Winter in Alaska is a magical time. Imagine beautiful white snow blanketing the landscape, quiet dark nights with northern lights dancing overhead, a multitude of outdoor activities and attractions only available in winter, and cozy nights with a warm drink in front of the fireplace. As long as you dress properly for the weather, you can be comfortable and enjoy your time anywhere in the state, all winter long.
It helps to have a healthy dose of wonder: winter is an increasingly popular season in the Interior region of Alaska, where visitors flock to see the glorious northern lights dancing green, purple, and pink in the sky. Northern lights viewing season is late-August through April, when the nights are darkest. You can search for the northern lights yourself or join one of the guided day-trips or overnight packages in the Interior and Southcentral.
Winter is also dog mushing season in Alaska, with the world-famous 1,000-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race in March along with other races throughout the winter months. You can watch these impressive canine athletes at a race or hop on a sled yourself on a guided dog sled tour. Outdoor festivals are popular, with events like the Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage and the World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks.
Locals and visitors alike revel in the many outdoor recreation opportunities available in winter. Alaska is a paradise for all things winter recreation including downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, fat tire biking, and snowmobiling.
In many places in Alaska, winter also means great rates on everything from hotels to rental cars and tours. There are plenty of indoor attractions, too: although some attractions close up shop or limit their hours during the winter, locally-owned favorites almost always stay open year-round.