Home Travel Guides Worst Time to Visit Alaska: When is BEST & Cheapest Time to Go?

Worst Time to Visit Alaska: When is BEST & Cheapest Time to Go?

by Ethan
Worst Time to Visit Alaska: When is BEST & Cheapest Time to Go?

When you’re planning a trip to Alaska, you’ve got to think hard about the best – and not-so-great – times to go. Alaska’s a place famous for its wild beauty and endless wilderness, but there are some months that can be pretty tough for visitors. Knowing when you might want to stay away can help you have the best time during your trip to Alaska.

Worst Time to Visit Alaska: Weather Considerations

The big reason that some times are the worst to go to Alaska is the super cold winter weather. From November to March, it’s really cold, which can turn off even the most excited adventurers. During these months, it can get so cold that being outside isn’t just less fun, it could be risky!

  • Extreme Cold Temperatures: Average lows can dive down to -30°F to -50°F in some spots
  • Restricted Accessibility: Snow and ice make it hard to get around
  • Limited Services: A bunch of places tourists like to go might shut down or cut their hours

Worst Time to Visit Alaska: Limited Daylight

Alaska is way up north, so winter means we get really short days or even no daylight for a while. Places like Barrow/Utqiaġvik can be dark for weeks on end. This means there’s not much time for checking out the sights and it can make you feel kind of low and tired.

  • Shortest Days: You might get just 2-3 hours of light a day in some areas
  • Psychological Impact: A lot of darkness can give you a case of the winter blues

Worst Time to Visit Alaska: Sparse Wildlife Encounters

Seeing animals is a big deal in Alaska, but winter’s not the best for spotting wildlife. Lots of creatures sleep through the cold or fly off somewhere warmer, which means you might not see much. January and February are especially quiet for wildlife.

  • Bears: They’re likely snoozing from late fall until spring
  • Birds: A lot fly south to skip the cold season
  • Marine Wildlife: Whales and other ocean animals might swim off to where it’s warm

Worst Time to Visit Alaska: Travel Disruptions

The weather in Alaska can really surprise you, especially in winter. Big storms can make flights late or stop them completely and can make roads unpassable. If you go during these months, be ready for your plans to get messed up.

  • Snowstorms: They can stop you from getting where you need to go and leave you stuck
  • Road Closures: Roads can get blocked because they’re too dangerous
  • Flight Cancellations: It’s not unusual to have your flight called off, messing with your schedule

Worst Time to Visit Alaska: Navigating Seasonal Closures

When winter comes around, lots of tourist spots and services start to close up. Hotels, places to eat, and shops all might close, which means it can be a real challenge to find good spots to stay and grab a bite.

  • Denali National Park: Harder to see because roads in the park might be closed
  • Tour Operators: They might stop running tours, so there’s less to do

Worst Time to Visit Alaska: Making the Most of Winter

Even with the tough winter months, there’s still cool stuff to do. The Northern Lights, for instance, are awesome when it’s really dark, and winter sports like skiing and dog sledding can be a blast. Plus, soaking in Alaska’s hot springs feels extra good when it’s really chilly out.

  • Viewing the Aurora Borealis: The sky is super clear in the cold winter, so it’s a great time to see this
  • Winter Sports Enthusiasts: You can try all sorts of fun stuff like climbing on ice or tromping around in snowshoes

Alternative Times to Visit Alaska

If you want to skip the winter challenges, try going between May and September. It’s warmer then, and there are more animals around, making it nicer for lots of travelers.

  • Warmer Temperatures: It’s nicer for exploring outside
  • Wildlife Encounters: You’ve got a better chance of seeing bears, moose, and eagles

Alaska Outside of Winter: Peak Travel Season

Summer, especially June through August, is the high season in Alaska for a good reason. The state stays light almost all day and night, so you can go on adventures for longer and there’s tons to do that shows off how lively and fun Alaska can be.

  • Extended Daylight: You could have 24 hours of light up north
  • Abundant Wildlife: Your best bet for animal watching is in the summer

Explore More: Alaska’s Year-Round Appeal

Even with its tough spots, Alaska’s always got something special all year long. If you want more tips and ideas about where to go, look up articles that talk about everything from the city fun in Anchorage to the quiet peace of the Kenai Peninsula.

FAQ #1: What’s the coldest month in Alaska, and how could it change my travel plans?

January’s usually the coldest month in Alaska. If you go then, be ready for super cold weather, not much daylight, maybe some mixed-up travel plans, and not seeing as many animals. Make sure to dress warm, plan for the unexpected, and be flexible.

FAQ #2: Can I still have fun outside during the worst time to visit Alaska?

Yep, even though winter might not be great for some things, it’s perfect for others. You can check out auroras, enjoy winter sports, and hang out at hot springs, which can all be super enjoyable when it’s cold in Alaska.

FAQ #3: Are there any perks to visiting Alaska when it’s not the main season?

Going to Alaska when fewer people do can be nice because there are less crowds, you might save some money, and you can experience the silent, snowy scenery. Also, because the nights are longer, you’ll probably get a better look at the Northern Lights.

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More