Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Alaska
You can fly, drive or take a boat!
•• Most people fly to or from Alaska. In late June and July flights can be crowded so you'll have to make reservations in advance.
•• Driving from the midwest normally takes five days or so. There are several routes you can take and you'll need a passport and no criminal record to cross through Canada.
•• There are lots of cruise ships and the Alaska State Ferry if you want to see the coastal towns of Southeast Alaska. Most cruise ships going to the Southeast towns generally go round-trip. Some go all the way to Whittier and Seward, where you can then travel to roadside towns. The Alaska State Ferry System starts in Bellingham, Washington and can take you and your vehicle to Haines or even Seward.
January & February: If you'd like to see some sub-zero weather, starry skies and good Northern Lights, Alaska's nights are nice and long in midwinter. Fairbanks has the Yukon Quest sled dog race and ice sculpture contests. The Fur Rondy starts in Anchorage the last week of February.
March & April: If you'd like to see the Iditarod, you have to be in Anchorage on the first Saturday of March. You can see the end of the race in Nome 8 days later. Spring sports, like skiing and snow machine touring, peak in the long spring days. Bring sun screen!
May and June: Bird festivals are held along the coast to herald the arrival of millions of migratory birds. Fishing excitement builds as streams and lakes turn liquid, salmon return and hungry lake trout and grayling start feeding.
July! Lots of travelers come north during the warmest month of the year, when salmon and halibut fishing is at its peak. You can go on great adventures in July. These include salmon fishing, glacier walking, mountain hikes, rafting and canoe trips, cruising the Inside Passage, bear viewing, or bathing in the Arctic Ocean!
August is a favorite month for many Alaskans. There are few mosquitos, great berry picking and the alpine tundra turns red and yellow.
September: You can pick the last of the berries. Low bush cranberries (lingonberries) and crowberries are at their peak. Photographing waterfowl is at its best too, as lakes fill with flocks of thousands of ducks and swans that are feeding up before their long cross country journey.
October: October is a prime month for Alaska steelhead and giant rainbow trout fishing. Book with a guide on the Kenai Peninsula.
November & December: This is the time of year for concerts, fiddling contests and Christmas bazaars. Sure the days are short – but the hearths are warm. And there is not a mosquito to be found!
You bet! Pick places you want to go and things you want to do and you'll find Alaska very easy for independent travelers. Just allow yourself enough time.
Traveling in Alaska is easier than traveling in many countries. We drive on the right side of the road; we use the U.S. dollar; AT&T and Verizon work just fine and you can plug your charger right into the wall.
Yes. Plan to spend at least two or more nights everywhere you stop. That way you aren't always packing and unpacking and you'll get to know the country, meet Alaskans and have time to have better and more fulfilling adventures.