Best Times to Visit Anchorage
The best time to visit Anchorage is the summer. You'll find the nicest weather, clear skies and more than 400 flower beds in bloom. The views alone are well worth a trip. But don't expect swimsuit weather; average summer temperatures stop climbing at 65 degrees. For bearable temperatures and fewer crowds, consider visiting during the pleasant (albeit brief) spring or fall. If you can brave the cold, wintering in Anchorage isn't so bad. Winter sports opportunities here are phenomenal, and you'll surely see the Northern Lights.
Springtime in Anchorage is sweet yet fickle. Average highs tend to fluctuate between 34 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, while evening temperatures often fall below freezing. Pack plenty of layers. That warning aside, spring is a great time to take advantage of both the city and the nearby wilderness: Crowds are few, precipitation is uncommon and sunlight is prevalent.
With average highs in the mid 60s, summer is the most popular time to visit Anchorage. The City of Flowers is in full bloom, and long periods of daylight (an average of about 18 hours of sunlight) make a leisurely hike that much more inviting. However, this is the peak season. Anchorage is frequented by Alaskan cruise lines, and disembarking passengers can make the city seem crowded. Make sure to book your hotel at least a month in advance to ensure availability.
Like spring, fall sees drastic shifts in weather. High temperatures swing from 55 to 28 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the month. Autumn also experiences a fairly high amount of precipitation, so be prepared for some cold, rainy days. However, in September, you'll experience Anchorage without the heavy crowds or the chilly weather.
It takes a brave traveler to head north during the winter months, especially since average high temperatures settle in the low to mid 20s. But those of you willing to take on the daunting weather will find there's a payoff: Winter sports conditions are ideal, and you won't have to battle fellow tourists for a spot on the slopes or in the hotels. This is also the perfect time for those of you hoping to catch a glimpse of the illustrious Northern Lights. Just make sure to pack plenty of warm clothing.