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August 2011

Photo by TravelAlaska.com user
Submitted By: Frank Zink — Island on Lake Kulik

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ALASKA IN FOUR SEASONS
No mater what time of year you're planning a visit, an adventure awaits in Alaska. The Land of the Midnight Sun bustles with activity in summer months, but fall, winter and spring are all equally excellent seasons to experience the matchless draw of Alaska. Witness the spectacular and fleeting fall foliage in Denali National Park and Preserve, marvel at the rippling colors of the northern lights in the winter night sky, or time your trip to observe the migration of gray whales in the spring. Read on to learn more about unique travel opportunities in each of Alaska’s four seasons.


Fall

Alaska’s fall season is brief, but what it lacks in longevity it more than makes up for in beauty. Travelers looking to skip the summer crowds and take in some of Alaska’s most pristine wilderness should have Denali National Park and Preserve at the top of their list. National parks and forests throughout Alaska offer visitors an experience in autumn unlike any other, and Denali in particular boasts some of Alaska’s brightest and best foliage from August to September.


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Alaska in the fall
Winter

Alaska offers visitors a plethora of unique experiences during its snowy months, but one in particular stands out as winter’s most popular and sought-after attraction: the aurora borealis. The dancing lights of the aurora borealis (also known as the northern lights) are best seen from the darkened wintry sky, making Alaska a prime destination for travelers between October and March.


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Winter in Alaska
Spring

As the snow starts to melt, the reemergence of Alaska’s fauna makes spring one of the best times for wildlife viewing. As the season progresses many species intensify their migration north. This includes a stock of gray whales — the only large whales that can be regularly observed in sizeable numbers from Alaska’s shores. April and May are especially significant for gray whale sightings, when the marine mammals make their way more than 5,000 miles from Baja, Calif. to Alaska’s Bering Sea.


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Gray Whale
Summer

The 49th State, Great Land, Seward’s Folly and the Last Frontier — Alaska has its fair share of nicknames. Perhaps its most popular (and the best way to describe summer in Alaska) is the Land of the Midnight Sun. A common myth about Alaska is the entire state goes dark during winter months and stays endlessly bright during the summer. While that’s not quite the case, summer’s daylight hours from May through August can be extreme and provide an endless amount of recreational opportunities for visitors.


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Summer in Alaska
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