Visiting Alaska is always a rewarding experience.

The northernmost of the 50 U.S. states, Alaska sits atop Canada as a sort of lone wolf territory. This practically arctic destination has served as a place of mystery and unknown adventure from the very beginning. Many explorers have tried their hand at conquering the infamous Alaskan wilderness, some to their demise. The frigid north is no friend to the ill-equipped. All intimidating outdoor stories aside, Alaska remains an exciting place to visit even today. Of course, you do not have to be bent on conquering Mount Denali or camping out in the snowy Alaskan tundra to enjoy a trip here. For those wanting a taste of the beauty of this state, you first need to know the best time to visit Alaska.

When you think of Alaska, a number of things come to mind. Perhaps you are a fan of Jack London’s fictional tales of this great white northern state. Or maybe fishing is an avid passion of yours and Alaska is that dream destination. If you would like to see the Northern Lights, keep in mind that this is quite feasible in Alaska, especially during the winter season. There are also plenty of cruise companies that offer an excellent Alaskan maritime experience. Regardless of your reasoning, Alaska has something for everyone to enjoy. It certainly also has the space to accommodate, at a whopping 663,300 square miles (You probably should ask for directions while here). However, before you book those flights and order 17 more winter coats, carefully plan the best time to visit Alaska. Check out some important things to remember when dreaming up that ultimate trip to Alaska.

Keep these things in mind as you plan the best time to visit Alaska.

The cheapest time to visit Alaska

best time to visit Alaska - Cheapest time

When organizing a trip, most people want to figure out the most financially efficient means of doing so. As you might imagine, the highest travel prices of any destination often occur during the peak tourism seasons. While you plan the best time to visit Alaska, it is helpful to know just when you should go. Of course, there is always a reason people travel when they do. Alaskan summers are quite beautiful and offer the most daylight out of the year. Consequently, with the summer season comes the highest travel prices. The window of opportunity is small for Alaskan tourism, so companies put forth a majority of their efforts during the summer months. These 90 days mean that you are going to be paying the most for your trip, with July the most expensive time to visit Alaska.

If you still want to visit Alaska during the summer months, you will find the cheapest prices during May and September. As they fall at the beginning and the end of the summer travel season, prices are not nearly as steep.

The best time to take an Alaskan cruise

Maybe you would rather not practice Bear Gryllis’ outdoor survivor lifestyle or spend your days trying to catch the biggest fish on an icy lake. If so, then perhaps an Alaskan cruise is more your speed. Cruises are a highly popular means of exploring all that Alaska has to offer. A few of the top Alaskan cruise companies include Celebrity Solstice, Radiance of the Seas, and Ruby Princess. With these travel options, you have the chance to explore Alaska from the sea. Enjoy sailing through the beautiful Glacier Bay National Park when you take a cruise. Many cruise itineraries depart from Seattle, Washington, and make stops in cities like Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway along the way.

The best time to visit Alaska on a cruise? Alaskan cruises run full force throughout the entirety of the summer season. You can easily plan a trip during these months. Taking a cruise in May is an excellent way to avoid the summer crowds, as well as pay significantly less for your travel costs. June and July also have travel perks, with these months offering the most daylight. Additionally, Alaska’s temperatures are most ideal for a cruise during this time of the year.

The best season to visit Alaska

best time to visit Alaska - best season

If you know anything about Alaska, it is probably that the climate here is quite extreme. The state experiences unpredictable fluctuation in temperature on a regular basis and the winters here are extraordinarily harsh. Summer is the annually hailed season of celebration for Alaska. The never-ending sunlight and particularly warm temperatures breath life back into the frigid state. During this time, the sun lingers in the sky for as long as 20 hours some days. These temperate conditions lie as a stark contrast to the ice and snow throughout the majority of the year. As far as seasons go when planning the best time to visit Alaska, it depends on what you want to do here.

If you are looking to partake in outdoor warm weather activities, then your best option is to visit Alaska during its “shoulder months.” May and September serve as bookends to the summer season, and because of this are a lot more affordable for travel. Visiting Alaska in the summer also means you have a chance of catching a glimpse of a humpback whale. The humpbacks are most visible during the summertime, and grey whales tend to surface in the spring.

Of course, Alaska means cold weather to most people, and that is what they enjoy it for. Just because the temperatures drop extremely and daylight is limited does not mean you have to avoid visiting here. In fact, most authentically Alaskan activities occur in the winter season. October is when Alaska begins to get very cold, as snow and ice begin to arrive. October and November mark when winter actually begins, but winter activities do not get into full swing until around December.

For those who are wondering what exactly there is to do in Alaska in the winter, rest assured that you will stay busy. As a matter of fact, most travelers intend to visit during this time of year because of this. Sled dog and snowmobile racing are both excellent activities for the snowy tundra. The vast array of winter festivals and activities ensure that everyone has fun during the chilly temperatures. Winter is also prime time to view the Northern Lights, as the daylight hours are extremely limited. Enjoy skiing and snowboarding as well, as you venture to Alaska’s top ski resorts.

The best time to visit Alaska? It is up to you.

As you likely noticed, there are many factors that go into planning the perfect trip. Everyone’s travel style is different, and because of this, everybody has varying travel priorities. Maybe you want to take a luxury cruise during your time in Alaska. Or are your travel resources limiting your funds to a shoestring budget as you road trip through Alaska? Whether you want to spend your days in a four-season tent amidst a snowdrift or cozy up in the quaint Alaskan town of Anchorage, the best time to visit Alaska is truly up to you. So where do you go from here? Well, Alaska, of course. First begin by deciding what direction you want to take your trip, and then plan your dates accordingly.

Related Article: The Best Time To Visit Costa Rica: Learn How To Plan Your Perfect Vacation

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Faith is a writer and social media manager residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is passionate about people and currently attends university in pursuit of a degree in Clinical Psychology and Counseling. A nomad by nature, Faith finds utmost joy in trekking around the globe and strongly advocates backpacking as the best way to explore anywhere. Being a bookworm and an avid coffee drinker, she is likely to be found sipping an Americano and mulling over a classic novel.

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