One of the most common questions people have when traveling to Alaska is what will the weather be like? Then that is quickly followed by, “so what should I pack?” Being prepared will make your trip to Alaska a more enjoyable experience.
The weather in Alaska is notoriously hard to predict. The last few springs have been really dry, but that might not predict what the summer will be like. And the size of Alaska does cause the weather to be quite variable from region to region. From mid to late May is usually a great time to visit the state. The weather is beginning to warm and the foliage is coming out. June is the driest month with the longest days of sunlight, and July is the peak season because it is the warmest month of the year. By August there tends to be a little more rain, but it’s still warm and there are generally less mosquitoes to contend with. September is when the days definitely start cooling off, but there are some lovely fall colors to see on your trip.
Anchorage, Seward and Homer are coastal areas that are kept cooler by the ocean waters. High temps in this average:
The interior of the state (Denali National Park and Fairbanks) are farther from the chilly ocean waters so are generally quite warm. Sunny summer days in this region can see temps ranging from the high 70s to the low 80s. But if there are cloudy skies, you could see 50s.
This brings us to the second question about what to pack for your Alaskan adventure. It’s important to be prepared for different activities in different conditions. Layers are the key. Start in the cool mornings with a base layer tee, followed by a fleece or sweater (not cotton as once it is wet it is no longer warm), and waterproof jacket. Then as the day starts to warm, you can reduce layers. A light pair of gloves is a great addition to your packing list for the mornings.
Footwear is the next most important element of your wardrobe. We Alaskans are quite casual, and sneakers are acceptable in almost any situation. If you plan to do more active or technical hikes, have an additional pair of light hiking boots available. Waterproof is always great, just make sure whatever you choose is comfortable for walking.
Remember that you have plenty of room in your ABC Motorhome rental to stow those layers and extra shoes. Having a couple of extra things is better than being caught without the proper attire. We hope to see you for your next big adventure!