Alaska’s climate varies tremendously, with warm days in summer and sub-zero temperatures in winter. Alaska can experience 16 to 22 hours of daylight, and midnight sun in the north of the state.
In autumn (September to November) temperatures drop and foliage turns all shades of yellow, orange, and red. October to November is the best time to see polar bears, and you may still see grizzly and black bears, as well as whales through to October. Snow begins to fall from October/November.
Winter (December to February) brings cold weather with temperatures plummeting well below zero. Cities and towns are geared to challenge the cold surroundings, with many having covered walkways and indoor malls to protect from the elements. Snow falls most of the winter in many regions. There are only four to six hours of daylight in Alaska, and complete darkness in the northern parts of the state. The Northern Lights are best viewed in winter.
In spring (March to May) days get longer and temperatures slowly rise. Snow starts to melt away in March/April and wildflowers begin to bloom. The whale- and bear-watching season generally begins in May. The Northern Lights may be seen through to March in some parts.
Bear viewing: Seeing these powerful animals in the wild is an experience you’ll never forget. Grizzly bears can be found in Alaska. You’re bound to see other wildlife on your bear-watching adventures, so keep an eye out for elk, moose, caribou and wolverine. Wildlife spotting doesn’t get much wilder than this!
Outdoor Adventure: On the water, kayak among Alaska’s glaciers or raft down the rushing waters of the Athabasca River. Try zip lining, bungee jumping, and parasailing – there’s no shortage of adventure here!
Fjords, glaciers and icebergs: The glacial wonderlands of Alaska’s coastline are nothing short of spectacular. Sail around the coves and inlets of Kenai Fjords National Park to explore fjords, glaciers and marine wildlife. Kayak the protected icy waters or Prince William Sound or cruise through Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve to discover icebergs the size of small buildings. Be impressed as glaciers calve into the bay with a rumble and an almighty splash. Some glaciers, including Portage and Matanuska, may be accessed by foot on scenic trails.
Charming towns: Discover Juneau – accessible only by boat or plane, or the wildly remote Barrow, America’s northernmost town.
Alaska’s Arctic: Venture off the beaten path and uncover one of the most unpopulated regions in the world – Alaska's arctic. The Dalton highway traverses this vast and rugged region, crossing in to the Arctic Circle and travelling up to America’s richest oil field at Prudhoe Bay. Pass through the unspoilt wilderness of the Brooks Range, visit unique native villages and dip your toe in the Arctic Ocean. While the Northern Lights can be viewed in many places in Alaska, the arctic region offers some of the best viewing due to its long, dark, clear nights.
Heritage and Culture: There are many different places to experience the traditions, history and culture of Alaska and its people. Learn more at the Alaska Native Heritage Centre in Anchorage. From old gold mining towns like Dawson City to still-thriving Alaska native communities, you’ll uncover an interesting mix of cultures.
Spectacular journeys: Alaska’s iconic rail and cruise journeys give you an experience unlike any other, allowing you to discover otherwise inaccessible terrain. Traverse Southcentral and Interior Alaska with the Alaska Railroad for views of the Alaska Range, or for a true Alaska journey, embark on a cruise through the spectacular Inside Passage for ice formations and popular ports of Juneau and Ketchikan.
Natural wonders: An experience not to be missed is seeing the beautiful Northern Lights as they light up the night sky. Chase them in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Alaska, where the viewing is best from February to March.
Whale watching: The coastlines of Alaska offer some of the best places in the world to view the incredible whale. More than 30 species reside in or travel along the waters on both the east and west coasts. Humpback, minke, orca and blue whales can be found in the Pacific waters in the west, or the Atlantic Ocean.
Tours and Cruises: We have some fabulous days and extended touring and cruising options available to help you plan your dream holiday in Alaska. Travel through picturesque national parks, stopping at beautiful lakes charming towns along the way, or cruise the spectacular Alaskan coastline.
You’ll find a great range of extended touring options designed so you can explore your favorite cities and regions in more depth. Enjoy the independence of travelling on your own. Alternatively, see major highlights with a local guide and like-minded travellers on a fully escorted coach or small group tour.
Rail travel: Discover the best of Alaska when you travel by rail. Sit back and relax as you watch the ever-evolving landscape pass by. Take the Alaska railroad to places you’ve only dreamed of. Trains transverse Southcentral and Interior Alaska, taking you to port towns, quaint villages and Denali National Park and Preserve.
Lake Hood – Anchorage: A hive of activity, Lake Hood is the largest and busiest seaplane base in the world. A walk around the whole lake takes around two hours and gives ample time to watch seaplanes taxing, taking off, and flying overhead and landing.
Denali National Park – America’s Highest Peak: Amazing awe-inspiring Denali is the highest peak in North America. Its surrounding park is a wilderness that offers endless activities from hiking to flightseeing. The wildlife is excellent – see bears, wolves, Dall sheep, caribou and moose.
Arctic Circle – Northern Alaska: Crossing the imaginary line around the world takes you to a place of extremes. Here, the sun can shine for up to 24 hours in summer and not even rise in winter. Unique communities and the Northern Lights are Arctic highlights.
Kenai Fjords – Kenai Peninsula: Fjords, wildlife and icebergs as big as houses – this glacial wonderland is begging to be explored. Ice and snow cover 60 percent of this amazing place, while moss-covered rainforest provides the perfect contrast.
Prince William Sound – Southcentral Alaska: Located close to Anchorage, Prince William Sound is home to 150 glaciers and 200 islands. Cruise the sound to see amazing rivers of slowly moving ice and deeply carved fjords. Wildlife is also prolific including sea otters, harbour seals and whales.
Hubbard Glacier – The galloping glacier: One of the giants, Hubbard Glacier is tall and wide – over nine kilometres wide in fact. Be impressed by the sheer size and striking blue color of this massive natural wonder. Hubbard can be quite an active glacier, and opportunities to see it calving are common.
Glacier Bay National Park – UNESCO World Heritage site: Covering land and sea, Glacier Bay National Park offers amazingly wild scenery. Huge tidewater glaciers descend into a marine park where whales play and seals bask on chunks of floating ice. Margerie Glacier is perhaps the most impressive in the area.
Inside Passage – cruising wonderland: Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage is like no other. See incredible scenery of mountains, fjords, glaciers and rainforests and observe wildlife such as bald eagles and porpoises. Visit unique communities including the city of Juneau and the fishing town of Ketchikan.
Wildlife and unique experiences:
It’s hard to get more wildly different than Alaska! Imagine seeing brown bears snatching salmon from a stream or humpback whales doing acrobatics. One of the best ways to experience incredible wildlife is on an extended tour. Local, expert guides know the best places and the best times to view amazing wildlife, so sit back relax and have your camera at the ready!
Travel to the heart of Alaska, visit Denali National Park and Preserve, the Brooks Range and remote communities who call the Arctic Circle home. Alaska is also a great place to see the phenomenal spectacle of the Northern Lights, something not to be missed.
Anchorage encompasses wild adventures and awe-inspiring scenery for a once-in-a-lifetime Alaskan experience. Go fishing in Ship Creek or in winter go dog sledding, skiing and snowmobiling. Further afield you will discover the towering glaciers and abundant wildlife of Kenai Fjords National Park and Prince William Sound.
See and Do:
The hub of interior Alaska, Fairbanks is known for its long summer days, dog mushing and Northern Lights in winter. A two hour drive brings you to Denali National Park and six million acres of prime hiking and wildlife viewing territory. Seaward, Skagway and Juneau are ports for many cruises to Alaska’s glacial wonderlands.
See and Do: