June in Alaska
The locals say that June is the best month to visit Alaska. Everything you need to know about the weather this month, including wind speed, daylight hours, crowds, and activities, is included.
The month of June is ideal for most Alaskan adventures. Temperatures in this month average around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), making it a more agreeable time to travel than in the winter or early spring. Visitors can see a wide variety of plants and animals.
The trees should have finished leafing out by June, making for some great photo opportunities.
The author of this guide is a lifelong Alaska resident.
June's drier weather provides added advantages over the wetter months of July and August. Travelers during this time will experience mostly pleasant weather, making for a wide range of outdoor activities.
Daytime highs in June in interior and coastal Alaska average between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 and 21 degrees Celsius). Between 19 and 22 hours of daylight and a 20-23% chance of precipitation characterize this dry month. Typically, the snow will have melted.
Extremely long hours of daylight can cause temperatures of 80°F to 90°F (27°C to 32°C) in some regions. Basically, expect an unexpected 80-degree day. Insights about daylight and civil twilight in most of Alaska have been added to the article's conclusion.
Temperatures are affected not only by the sun's radiation but also by cloud cover and wind speed.Alaska's Foggy Fjords
June's typical highs are:
- Anchorage: 63°F (17°C)
- In Denali National Park, the temperature is a comfortable 65°F (18°C).
- 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) in Fairbanks.
- Katmai Park, Alaska: 60°F (15°C)
- Homer: 58°F (14°C)
- Juneau: 62°F (17°C)
- National Park of Seward and the Kenai Peninsula: 58 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
Since the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year) occurs on June 21, the beginning of the month is likely to be slightly cooler than the end of the month when reaching the Summer Solstice.
Keep in mind that neighboring regions can experience remarkably different temperatures. The weather can change dramatically in as little as 20 minutes. June weather is notoriously unpredictable. Be sure to check the local forecasts for the places you intend to visit, and pack accordingly.
Fairbanks, East Central Alaska, and areas above the Arctic Circle can get very hot in June due to long days (22-24 hours/day), while Anchorage in southern Alaska only receives about 19 hours of daylight during that time of year.
Keep in mind that Alaskan weather is notoriously unpredictable. Read our comprehensive guide to Alaska in July and August if you're planning a visit then.
June, along with July and August, is a busy travel month in Alaska because it is one of the warmest and driest months. In this month, precipitation is possible about 25% of the time, either in the form of brief showers or a steady downpour. As summer progresses, the percentage rises after June.
Except for the highest elevations, the snow has melted across most of Alaska this month. Most roads and trails won't have any snow on them.
Situations with WindSummertime on the Kenai Fjords coastline
In Alaska, the weather determines where the wind blows the most: near the coast or on islands like the Aleutians. Since the windiest months are typically September through April, June is typically a more tranquil time of year.
Feeling colder than the actual air temperature due to wind chill. June weather typically isn't terrible, but there are a few spots where strong winds are possible that we've highlighted below.
The Turnagain Pass is a dangerously windy area due to its high traffic. If you're taking the Seward Highway from Anchorage to Seward, you'll pass through this section. It's less windy in June than it is in the winter. However, you should be ready for some breezy times.
A great time to visit Turnagain Pass and see the massive impact glaciers have had on the landscape is in June. There is a pullout on the west side of the road where you can see the results of millennia-long ice age processes. The ice was over two thousand feet thick at the time. The most recent major glacial period did end about 10,000 years ago. Turnagain Pass | Seward Hwy., as seen from Google Maps
To the top of Turnagain:
- Between Anchorage and Seward, around mile 68, is where the Seward Highway is at its highest.
- Due to its elevation, this spot experiences high winds as early as June.
- Bring along windproof umbrellas and warm, windproof layers of clothing.
- Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, and other forms of kiteboarding are widely practiced here in the spring and summer.
- Situating between the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean in southern Alaska
- Treeless islands are especially susceptible to wind damage.
- In all of Alaska, the winds here are the strongest.
- Layered clothing and an umbrella that can withstand the wind are necessities here.
Essential Alaska Travel GuidesHere I am, perusing an Alaska itinerary planner from Milepost. More than 600 pages packed with useful advice and instructions
The MILEPOST Alaska Travel Planner (available on Amazon) is a must-have for any Alaska road trip, no matter how short.
"Must Haves for Your Vacation" For the better part of seven years, we used the Milepost Planner every time we drove in Alaska. A quick glance at the Milepost will put you on the right track in Alaska. If you don't get one before you leave, you'll have to buy one in Alaska. ’
The Moon Anchorage, Denali, and the Kenai Peninsula by Don Pitcher is the only other book we would recommend.
Dress Code | AttireNational Forest of Chugach in Seward
Dressing for the Alaskan June climate requires careful consideration of layers. Layering your clothing is crucial for your comfort and safety due to the varying weather conditions.
Quick Style Advice:
A lightweight waterproof jacket and waterproof pants are must-haves for a June trip to Alaska. Moreover, in chilly climates, it's important to dress in layers. Strip down on hot days.
A seasoned traveler puts it this way:
From June through August, I typically only bring a hoodie, long sleeve shirt, t-shirts, and a rain jacket due to the mild weather. Something to wear on the inside on chillier days ’
In June's warmer temperatures, a single layer of moisture-wicking clothing, like a nylon-spandex blend, is ideal for both the top and bottom. In warmer months, you can get away with wearing close-toed, durable sandals as well as water-resistant, traction-soled walking or hiking shoes.
When it comes to keeping warm and dry in June, a lightweight fleece jacket is a great addition.
In colder weather, it's best to dress in layers, starting with a moisture-wicking shirt and a pair of nylon-spandex bottoms next to your skin, followed by a wool sweater, a pair of waterproof/resistant pants, and a pair of merino wool socks (which are also moisture-wicking and provide a lot of warmth). Lastly, tourists can stay warm and dry on any adventure by donning a pair of insulated waterproof/resistant shoes or boots.
Our sartorial advice:
We recommend Baffin or BOGS boots (see what they cost on Amazon). They come in a variety of styles and work wonderfully in the cold climate of Alaska.
The outer (shell) layer can be a waterproof/resistant jacket or a fleece jacket with a hood. Depending on where you're going and how long you'll be gone in June, you may want to pack two lightweight jackets.
If the weather forecast calls for extremely low temperatures, you should bring a toboggan, scarf, and waterproof/resistant gloves regardless of whether or not your jacket has a hood.
Here are some of our recommendations for jackets on Amazon:
Should I wear a coat this winter? A heavy winter coat is unnecessary in June; a few thin layers under a light jacket will keep you warm enough. However, there are two scenarios in which visitors are advised to pack a warmer coat:
- As day-trippers on a glacier cruise (out of Seward, for instance) venture into chillier climes, There's a heated cabin, but the deck is open and exposed in the wind and cold when they're close to glaciers.
- Camping in June is a great time to use a winter coat.
Check out our comprehensive guides to Alaska cruise outfits and June in Alaska for more information on what to wear on your cruise.
- Shirts and pants/leggings made of nylon or spandex, worn as outerwear.
- Mid-Layer Sweaters made of Wool or Fleece
- Mid-layer long-sleeved t-shirt
- Outer layer pants that are waterproof and windproof
- Coat that can keep you dry and has a hood
- Gloves that resist water or moisture
- Wear warm, moisture-wicking socks, preferably made of Merino wool.
- Boots and shoes that are resistant to water
- A First Aid Kit for Travel
- Rain-Resistant Parasol
- Eye mask
- Mobile power source
- Put on some lip balm, Alaska has a dry climate.
- Moisturizer, shampoo, and hair treatment
- Tap water is safe to drink, so fill up your reusable water bottle.
- Spray for insects and a mosquito net if you plan on venturing above the Arctic Circle
- Binoculars (although some tours may include them).
- Vendors may only accept cash if they do not accept other forms of payment in your area.
If you're venturing into the mountains, bring hand and toe warmers.
The Aurora Borealis is less likely to be visible in Alaska during the month of June. Due to the extreme length of the days, summer is generally a bad time to go stargazing. Instead of going in June, consider going between August 15 and September 15 if you want to see the Northern Lights and participate in all the fun summer activities.
Since June kicks off the busiest travel month of the year, planning ahead is essential. This will hold your spot and allow you to cancel without penalty. It's possible to plan ahead by a year for many trips.
If you're having trouble locating a high-quality hotel in Anchorage at a fair price, we advise you to stay at the Aspen Suites Hotel Anchorage (booked through booking.com; feel free to bookmark this link to the hotel if you like). The hotel consistently exceeds our high standards for cleanliness, comfort, and value, and we love the central location.
Agents advise against making reservations less than four months before departure. Although last-minute bookings for certain tours may be possible, we strongly advise planning ahead.
Booking links (financial benefits):
Keep these links handy for when you have more time to shop around for the lowest prices.
Visiting Alaska is like being transported to another world. The state is so big that it would take years to drive around it and still not see it all. We think you'll enjoy at least one of the following three unique activities this June. Feel the special magic that can only be found in Alaska:
- Talkeetna (midway between Anchorage and Denali): Flying over glaciers, massive mountains, and the majesty of Denali is an unforgettable experience. Stop by Talkeetna on your way north from Anchorage. Bookings: Mountain Voyager in Talkeetna, with an Elective Glacier Landing
- Cruise the Kenai Fjords National Park for a day and see whales, wildlife, mountains, and glaciers just outside of Seward. Take in the breathtaking sights of Alaska's crystal-clear waters. Make your reservations here: Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 6-Hour Cruise Pro-Tip: If you want to go whale watching in June, this is the tour for you. Gray whales, humpback whales, and killer whales can all be seen here.
- Visit the breathtaking Arctic Circle and the Yukon River's surrounding landscapes on this one-of-a-kind tour from Fairbanks led by excellent and incredibly hospitable guides. Reservations here: Arctic Circle Adventure – Full-Day Tour
When it comes to whale watching, the Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise (mentioned above) is unrivaled. But if you're going to be in Juneau, you must go on this Whale Watching Tour! In June, you can go whale watching and see humpbacks, killer whales, and other amazing creatures.
We recommend booking your whale watching tour in advance as they tend to sell out quickly.
Conditions for TravelAnchorage's Portage Creek
In Alaska, the majority of the snow melts and the roads are passable by the beginning of June. Tourists who rent cars must agree to not drive on any unpaved roads before picking up their vehicle. It is possible to schedule jeep tours or bus trips to explore areas with unpaved roads.
The road through Denali National Park will be closed at mile 43 due to a landslide until at least 2023.
Ways to Get AroundThe Seward-to-Anchorage rail line
- Driveable roads exist throughout the month of June.
- Bus service: each and every day in June
- Commuter rail: every day in June
The best ways to explore Alaska in June are by car, train, or motorcoach/bus after arriving in Anchorage via airplane or Seward via cruise ship. The advantages of each approach are distinct. Many tourists, for instance, take both a train and a motor coach.
The most beautiful scenery along the train ride from Anchorage to Seward, according to the majority of residents. The scenery on this four-hour ride is unlike anything else.
You can use all three transportation options throughout the month of June:
- Auto: If you're looking for the most freedom of movement, a car rental is your best bet. In June, most roads are free of snow and ice, making it a convenient time to travel. Renting a car in Anchorage requires advanced planning.
- The Alaskan Park Connection Motorcoach provides a comfortable and affordable means of transportation between Anchorage, Denali Park, Seward, Talkeetna, and Whittier. From Anchorage, visitors can take one of two daily trips to Seward or Denali National Park. All of June, they will be open for business. Make sure you check the official Alaska Coach Park Connection schedule for the latest times and locations.
- Taking a train through Alaska is more expensive than taking a motor coach, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali Park, Fairbanks, Whittier, and Seward are just some of the major cities that can be reached by train. In June, there is full train service. Here is the official Alaska Railroad schedule for your perusal.
Travelers arriving in Seward or Whittier from a cruise ship can take advantage of Alaska Train & Motorcoach's flexible transfer options.
Time Required for Travel
Starting in Anchorage and ending in Seward:
- Car: 2 5 hours
- Time in a motor coach: 3 hours
- The average train ride takes 4 hours.
Denali, the Anchor:
- Car: 4 5 hours
- 5 hours by motor coach
- The average train ride takes 8 hours.
To Fairbanks, from Denali:
- Car: 2 5 hours
- Three hours by motor coach
- Time spent on the train: four hours
Bugs in the month of June
- After the 21st of June
- Time of day: earliest morning and latest evening.
Mosquitoes will be a major problem for anyone venturing north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, especially after the summer solstice on June 21.
Densely wooded areas and areas near water sources (like streams and lakes) have the highest mosquito populations. Denali National Park is notorious for its soaring mosquito population.
Cities, especially large ones like Anchorage and Juneau, are the safest bet because these tiny insects rarely cause problems there. You won't see many of them near the coast because of the constant breeze.
If you plan on going in late June, make sure to bring insect repellent to protect yourself from bites. DEET is widely recommended by health experts. Mosquitoes can be warded off by simply donning light colors. Mosquitoes can be kept at bay by wearing a mosquito head net over a watertight ball cap. It's also a good idea to skip the scented shampoo and body wash.
Observing Wild Animals
One of the best times to see wildlife is in June. Beginning in early June, when the foliage isn't too dense and daylight hours are slightly shorter, tourists have a better chance of seeing wildlife during feeding times.
Tours from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle, unfortunately, offer very limited opportunities to see wildlife.
Advice on wildlife viewing and access:
- Taking a bush plane is a great way to see bears. The best time to see them is in July, but the flights don't begin until the middle of June. Late June is still our top pick.
- Black bears are more common inland while brown bears are more common near the coast.
- Moose can be spotted from the ground or the air in most of the state at any time of the year.
- In the months of March and April, gray whales can be found in Alaskan waters.
- From May through September, humpback whales are visible.
- There are orcas in Alaska year-round.
Special Recommendation | Brooks Falls Salmon Run:
Katmai National Park's annual salmon run starts in June. In most cases, however, it doesn't begin until much later in the month. A select few bears can be spotted fishing at Brooks Falls between early and mid-June.
The June HordesIn Anchorage, at Eklutna Lake
June marks the beginning of the most popular time of year to travel, so expect to encounter some crowds. By the middle of June, the weather has reached its peak and most infrastructure, including roads and trails, can be accessed without a coat.
There's a chance that July will be busier than June simply because it's summer and everything is open. Here are some potential hotspots for crowds, along with advice on how to avoid them:
During Hectic Situations:
- This year's Seward Halibut Tournament will be held from June 15th through the 30th.
- From May 15th to September 12th, Anchorage Market
- Palmer Colony Days, June 2nd & 3rd.
- On the 4th Street every 1st Friday of Anchorage.
- On June 19th, from noon until midnight, Fairbanks hosts the Midnight Sun Festival.
Ketchikan (salmon capital of the world), Skagway, Juneau, Whittier, Sitka, Icy Strait Point (entrance to Glacier Bay National Park), and Haines are some of the ports visited by cruise ships on their docking days.
Avoiding the Crowds: 7 Strategies
- Don't go to the ports when ships are docked. To find out when the cruise ships will be in port, vacationers can do some homework, consult a travel agent, visit the port's website, or contact the local tourism bureau or chamber of commerce.
- Tourists who insist on visiting the port on docking days can avoid the throngs by venturing further inland. The majority of cruise ship passengers stay within a two- to three-block radius of the port.
- If you are a cruise passenger who would like to avoid the port's crowds, we recommend going inland. Get around by renting a car, taking the train, or taking a motorcoach (for more information, see the preceding section).
- Taking a ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System is a great way to avoid the hustle and bustle of popular tourist destinations. Tourists can take this ferry to visit places like Wrangell, located in Alaska's interior (though getting from one port to the next can take anywhere from three to six hours).
- Kodiak Island (you'll need to catch a flight to get there), Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, plan an outback hunting or fishing trip, guided hike, and overnight stay in a remote B&B or wilderness lodge, and then drive the Glenn Highway into the Copper River Basin or the Richardson Highway between Valdez and Fairbanks.
- Charter flights are a great way to avoid the crowds. Booking one of these will get you dropped off at secluded beaches and islands near Whittier, Seward, and Haines. Spend a day exploring the beach or a week tenting and fishing.
- Get in touch with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game before your trip to find out which fishing spots are less likely to be crowded. The Russian River, Ship Creek, Seward Beaches, and Homer Lagoon are popular destinations for anglers. Read our article for more information about the best time to go fishing in Alaska.
Shoulder Season travel is recommended for more variable weather and shorter days that make it easier to spot wildlife at mealtimes in May and September. The fall foliage in the month of September is stunning.
By the middle of May, trails at lower elevations typically have no snow left. By June, the trails in the mountains should be free of snow. Wait until the end of June if you want to go hiking near the Arctic Circle and not have to deal with snow. Midway through October is typically the last week of ideal hiking conditions across the state. Here are some of the best hiking routes to explore in June:
From Fairbanks, you can reach the Wickersham Dome Trail via the Elliott Highway in one hour.
- Seasonal range: June–October
- Moderate in Difficulty
- 7 mile distance
- A height of 1007 feet
- Excursions: Hiking and Nordic Skiing
- On clear days, you can see the White Mountains and the Brooks Range.
- Moose, snowshoe hares, owls, hawks, and bald eagles are just some of the animals that call Alaska home.
Anchorage's Tony Knowles Coastal Trail runs along the waterfront from Kincaid Park to the end of Second Avenue at Cook Inlet.
- Seasons: Year-Round
- Effort Level: Low
- Location: 11 The trailhead is located at the end of Kincaid Chalet to the south and the northeast end of West 2nd Avenue by the train depot to the south.
- A 102-foot elevation
- Excursions: Skiing, Running, Rollerblading, and Biking
- Views of the Chugach Mountains, Mt. Mountain Susitna, Island of Fire Mckinley, and Anchorage proper
- Animals such as moose and beluga whales
Area around Hatcher Pass and the Reed Lakes in the Talkeetna Mountains
- Seasons: Late June to early September is primetime.
- Moderate in Difficulty
- It's a good 9 miles away.
- Gain in Altitude: 2,247 Feet
- Outdoor Pursuits: Hiking
- Lakes at various elevations on the Reed glacier
- Animals: moose and bears
*Note - boulder field may make travel challenging for kids and pets.
Where to Find It | Hours of Operation
Since June is the beginning of Alaska's peak season, all services should be available then. However, it's still a good idea to double-check with any pre-booked services to see if they have any restrictions or staffing issues related to the (post-)pandemic.
Here is a list of some of the best facilities in the state:
- Open all year, the Hotel Alyeska is a five-star mountain retreat in Girdwood with easy access to the mountain's ski lifts and hiking paths.
- Address and email: alyeskaresort com, 800-880-3880 Phone
- The Homer Inn and Spa is located on Kachemak Bay in Homer, Alaska, and is open all year round. Excellent lodgings
- Email address: homerinnandspa.com www.com, 907-268-5465
- World-class fishing, flightseeing, rafting, jet boat rides, sled dog rides, and a paved 14-mile bike trail can all be found near the Denali Overlook Inn in Talkeetna, which is open all year.
- Please contact us at [email protected]. www.com, (907) 733-3555
- There is no reception desk at this establishment. Guests who expect to arrive after 6 p.m. are asked to notify the property in advance; those guests will then receive an email with check-in instructions 24 hours before their scheduled arrival.
- Biking, hiking, kayaking, dog sledding, and flightseeing are just some of the activities offered at the Pearson's Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa in Juneau, which is open all year.
- Email address: pearsonspond.com. www.com, 907-789-3772
A Few Suggestions
- Anchorage's Snow City Cafe is open 365 days a year, every day of the week. Breakfast and lunch eatery
*See if the restaurant is open for meals or if takeout is the only option.
- Girdwood, Alaska, at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant The hours of operation for Alyeska are as follows: Thursday–Saturday, 5–9 p.m. Recognized as one of the top 100 Wine Restaurants in the USA
- The Chart Room, in Homer, Alaska, serves breakfast, dinner, and Sunday brunch every day of the year.
- Denali, Alaska's Music of Denali Dinner Theatre: Denali's McKinley Chalet is open from the middle of May to the middle of September.
CampgroundsTent-Pitching in Alaska's Denali
Dnr is where tourists can find out about store hours. alaska gov/parks/asp/open 907-269-8700, htm#top
The Anchorage Campground on Chugach Bird Creek
- Allow no more than seven nights of camping per week.
- Count: 24
- Max RV length of 35 feet
- Disabled-accessible building
- Access to restrooms
- Picnic space with water and restrooms
- Outdoorsy stuff like fishing, hiking, and biking
Discovery Campground, Captain Cook State Park, Kenai Area
- Maximum of 14 days in a campsite
- 53 Campgrounds
- Any size recreational vehicle is welcome.
- Accessible design
- Provided restrooms
- There is a picnic area with two shelters, as well as water.
- You can go fishing, hiking, or just relax on the beach.
Palmer - Mat-Su Valley Campground, Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area
- Camping is allowed for a maximum of 14 days.
- We Have 6 Campgrounds
- Disabled-accessible building
- Provided restrooms
- 8 Picnic Areas with Water
- Trails for skiing, snowshoeing, and snow machines; also hiking and glacier trekking.
Ketchikan, Southeast Alaska: Settlers Cove State Recreation Area Campground
- Only 7 Nights of Camping Per Trip
- 13 Campgrounds
- Minimal RV height restriction of 35 inches
- Accessible design
- Access to restrooms
- There is access to water, picnic areas, and covered pavilions.
- The area is great for hiking and shore fishing.
Hours of DaylightHarbor of Seward
When the sun is just below the horizon, but it is still light enough to do outdoor activities, we refer to this time as "Civil Twilight," which occurs both before sunrise and after sunset. June is a month that doesn't always feature Civil Twilight.
Visit the Alaska Daylight Hours Calculator on alaska.gov to find out how many daylight hours you can expect in the area you will be visiting. org/weather/daylight-hours
The following are the daylight hours at the beginning, middle, and end of June at several of Alaska's most visited locations:
It's not twilight, Fairbanks
- Sunrise, June 1 at 3:36 a.m.
Evening's end, 11:59
- Sun Rises at 3:09 AM on June 15
Dawn at 12:31
- Sunrise, 30 June, 3:18 a.m.
12:28 a.m. - sunset
- At 2:50 a.m. on June 1, we enter "civil twilight." Approximately 4:34 a.m. is when the day begins. Time of sunset: 11:17
At 12:01 a.m., civil twilight ends.
- The 15th of June: No Civil Twilight 4:20 am for sunrise and 11:37 pm for sunset.
- No Civil Twilight on June 30 Time of Day: 4:26 a.m., Dawn Time of sunset: 11:37
- The start of civil twilight is at 3:19 a.m. on June 1. Time of Day: 4:44 a.m., Dawn Time of sunset: 11:05
At 12:30 am, civil twilight ends.
- Time of Civil Twilight on June 15: 2:46 a.m. Time of Daybreak: 4:32 Moment of sunset: 11:23
Time Change to Civil Dawn: 1:08 a.m.
- At 2:57 a.m. on June 30, we enter civil twilight. Daybreak: 4:37 a.m. Sundown: 11:23 a.m.
Time Change to Civil Dawn: 1:04 a.m.
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