When you think of Alaska, do images of driving snow and frost covered parkas come to mind? If it does, then you really haven’t visited the state during the best months of the year (for recreation at least). Alaska late spring, summer and early fall cannot only be pleasant, they can be downright wonderful.
Weather in Alaska is unpredictable to be sure, but during the months between mid-May to mid-September, highs usually range from 60°F to 80°F, with nighttime lows in 40’s and 50’s, offering a nice refreshing cool-down after a long day of adventure. May and September are 5°- 10° cooler and speaking of a long day, Alaska night-life can take on a whole new meaning when you factor in days that stay light until well after 10pm in most regions, and even later the further north you are.
The longest day of the year, June 21, you can enjoy 19 hours of daylight in Anchorage, and a full 22 in Fairbanks. Now that’s an endless summer! Rain does come heavier in the summer months, with May being the driest, but as with any trip to “The Last Frontier”, preparing ahead of time will save you trouble on your trip. Always pack a rain parka and be prepared to make a back-up plan in case of driving rain which is most likely to occur in August.
If you are looking for the best rates on accommodations and activities, consider the ‘shoulder’ months (May and September) for discounts at the major hotels and tours. The peak season is June through July when many of the festivals and fairs occur.
Bottom line: Alaska isn’t all about arctic pummeling of snow, wind and freezing temperatures. You’re better off worrying about how to stay awake night after night of 20 hours of sunlight, while enjoying all the state has to offer.