In the event you’ve began researching a visit to Alaska you’ve most likely come throughout a few of Alaska’s BIG superlatives: Alaska is residence to seventeen of North America’s tallest peaks (together with the tallest in North America, Denali), 30,000 sq. miles of glaciers (an space in regards to the dimension of Maine), 60% of the nation’s complete nationwide park lands (together with the biggest, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park), and a complete space greater than Texas, California, and Montana mixed. With all of this greatness, it’s straightforward to see why planning a visit to Alaska is excessive on many vacationers’ lists, and why planning a trip to the nation’s largest state can really feel a bit overwhelming. The excellent news is, irrespective of when or the place you go, you’re positive to have an unbelievable Alaska journey. Our insider’s suggestions will aid you get a head begin on planning your subsequent Alaska trip.

Views of Denali from Talkeetna
Massive views of Denali from Talkeetna, Picture Credit score: Journey Alaska, @TravelingNewlyweds

When to Go

Your first choice is when to go to Alaska. Whereas most guests come to Alaska in the course of the summer season season, from June – August, each season and month affords its personal distinctive experiences. Summer season is finest for the warmest temperatures, longest hours of daylight, finest wildlife viewing, and probably the most tours, activities, cruise options, and accommodations obtainable. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re seeking to get away from the crowds and discover higher offers, think about visiting in the course of the shoulder seasons in spring (April – Might) and fall (September – October). One other massive bonus for touring in fall: the possibility to witness Alaska’s unbelievable autumn colors.

Winter is one of the best time to go to Alaska for considered one of our prime pure phenomena: the northern lights, or aurora borealis. This unbelievable colourful show is viewable from late August via April. You’ll additionally discover an array of enjoyable winter outdoor recreation actions like skiing, dog sledding, snowmachining, and extra – plus a few of the finest festivals the state has to supply. 

Northing lights viewing in Fairbanks
Northern lights viewing in Fairbanks, Picture Credit score: Journey Alaska, Chris McLennan

How lengthy to go

Subsequent, resolve how lengthy you’ll be able to go. You can spend a lifetime exploring this nice state, however you’ll be able to plan a memorable and thrilling go to even if in case you have just some days. Most guests spend seven to 14 days in Alaska. A lot of this choice depends upon the place you need to go and the way you’re getting round.

Cruising is among the hottest methods to go to Alaska – particularly for first-time guests – with most cruises lasting seven to 10 days. When you have the time, we advocate including on a post-cruise land tour (usually a number of days by train or motorcoach) so you’ll be able to expertise the Inside Passage by sea and go on to discover the Southcentral and Interior areas by land. 

Cruising in Alaska

In the event you solely have a protracted weekend or just a few days, we advocate utilizing Anchorage, Fairbanks, or Juneau as your property base. These are the state’s largest cities and residential to our foremost airport hubs. You’ll discover loads of actions and lodging in these communities, together with numerous day-trip adventures obtainable within the surrounding areas.

For guests staying over per week and touring to multiple of Alaska’s five regions (which we extremely advocate), our largest piece of recommendation is to plan for sufficient journey time between locations. In the event you put the state of Alaska over a map of the Decrease 48 states, Alaska stretches east to west from Savannah, Georgia to Los Angeles, California, and north to south from North Dakota to the Texas panhandle. Which means – Alaska is a giant state! Touring between some communities can take a very good a part of the day (or extra) relying in your mode of transportation. Many communities should not alongside the road system or railbelt and are solely accessible by airplane or boat. Make sure that to account for journey distances and construct in additional time to cease and scent the Arctic roses alongside the way in which! In Alaska, the journey is really a part of the journey, and also you’ll have simply as a lot enjoyable and see a few of the most lovely sights whereas touring across the state as you do in your last locations.

A woman in a field of flowers in Haines
Take time to cease and scent the wildflowers, Picture Credit score: Journey Alaska

You can simply spend a whole trip in simply one of many state’s 5 areas: Interior, Southcentral, Inside Passage, Southwest, and Arctic. Nonetheless, if you wish to discover multiple area, plan to remain at the least per week. Don’t attempt to pack in too many locations when planning your journey. We advocate selecting your prime locations and planning at the least 2-3 days round every spot to offer you sufficient time to journey and benefit from the space. Study extra about our regions, communities, and national parks & public lands to start out planning your route – climate you are focused on visiting the highest sights or getting off-the-beaten-track. 

When to e book

Most guests e book their Alaska journey three to 6 months prematurely. The sooner you e book, the higher your probabilities to get your prime picks for accommodations, tours, and activities. Whereas it’s attainable to e book a last-minute journey to Alaska, we extremely advocate reserving early to make sure availability – particularly in the course of the summer season months and round fashionable festivals and occasions.

A lodge in Ketchikan
A lodge in Ketchikan, Picture Credit score: Journey Alaska

Searching for some extra planning assist?

Flightseeing trip in Wrangell St. Elias National Park
The journey is a part of the journey! Flightseeing in Wrangell-St. Elias Nationwide Park, Picture Credit score: Journey Alaska, Ben Prescott


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