Summer in Alaska
It’s summer in Alaska, and the forecast ranges from the mid-30s Fahrenheit along the Arctic coast to a sunny 85 degrees in Interior Alaska and 60 degrees with light rain along the southern coastline. In other words – anything can happen, weather-wise, and it probably will, leaving visitors with a puzzling packing challenge – what to bring and what to expect during an Alaska vacation.
The first thing seasoned Alaska travel experts will tell you is to “dress like an onion.” That means layers, and lots of them, so you can strip or add as needed based on rapidly changing conditions. A few layers you can’t live without include a raincoat/windbreaker, a cuddly fleece layer or sweatshirt, short- and long-sleeved tee shirts, slacks or jeans and comfortable hiking boots or tennis shoes. No matter where you go, the dress code is decisively casual, and there’s almost nowhere in Alaska that you can’t show up in a pair of jeans and still fit right in with the rest of the crowd. When out for day-long tours or outdoor excursions, it’s helpful to bring a small daypack to carry a water bottle, hat or sunglasses while leaving room to stuff in a jacket or outer layer if things warm up. Pack with versatility in mind and take comfort in the fact that anything you forget can be purchased in most communities, including top-quality outdoor gear and accessories.
Conditions can vary widely by region, although certain items will serve you no matter where you go. Read on for a region-by-region breakdown.
Tips from an Alaskan
DeeDee Jonrowe is one of Alaska’s most well known dog mushers, a sport she picked up after a work trip brought her to Bethel. There, Jonrowe found Yup’ik residents living a traditional lifestyle, which included raising and running sled dogs. The cultural traditions and simple pace of life in Bethel inspired Jonrowe to live there for 15 years, where she became a formidable competitor in the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and many other mid-distance dog mushing races held annually throughout Alaska.
Read more about what DeeDee loves about Bethel.
Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak
Experience Southcentral and Southwest Alaska by land and sea in this five-day driving and ferry-based itinerary.
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