Q: What is the best month to visit Alaska?
A: Alaska is a great place to visit anytime of the year. The “best” month to visit really depends on what you want to do in Alaska. The summer tourism season is mid-May to mid-September, with the peak season from June 15th to August 15th.
May is a great value time to visit Alaska – the weather is warming up, the trees are blooming and the grass gets greener every day. Usually, May is a drier month than later in the summer. Alaska tends to get more rain as the summer goes on. Tours throughout Alaska begin operating around May 15th. Due to the early season, many tours and hotels offer discounted prices. The time periods prior to Memorial Day and after Labor Day are considered the “shoulder” season which translates to less crowds and more opportunities for discounts.
Peak season offers the widest variety of tours, the best weather and the best wildlife viewing opportunities. June offers the most hours of daylight and historically is the driest summer month. The flowers around town are in bloom and the tourist season is in full swing. Many believe that June is the best month to see Alaska.
July is peak tourist season in Alaska and is the warmest month of the year. Peak season means largers crowds on tour buses and day cruises. If you are planning to visit Alaska in July, we recommend booking your vacation in January for best availability. August may be a little rainier but it is generally warmer than June and the bugs have decreased. The crowds begin to diminish as the summer comes to an end. We also see less daylight in August but unless you have seen Alaska in June you probably won’t notice!
September brings cooler temperatures and darker nights. The cooler temperatures bring beautiful colors to the trees and tundra and the darker nights offer the opportunity to view the Northern Lights. The tourism season is winding down so you will find fewer crowds and lower prices. There will be some tours that stop operating in early September but most tours continue until mid-September. Denali hotels and businesses close for the winter about that time as well.
Don’t let the weather be your only consideration. Alaska weather is highly unpredictable and whatever the weather brings for your vacation, we recommend getting out and having fun. The variable weather is part of the Alaskan experience so come prepared and enjoy the experience whether the sun is shining or not! Choose the month that works best for your schedule, your budget and offers what you most want to see and do. We hope to see you soon!
PS. For further details you can also check out our blog post on what are the best months to travel to Alaska?