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Alaska: Best time of year May/June or Aug/Sept

Alaska: Best time of year May/June or Aug/Sept

Old Aug 21st, 2005, 02:30 PM
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Alaska: Best time of year May/June or Aug/Sept

My husband and I are planning a 4-6 week trip to Alaska either late spring (5/1-6/15) or late summer (8/1-9/15). Which would be better?
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 02:52 PM
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We were in Alaska in Aug/Sept and the weather was beautiful. I would wonder whether May might be a tad to early?
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 10:42 PM
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I like May/June better - longer daylight, typically less rain than Aug/Sept. But, of course, it also depends on WHERE in Alaska you want to go and what you want to do. I do think 5/1 may be TOO early; a lot of tourist lodging & activities aren't open yet. If you do May/June, I would suggest 5/15-6/30. (Of course, some stuff will start to close in Sept as well, but I think you are mostly safe until mid-Sept.)

But, regardless, investigate what you want to do and make sure those activities will be ramped up, and other than maybe 5/1 really being TOO early, I think you would in all likelihood have a great trip either time. (And, naturally, the weather *may* or *may not* be lovely when you arrive, regardless of the experience of me or any posters, of course!!!)
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:57 AM
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We went in late May a couple of years ago, and it was wonderful. I'd go as late in May as you can or early June.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:19 AM
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Our trip last year was June 16 to July 6. We had perfect weather (Alaska was having a drought and record high temperatures though). Wildflowers were beautiful and we saw mother moose with calves. I timed our trip so we could attend some events which included 4th of July in Kenai (big parade) and the Forest Fair in Girdwood. The salmon had started running. We've also been late July/early August when the fireweed was blooming and salmon were still running. (This year red salmon are making a surprise late run right now.) I think friends have said early May is a bit too early for great weather. If you can only go on those two time periods, I would choose August to early September.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 07:44 AM
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We have taken two week trips in late May-early June, and in late Aug-early Sept and both worked out nicely. Late Aug had more rain and sun, while late May had more overcast or hazy days with less rain and sun. Lots of wildlife both times. Depends on where you are going or what you plan to do, but both are good times. Summer rates for motels etc kick in mostly on June 1st-Aug 30th.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 11:10 AM
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I have heard there are black flies in some areas until late june--don't remember where
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 02:18 PM
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I'm touring in Alaska and the Yukon now and it has been very good from a weather standpoint. Mostly sunny or overcast days in the Seward/Anchorage/Talkeetna/Glenallen/
Tok areas. The only drawback in the more eastern areas was fairly heavy smoke from the northern forest fires. However, there were several hours of rain yesterday and today dawned bright and sunny with the rain having cleared the air of smoke.

Having said that, I prefer late May and June simply because, by this time of year, the fireweed is mostly out of bloom. To me, seeing broad fields filled with fireweed and other wild flowers in profusion is the icing on the cake that is Alaska.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 07:27 PM
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Assuming you want to tour southcentral Alaska, not a close call -- spring is much better. There is gorgeous weather in the spring. August on the other hand is usually rainy. We've been getting buckets and buckets this month. Although it is possible to have nice weather in the fall, the odds are less likely that you will have good weather then.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:59 PM
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Just returned from 2 week trip Aug4-18 and we had spectacular weather, no bugs, mostly sunny with the cloudy weather surprising us in Homer for the last 4 days of our trip. It only rained for a short period overnight, and was mostly overcast and foggy.
Driving back to Anchorage in the fog made leaving a little easier; I remember thinking how lucky we were to have so much sun. However, if you go high enough in the mountains (at least in Homer), you can get above the fog and it is a whole other world of sun! The fireweed was still out the entire time we were there, which in my opinion makes the entire place magical...fields and fields of it interspersed with the mountains and fir trees. After speaking to many people, I get the impression that Alaskan weather has changed drastically in the last few years and I just don't think you can count on what has happened in the past and base your trip on this.
Find out what your heart's desire is..fishing? hiking? touring? and base your travels on the best time for what you want to do.
We had daylight until 10:45 the first part of the trip and believe me, that was just fine with me...hard to sleep when the sun is shining! By the time we left, I think the sun was setting by 9:30 and I remember feeling...hey, what's with the sun going down so early!!!
You will have a wonderful time no matter when you go.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:14 AM
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Check out the Alaska's weather history. Here's a site: http://www.wunderground.com/NORMS/Di...=none&IATA=ANC

In recent years, Alaska's summers and winters have both been warmer, but the general principle that May and June have little rain and August and September have lots has not changed one iota. The real trick is not caring about the rain!

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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:07 PM
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Pam09: I live in Alaska and I think the best time to come is early June-mid July. The sunlight reaches up to 23 hours (in Fairbanks, where we are) - and there are not that many mosquitoes; although, bug spray is needed in order to enjoy those beautiful hikes or walks or any activities outdoors. Don't come too late in the summer (mid-August) as parts of the state start experiencing heavy smoke due to forest fires.

Bottom Line: my suggestion is to come 6/1-8/15. Hope that helps!
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