Visitors often ask: When is the best month to visit Alaska? You can't go wrong visiting Alaska anytime between May 10 and September 15. The days are long, nature is in full bloom, and the air is alive with energy.
Alaska Summer Visitor Season
Most tours operate mid-May to mid-September, with the exception of those into Denali (mid-June to end of August). Peak season is mid-June to mid-August. Before and after, some day tours and hotels offer "shoulder season" discounts of 10-25%.
June 21 is the longest day of the year, with 19 hours of daylight in Anchorage, 22 in Fairbanks, and 18 in Southeast. But from early May through September, days are considerably longer than at lower latitudes.
Alaska's sky is light nearly all night long from late May to late July (unless you're out and about at 3am). And it's light past 10pm for another month on either side of that. Use our Alaska daylight calculator to find out when the sun will set during your trip.
On average, Alaska's summers are slightly rainier than the rest of the U.S. But May is dry, with only a 25% chance of measurable rain on any given day. Alaska gets rainier as the summer progresses. By August, the chance of rain is just over 50%.Compare Alaska's rainfall to your hometown.
You'll find Alaska's summer temperatures surprisingly pleasant. Daytime highs range from 60°F - 80°F. Nighttime lows are refreshingly cool, dipping into the 40's - 50's. May and September are 5°- 10° cooler. However, temperatures vary wildly depending on which region of Alaska you plan to visit.
So When's the Best Season to Visit Alaska?
Put it all together, and we peg June 15 - July 15 as the best time to visit Alaska. But not everyone can visit during that month window, and that's no problem. Alaska weather is not predictable. You can come in August and bask in sunshine or in June and face "horizontal rain" (driving rain plus strong winds). Alaskans have learned not to let weather interfere with their plans—or mood. The trick is to know how to dress and what to wear in Alaska. Plus, we remind ourselves: if the weather were better, it wouldn't stay Alaska for long; it would start to look more like Los Angeles.
Other Magic Dates
If you plan to hike in the high country or Arctic regions, know that the tundra doesn't really melt until late June. If you're worried about Alaska mosquitoes (unjustifiably so?), come the last week in July or first week in August. Night frost will have killed off a lot of the mosquitoes, but you'll have to put up with chillier evenings. Alaska festivals and fairs are also great times to come--especially to meet locals.
Alaska's beauty and summer daylight from mid-May to mid-September are so different from the lower latitudes that we think you'll find a visit anytime during this period to be magical and unlike anything you've ever experienced.
To know for sure, click here to compare Alaska's weather to your hometown.