Just in case it wasn’t already obvious, the worst time to visit Alaska is a period we probably all know already. But for the sake of clarity, allow me to dive deeper.
About visiting Alaska
For those who have never physically touched based in Alaska, what comes to mind when you hear the name of this state? For me, it’s synonymous with the North Pole.
I imagine freezing cold weather with temperatures below -1 degrees. I imagine ice caps and ice sheets covering vast land areas. While this is true for the most part, it’s not entirely the case – at least not all year round.
Alaska is the largest state in the United States, known for its majestic mountains, stunning glaciers, abundant wildlife, and the Northern Lights, which are a dazzling natural light display in the sky.
Things to do in Alaska
If you ever find yourself in Alaska and you’re looking for things to do to catch fun, look no further because Viator got you:
Why Tourists visit Alaska
There are several key reasons why this state draws thousands of Tourists yearly from different countries worldwide:
#1. For the Natural Beauty: Alaska is renowned for its stunning landscapes, including majestic mountains, vast glaciers, serene fjords, and pristine wilderness. Visitors come to witness these breathtaking sights and experience the raw beauty of nature.
#2. For the Wildlife Watching: Alaska boasts a diverse range of wildlife, including bears, moose, eagles, whales (I hate Whales), and more. Tourists come to observe and photograph these animals in their natural habitats, often through organized wildlife tours.
#3. For Adventure Activities: The state offers a plethora of outdoor adventures, such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, dog sledding, and exploring national parks. It’s an ideal destination for those seeking adrenaline-pumping activities and a close connection with nature.
Also, Alaska’s coastline offers some of the world’s most scenic cruise routes. Tourists often embark on cruises to explore the Inside Passage, glaciers, and coastal towns.
#4. To see the Northern Lights: Alaska is one of the best places on Earth to witness the magical Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Many travelers visit during the winter months to catch a glimpse of this stunning natural light show.
#5. To Escape from Urban Life: Many visitors seek solace and tranquility in the vast wilderness, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Some tourists come to Alaska for the adventure of experiencing a rugged and challenging environment, testing their survival skills and resilience, just like our Omu Adrenaline Escape Tour.
Worst time to visit Alaska
Like we mentioned earlier, the worst time to go to Alaska is quite obvious to all. But for the sake of the general public, we’ll spell it out:
#1. The worst time to visit Alaska is during Winter
Especially if you have never experienced Winter before, you CANNOT visit Alaska during this time of the year – it could be a death sentence.
Winter in Alaska can be extremely cold, with temperatures dropping well below freezing. Daylight hours are limited, and many tourist attractions and activities might be unavailable or restricted due to weather conditions.
#2. During Rainy Season (Late August to September)
Late summer and early fall can be the rainiest time in Alaska. While it may still be a beautiful time to visit, frequent rainfall might limit some outdoor activities and affect visibility for wildlife watching and sightseeing.
#3. Crowded Tourist Season (June to August)
While summer is the most popular time to visit Alaska due to milder weather and extended daylight, it also means larger crowds and higher prices. Popular tourist spots and accommodations can get booked quickly during this time. Also, imagine what traffic and queues would be like?
#4. Bug Season (June to July)
During the warmer months, especially in June and July, Alaska experiences a mosquito and insect population boom. The bugs can be quite bothersome in some areas, affecting outdoor experiences. In Nigeria, we have sufficient experience in this department for it to be a serious problem.
However, if you don’t mind wearing covered up clothing everywhere and probably rubbing anti mosquito lotions, you should be fine.
When visiting Alaska during worst times of the year
When visiting Alaska during the worst times, such as in the winter or during the rainy season, there are several things you should avoid doing for safety reasons. To be forewarned is to be forearmed, they say.
#1. Don’t underestimate the Weather: During the winter months, temperatures can plummet to extremely cold levels. Even if you have experience with Winter season, avoid underestimating the weather conditions and dress appropriately in layers to stay warm. Be prepared for snow and icy conditions on roads and walking paths.
#2. Don’t Overlook Safety Precautions: Winter in Alaska can bring hazardous conditions, such as icy roads and low visibility. Take safety precautions while driving and allow extra time for travel. If you plan on outdoor activities, ensure you have the necessary gear and knowledge to do so safely.
#3. Don’t Ignore Wildlife Safety: While some wildlife may be less active during the colder months, it’s still essential to be aware of potential encounters. Keep a safe distance from animals and never approach them for pictures or any reason.
#4. Don’t Neglect Accommodation Reservations: If you’re visiting during the busy summer tourist season, make sure to book accommodations well in advance. Ignoring this might leave you with limited options or high prices. Worse, it may leave you with accommodation that’s cheap but poorly heated against the unforgiving Alaska cold.
#5. Overpacking for Rainy Season: If you’re visiting during the rainy season, avoid overpacking unnecessarily fancy clothing. Instead, focus on waterproof and weather-resistant clothing to stay dry.
#6. Ignoring Insect Repellent: During the bug season, insects like Mosquitoes can be bothersome. Don’t forget to pack insect repellent and protective clothing to avoid being eaten.
#7. Disregarding Local Advice: Listen to local advice and recommendations, especially from tour guides or park rangers. They are familiar with the area and can provide valuable insights on how to make the most of your visit during challenging times.
Conclusion on the worst time to visit Alaska for Tourists
Ultimately, the best time to visit Alaska largely depends on your interests and tolerance for weather conditions.
Some travelers prefer the vibrant summer months with longer days and numerous outdoor activities, while others might seek a quieter and more unique experience.
Nevertheless, by being prepared and taking necessary safety precautions, you can still have a memorable and enjoyable visit to Alaska even during the worst times.