Race, the March Iditarod Dog Sled Race and the April Arctic Man Ski and Sno-Go Classic. The temperature is quite cool, but with the sunlight, plants and wildlife start to bloom and recover from the long winter. Some areas close up tight, but the silver salmon fishing is still active on the Kenai Peninsula, and the season there continues until the end of the month. Cruise ports are bustling from May through October. The national parks are open and fully functional at this time, you can see brown bears, mountain deer, birds etc in their full glory. From July through September, see black bears, grizzlies and brown bears fishing the salmon runs. Already ditching summer for winter, aren’t you? With plains of ice, blue glaciers, rugged mountains and alpine forests, Alaska is a nature buff’s paradise. Each of the summer months, which run roughly from mid-May through mid-September, offers something unique: By May, our days are already long, extending to more than 17 hours of daylight in the middle of the month. However, temperatures vary wildly depending on which region of Alaska you plan to visit. This is the time to see the aurora borealis. September is actually the beginning of the peak season of this Alaskan city: Fairbanks is a nice destination year round, but really starts to shine when the night skies finally become dark enough to view the northern lights. The weather in Alaska can be extreme and unpredictable. Autumn weather patterns bring frequent rain, cool weather and clouds, with clear weather hit-or-miss. The cooler weather turns trees and … While many states in the Lower 48 drag their heels on the fall colors display, … In Homer, you can cross-country ski and go salmon fishing on the same day in March. At Alyeska Resort, south of Anchorage, skiing is still active in April, and upper-mountain skiing sometimes extends beyond Memorial Day if there is enough interest. The sunlight goes on decreasing down to almost nil by December, with the coldest, most darkest days seen around winter solstice (Christmas). Most operators in the tourism industry have only these 90 days to make their year's income, and they charge whatever the market will bear. You might have the chance to see the Northern Lights too, but you’ll need to head up north and get lucky. Seward and Talkeetna throw fantastic Independence Day celebrations. If you’re worried about crowds, your best bet is to visit in April through May and September. Summer is also the season of high prices. The Best Times to Go on a Cruise to Alaska June, July & August -- Summer in Alaska is a miraculous time, when the sun refuses to set, the salmon run upriver, and people are energized by limitless daylight. 3900 Arctic Blvd, Ste 304 May and September are 5°- 10° cooler. Anchorage, AK 99503 Cruise ports are bustling from May through October. There is still more than enough available to fill a trip to Alaska in May. December to March are the best months to spot this phenomenon, as the sky is darker and the nights are longer. The northern lights are an amazing array of orange, yellow, red, green gas molecules blown about the night sky by solar winds. More whales are migrating through Alaska's coastal waters as well, with humpbacks returning with newborn calves and grey whales making their way north to Arctic feeding grounds. Just tell us about your trip and travel agents in our network will create custom-made trip plans and quotes for you to choose from. June is the driest of the summer months, July the warmest, and August generally the rainiest month of the brief summer, but warmer than June. The wildlife is very active in September, and this is the best time to visit Alaska to see the wildlife preparing for their winter hibernation, by stocking up on food and hunting. Travel outside Fairbanks, to the top of Ester Dome, to Chatanika or along Gilmore Trail for ideal views. There is no best to visit Alaska, both summer and winter are tourist times here, albeit, for different activities. Average temperature range at the peak of summer here is around 15-26°C with ample sunlight, to such an extent that the sun doesn’t set on the day of summer solstice! Alaska in September means it’s the later shoulder season, with fewer visitors and often special offers on trips. Alaska is a year-round vacation destination -- if you love winter. Celebrate the Rufous hummingbird's return to Ketchikan in April or see 5 million shorebirds migrating through Cordova at the Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival. February and March make for more milder winter months as daylight has started to lengthen and you have the added bonus of Northern lights. How cool is that? The state is the first to get whatever Arctic Siberia or the void of the North Pacific have to throw at North America. Plan Now. After September 15, it's potluck. See more than 3,000 bald eagles at the Haines Alaska Bald Eagle Festival in mid-November. Although rain comes and goes throughout the summer, August tends to be the wettest. What is the Best Time to See Wildlife During an Alaska Vacation? Except in cruise-ship towns, most tourist-oriented activities and facilities are still closed before May 15, and a few don't open until Memorial Day or June 1. In exchange for the late-summer drizzles, Alaska's notorious mosquitos disappear and wild berries begin to ripen. Winter in Alaska can be extraordinarily beautiful, but summertime is the most popular time to visit. For a week or two (what week it is depends on your latitude), the bright yellow birches of the boreal forest and the rich red of the heathery tundra can make September the loveliest time of year. The rates at this time are also lower as winter is not the most coveted by all tourists. But the length and intensity of the visitor season varies widely in different areas: In cruise-ship ports, it's busy from chilly early May into stormy October. A lucky visitor can come in September and hit a month of crisp, sunny, perfect weather, and have the state relatively to him- or herself. Even if it is cold; bitter, freezing cold (-20°C), this is the ideal time to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights that take a vivid range of colours in the dark, sun-less sky of Alaska. The best shoulder months to see Alaska are May and September, when there are reduced crowds and relatively pleasant weather. Winter here starts in late September and goes on until March. Best time of year to visit . The sunlight goes on decreasing down to almost nil by December, with the coldest, most darkest days seen around winter solstice (Christmas). The summer solstice is on June 21, giving us about 20 beautiful hours of daylight. The peak tourist season runs from July to mid-August, when hotels and places like Denali National Park are packed with people. Winter tours in Alaska start by October and go on until March, with special ones for Christmas week. The extremes of recorded temperatures are a high of 100°F (38°C) and low of -80°F (-62°C). The Best Months to Visit Alaska The Best Times to Visit Alaska on a Cruise Cruising remains an important, and hugely popular, method of traveling through Alaska. Most tourist-oriented businesses stay open, with lower prices, until September 15, except in the Arctic. The midnight sun is seen in summer here, while the Northern Lights are seen in winter. But if you thought winter in Alaska is not a good time for a visit … The best time to visit Alaska certainly isn't the winter, but winter is a great time to plan the trip. For the warmest weather and most activity options, travel in June and July. Rainfall is usually lowest in May and climbs steadily until reaching the highest point in September. Winter here starts in late September and goes on until March. But if you thought winter in Alaska is not a good time for a visit then you were wrong. Since operators have a short season to make their money, they charge high prices during these months. Cruise ships begin calling May 1, and the towns they visit swing into action when they arrive. February and March make for more milder winter months as daylight has started to lengthen and you have the added bonus of Northern lights. You'll find Alaska's summer temperatures surprisingly pleasant. You choose the plan you like and make bookings with that agent. Glorious fall colors. Or it can be cold and rainy all month. July is the peak month of the peak season, which means the number of travelers is high.

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