Alaska northern lights

Most visitors come to Alaska in the summertime – seeing the land of the midnight sun, enjoying temperate climates, perhaps catching salmon.  It is a beautiful country- but the beauty doesn’t end with fall – it just begins. 

sunset cold Alaska

Perhaps it is the attitude of the “locals” where snowfall doesn’t mean clogged streets with impossible parking – but a chance to ski, or snowmobile, or snowshoe.

In Alaska the elements don’t provide a hindrance from living but brings a whole new dimension and look to the state. 

alaska panorama in winter

Dressing for winter is essential. But don’t think you need to buy your Alaska winter clothes in your hometown – buy them in Alaska.

From what you will save in hotel bills, you could purchase a great coat, boots, and long-handles and still be lots of money ahead. 

Retail prices in Alaska are now comparable with the lower 48. It will save you a suitcase, and no one knows how to dress warmly in Alaska like Alaskans. 

skiing in alaska

While the Northern Lights can be seen all year long- it is the winter time that the “fire in the sky” is most often seen.

Tourists from Japan come to Alaska in the winter just so they can see and experience the Aurora Borealis (and some believe that being married under them is good luck).  


The North Pole and South Pole, because of the magnetic fields, are the most common places to see these spectacular displays of solar charged particles. You won’t see these during the summer- as it is too light during the night to see them.

The best months are September and March – and the best time is between midnight and 5 am. You can hear them crackle in the sky.  Get out of Anchorage to see them – as the city lights can obscure them. 

watching sunset

Alyeska is the ski resort of choice – just a 30 minute drive south of Anchorage – the lodge provides luxury accommodations, while the slopes and view are amazing. If you think the best skiing is in Colorado or Utah – try Alaska.  

Here’s a quick video with my 7 year taking you down a few of his favorite runs. 

Hotels in Alaska cost less in winter – room rates drop dramatically, and it is easier to get a suite or upgraded.  Typical Anchorage room rates go from $225 per night in the summer to $90 per night in the winter. 

cold dog in Alaska

The view is different in the winter in Alaska- the snow on the mountains is beautiful, many of the lakes and inlets are frozen over.

Plus Moose come out to forage – and there is much less of a chance of a bear attack should you go out on the trails. Instead of biking on the trails, you can cross-country ski – a much better work out- and you will have plenty of coastline, mountains, and forests.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar of Annie Henry with adventure of the day Annie Henry with adventure of the day says:

    What breath-taking pictures! You gave a great sum up of touring Alaska in the winter. I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska — it’s been a dream my mom and I have shared for a while now — but never thought of visiting in the winter. The price difference of hotels between the summer and the winter was surprising, but definitely something to take advantage of. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to visit some day and see the Northern Lights. Great article, I’ll keep an eye out for more of your travel posts!

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