Official State of Alaska Vacation and Travel Information
Chugach National Forest
by: Michael DeYoung
by: Frank Flavin
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.
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.
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.
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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