Alaska Weather Forecast
On the northwest extremity of North AmericaWhen is the best time to visit Alaska?
The best time to visit Alaska would depend on what you want to see. The Northern Lights can only be viewed during late fall and early spring months and the Midnight Sun can only be seen during the summer especially June 21st.How far is Anchorage from Denali, Fairbanks from Denali?
Anchorage is 237 miles from Denali and Denali is 121 miles from Fairbanks, this is the distance on the George Parks Highway.When is the best whale watching?
Whale watching is the best during the middle of May through the middle of September.When are the insects the worst?
Insects are worse during the summer months, most peak in June and are here until the first freeze.What are the best sites in Alaska?
Top 10 major attractions:
- Inside Passage;
- Native Arts & Culture;
- Wildlife viewing;
- Historic mining towns;
- Transalaska pipeline;
- Russian heritage;
- National parks and monuments.
This depends on the type of wildlife you would like to view. Moose, bear, mountain sheep, and caribou are among the most frequently seen mammals, along with the occasional coyote or wolf, Dall sheep, beaver, otter, mink, or hare. Birdwatchers will delight in the eagles and many kinds of hawks, jays, owls, spruce hens, grouse, and ptarmigan, as well as the migratory waterfowl that come north to nest each summer.
Travel to view glaciers is part of enjoying the Alaska experience. Many are easily accessible by bus, car or foot, such as the Mendenhall, Matanuska, Worthington, or Portage glaciers; from boats along the Inside Passage in Glacier Bay, Tracy Arm or at the Columbia Glacier; or by air over ice masses like Sargent Icefield, the St. Elias Mountains, Harding Icefield and the Alaska Range.
Cruising the Southeast portion of Alaska (the Inside Passage) by either state ferry or cruise ship, continues to rank as one of the more popular things to do in Alaska.
It’s a trip through blue-green waterways and forested islands that boasts magnificent scenery (see "glaciers" above), picturesque communities and abundant wildlife.
Throughout the state there are attractions, cultural centers and museums, such as the NANA Museum in Kotzebue, the Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan and the World Eskimo Olympics, which is held annually in Fairbanks.
A trip to Alaska would not be complete without the opportunity to see nature in the wild. Moose, bear, mountain goat and caribou are among the most frequently seen mammals, along with the occasional coyote or wolf, Dall sheep, beaver, otter, mink or hare.
Bird-watchers will delight in the eagles and many kinds of hawks, jays, owls, spruce hens, grouse and ptarmigan (the state bird), as well as the migratory waterfowl that come north to nest each summer.
There is a tremendous abundance and diverse population of marine mammals found along Alaska’s 47,000 miles of coastline. Most of these species can be found year-around, some however are migratory. Dolphin, Pacific walrus, porpoise, sea otter, eight varieties of seal, seal lions and of course, whales (18 species).
In addition to beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife, another major draw to Alaska is its history --- one rich with stories of gold strikes and rushes. Today these historic mining towns and areas such as Skagway, Nome and Kennicott continue to attract visitors interested in learning more and, in some ways, reliving Alaska’s glamorous past.
Although most every town and city in Alaska has some type of museum, the three perennial favorites are found in Alaska’s largest cities: The University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks with its extensive collection of pioneer relics, Native artifacts, and notable displays of wildlife (Blue Babe, a preserved 36,000 year-old bison, is a star attraction); Anchorage’s Museum of Art and History which houses many rare artifacts of Native life, arts & crafts, and permanent and revolving fine arts collections; and the Alaska State Museum in Juneau with a collection that highlights the incredible diversity of the state --- Native art and artifacts, gold rush memorabilia, Russian relics and wildlife displays.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (see address under Agency Resources) provides free pamphlets on sportfishing and hunting seasons, bag limits licenses and tag fees, and tips on the best angling areas.General Overview of Wildlife Watching
Coastal waters offer excellent opportunities to see marine life such as whales, porpoise, seals, sea lions, walrus and seabirds. Private coastal tours are concentrated in Southeast communities of the Inside Passage and Southcentral’s Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula. Southwest, however, is world-famous for its walrus and seabird populations.
Inland wildlife includes bears, moose, wolf, beaver, caribou, Dall sheep, fox and many bird and waterfowl species found in various regions throughout the state.
The Inside Passage is a prime location for seeing whale, seals and sea lions, black and brown bear, Mountain goats and deer. It also has the world’s largest concentration of American Bald Eagles. These magnificent birds are abundant throughout the region all year but are especially concentrated in the northern part near Haines from October to January.
In addition to its abundant marine life, Southcentral is a good region in which to spot Dall sheep, moose, bear and migratory birds.
Southwest is home to the world’s largest carnivore, the Kodiak brown bear. Grizzly bear viewing is unsurpassed in July and August. Streams in this area are choked with silver, red and king salmon plus huge trout in season (making it an international fishing destination).
The Interior is alive with caribou, brown bear, Dall sheep, moose, fox and other tundra dwellers, most easily seen during summer months.
The North Slope of Alaska (Far North region) is considered one of the largest waterfowl nesting areas on earth. Tundra swans and loons are best spotted May-August. This is also the best region to see massive caribou herds. If you’re extremely lucky (assuming you’re a safe distance away), you may spot a polar bear on the ice pack off the northern coast.
In Nome, moose, reindeer, bear, and musk oxen are frequently seen from the 300+ mile road system.Whale Watching
Several different species inhabit or migrate through Alaskan waters. Killer whales and bowheads migrate through Prince William Sound each spring. Humpbacks can be spotted in the western portion of Prince William Sound mid-May through September. Bowheads also come close to shore around Barrow and Deadhorse in April or May. Beluga whales may be seen in the Port of Anchorage and in the Turnagain Arm, midsummer through November. Humpback and Killer whales may be seen throughout the Inside Passage during most of the year. Boat tours offer the best chances to spot them and the closest viewing opportunities.
Alaska is a Unique Destination
Alaska has it all! The diversity you find here is what makes us so unique. We have minor league ball teams, glaciers, day cruises, flightseeing, unique dining experiences, and a host of other interesting things to see and do. Check out the list below and get all the information you'll need to enjoy it all!