There’s so much to do in Alaska in the winter season! Winter in Alaska – generally October through March – is a terrific time to enjoy the Great Land’s great outdoors. Just dress for the weather, then head outside to try these top “must-do” Alaska winter experiences:

  1. Watch the northern lights. Ignite your imagination with one of the most amazing natural sights in Alaska: the northern lights (also known as the aurora borealis). While the northern lights are active year-round, the best time to see the glowing greens and reds is between late August and April, most typically in Alaska’s Interior and Arctic regions. Dress warmly and stay up late, sit in a natural hot spring and gaze skyward, take a specialty tour, or ask your hotel host for a wake-up call when the lights are shining brightly. This is one celestial light show you won’t want to miss.
  2. Soak in a natural hot spring. Ahh – soak it all in as you immerse yourself in the warmth of Alaska’s natural hot springs. Hot springs are found statewide, but some of the easiest to access are found in Interior Alaska. Head out on a daytime cross-country ski trip or dog sled adventure, then relax in 100°+ waters heated by the earth’s own geothermal energy. Steam the day – or night – away!
  3. Learn to mush on a dog sled adventure. Get ready to lead the pack. If you love dogs – or are looking for a completely memorable way to experience the great outdoors – sign up for a one-day or multi-day dog mushing class. Visit a working kennel, meet the excited pups, and let professional mushers help you learn the ropes – and harnesses – of dog mushing. Then, hop on the sled runners or ride in the sled’s basket and let the dogs take it from there. Ride off into the early winter sunset with your team on a spectacularly memorable dog sled excursion into Alaska’s last frontier.
  4. Ski (or snowboard) the slopes. Alaska’s mountains are calling, and we must ski! Downhill skiing and snowboarding take on a whole new panoramic view in Alaska. Stay at a modern ski resort to access chair lifts, beginner to double black diamond runs, and après- ski amenities – or hit the untouched backcountry powder on a telemark or heliskiing adventure. Looking for something a little slower paced? Strap on a pair of snowshoes or cross-county skis and make your way through snow-covered forests and open meadows, where the only thing you hear is the soft “shush” of your skis on new sparkling snow.
  5. Go flightseeing and land on a glacier. How about getting above it all while you get away from it all? The cool, clear days of winter are a great time to take an aerial tour of Alaska’s vast mountain landscapes, and a flightseeing trip – complete with glacier landing – is just the tip of the iceberg! Discover a breathtaking view of Alaska – from air and ice.
  6. Get festive. Break out the warm party hats! Alaskans love to get together during winter and you’ll find ample reason to join the fun at one of our winter festivals. See how chainsaw masters turn massive ice blocks into beautiful sculptured designs at the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, run with the reindeer through downtown Anchorage during the Fur Rendezvous winter festival, or worm your way through the streets of Cordova during the annual Iceworm Festival. From music to carnival rides, dog sledding and art, there’s always something to celebrate during Alaska’s winter season.
  7. Visit a museum. Have you ever seen a 36,000-year-old Alaska steppe bison, wondered how the 1,600-mile-long Alaska highway was built in only 8 months, or considered how clothing, fashion, and art have evolved over 10,000 years? Look no further than Alaska’s world-class museums! After you’ve enjoyed the great outdoors, take an afternoon – or a full day – to explore the range of Alaska’s art, history, and innovation in Alaska’s great indoor museums.
  8. Take a train ride. If you’re looking for more than a way to get from Point A to Point B, try taking the Alaska Railroad’s winter flagstop train service between Anchorage and Fairbanks. The Railroad’s flagstop service – one of the last of its kind in the country – allows passengers to get on and off the train anywhere along the route. So – while you may see day-trip passengers gazing out the windows for views of Denali and Alaska’s winter wonderland, you’ll also share your rail car with Alaska residents headed out to remote cabins or on a backcountry ski adventure. All aboard!

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