7 Reasons to Visit Alaska in Fall

7 Reasons to Visit Alaska in Fall (or Spring)

The most popular seasons to visit Alaska are summer and winter, but the offseason has plenty to offer too. If Alaska’s on your bucket list but you’re not sure what season to book, here are some great reasons to plan your trip for fall! 

*For all the same reasons listed here, spring would be a great time to visit Alaska, too!

1. Extended Sunrise and Sunset

Unlike summer and winter, the shoulder seasons of fall and spring provide a distinct day and night in Alaska. And during the daylight hours in fall, the sun never strays far from the horizon — thanks to the state’s far north coordinates.

Before the sun rises very high in the sky, it begins to set. In this light, landscapes and people both look more beautiful. It’s a photographer’s dream!

Sunrise for HOURS. It's 11am in Alaska, and the sun is still low in the sky! #NTSroadtrip2015 #alaska

A photo posted by Diana Southern + Ian Norman 👫 (@northtosouthtravel) on

2. Avoid the Tourist Crowds

Summer and winter are the most popular tourist seasons in Alaska. While the activities available to you will be a bit limited, visiting in the “offseason” means you don’t have to deal with large crowds.

Read Things to Do Year-Round in and Around Anchorage for some fall activity ideas we enjoyed on our trip!

3. Save Money

Since fall and spring are less popular times to visit Alaska, plane tickets and accommodations tend to be cheaper. Search for accommodations on Airbnb (get $35 off your first booking) to live like an Anchorage local.

4. The Northern Lights

Witness the Aurora Borealis in action when it’s not so freezing cold. While temperatures are still quite chilly in fall and spring, they won’t dive far below freezing like they do in winter. Summer is the worst time to visit Alaska if you hope to see the Northern Lights since the sun will still be out almost the entire night.

5. Sleep In!

The endless sun of summer requires black-out shades and a sleep mask to fall asleep, and the droning dark of winter can easily throw a wrench in a traveler’s sleep schedule. With a more normal day and night time and a mild, dusk-like daytime, catching Zs is easy peasy in Alaska’s fall and spring.

6. Snow… but not TOO much

Visiting Anchorage in early to mid fall (or mid to late spring) has the best potential for offering snowfall without a horribly slippery road situation.

7. Easy Wildlife Sightings

Smaller tourist crowds and mild weather conditions make wildlife sightings easy in the shoulder season. We saw a mountain goat, porcupine, bald eagles, swans, and a family of moose just while driving around on our two-week trip.


Planning a trip to Anchorage, Alaska? Don’t miss our list of things to do in Anchorage!

Have you made it to Alaska on your travels? Which season did you visit? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author

Diana Southern
In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.

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