Alaska in June

Locals say, that visiting Alaska in June is a great idea. We provide you with everything you need to know about the weather during this month, wind, daylight, crowds, activities, and more.

June is a very good time to enjoy the majority of activities in Alaska. Because of mild temperatures, hovering around 55°F (13°C), this month is a more comfortable time to travel as opposed to the winter and early spring months. It offers sightseers the chance to observe so much beauty and wildlife.

Nature & Photography Tip: The trees have finished budding their leaves in June and the ground cover looks very green.

This guide was written by an Alaska local.

Weather

With the drier climate, June offers some extra benefits that are lessened in July and August. Anyone who travels during this time can enjoy a wide variety of adventures due to mostly pleasant weather conditions.

In June, high temperatures in Alaska’s interior and coastal regions average between 60°and 70°F (16-21°C) during the day. It’s a dry month with a 20-23% chance of rain and between 19 and 22 hours of daylight. Snow has usually melted.

Very long daylight hours can sometimes result in 80-90°F (27-32°C) in certain areas. Simply be ready for a surprise 80-degree day. Tip: We added insights about the daylight hours and the civil twilight for most regions in Alaska at the end of this article.

Cloud cover along with wind conditions are also factors to take into consideration as it influences temperatures as well.

Misty Fjords, Alaska

Average high temperatures in June:

  • Anchorage: 63°F (17°C)
  • Denali National Park: 65°F (18°C)
  • Fairbanks: 72°F (22°C)
  • Katmai National Park: 60°F (15°F)
  • Homer: 58°F (14°C)
  • Juneau: 62°F (17°C)
  • Seward/Kenai Fjords National Park: 58°F (15°C)

It may be a little cooler at the beginning of the month due to a little less daylight than towards the end of the month when hitting June 21, Summer Solstice (longest day of the year) but not by too much.

Good to know: Temperatures can vary drastically in adjacent areas. Within 20 minutes the weather can be very different than it was earlier. It can get colder or warmer at any time in June. Make sure to check the current weather forecasts for the locations you are planning to travel to and be prepared for almost anything.

Regional differences: Fairbanks, East-Central Alaska, and the areas around and above the Arctic Circle can get very hot during June due to long days (22-24 hours/day) compared to Anchorage in southern Alaska which has about 19 hours of daylight in June.

Always keep in mind, that weather can vary greatly in Alaska. If you plan to visit later in the summer, read our complete guide to Alaska in July or August.

Rain

June is one of the warmest, driest months in Alaska, so it makes it a peak time for travelers together with July and August. The chance of rain during this month is about 25% and can be short showers or continue throughout the day. The percentage increases after June, as the summer progress.

Snow

During this month, the snow has melted from most areas of Alaska other than high elevations. The majority of roads and trails will be clear of any snow.

Wind Conditions
The shore of Kenai Fjords in the summer

There is more wind in Alaska near the coast and islands like the Aleutians but it always depends on the weather for that given day. June is one of the calmer times of the year, as the windiest months are usually from September to April.

Wind chill: Wind is making you feel colder than the actual air temperature. It’s not that bad in June, but you should be aware of the windiest locations we listed below.

One area to look out for regarding wind is called the Turnagain Pass, which is a highly traveled area. You will encounter this area if driving between Anchorage and Seward on the Seward Highway. In June the wind isn’t as harsh as in the winter here. But still, prepare for some breezy moments.

Visiting Tip | Turnagain Pass: The pass is an excellent location to check out in June and observe the huge effect of glaciers on the landscape. On the west side of the road, at the pullout, you can observe evidence of past ice ages’ millennial processes. At the time, the ice was over 2,000 feet thick. Around 10,000 years ago, the youngest major glaciation did end. Google Maps Location – Turnagain Pass | Seward Hwy

Windy Locations

Turnagain Pass:

  • The highest point on Seward Highway between Anchorage and Seward near mile marker 68
  • Its elevation exposes this location to high winds, even in June
  • You should be prepared with warm, windproof layered clothes along with windproof umbrellas
  • Kite Flying, Kitesurfing, and Windsurfing are popular here during the shoulder and summer seasons

Aleutian Islands:

  • Located in southern Alaska separating the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean
  • Islands are devoid of trees making them vulnerable to wind.
  • This location has the highest wind speeds in Alaska
  • Windproof layered clothes and windproof umbrellas are crucial in this area

Denali:

Alaska Travel Guide(s) | Essential

That’s me, reading the Milepost Alaska Travel Planner. Over 600 informative pages with essential tips and information.

Even if you only drive a few miles in Alaska, there is one guide that you must get before your trip: The MILEPOST Alaska Travel Planner (via Amazon)

‘Essential for your trip! We lived in Alaska for over 7 years, and we had the Milepost Planner in our car 100% of the time. No matter where you are or what you are looking for in Alaska, the Milepost will immediately orient you. If you don’t purchase it before going, you’ll find yourself buying one once you arrive in Alaska!’

The only other guide we highly recommend is the Moon Anchorage, Denali & the Kenai Peninsula guide by Don Pitcher:

 

Clothing | What to Wear

Chugach National Forest, Seward

When it comes to choosing your apparel for June in Alaska, layers are key. Because of the variety of weather, layering your clothing is essential for comfort and safety.

Clothing Quick Tip:

When visiting Alaska in June, you should wear a light waterproof jacket and waterproof pants most of the time. Additionally, layers for colder regions and chillier days are essential. On warm days, remove layers.

Quote from an experienced visitor:

‘Hoodie, long sleeve shirt, t-shirts, and a rain jacket are all I usually bring from June to August for the warmer days. An additional inner layer for colder days.’

Warmer Temps: When it is warm or hot in June, one layer on top and bottom that consists of fabric that wicks away moisture such as nylon-spandex blends is the best fit for the area. Close-toed durable sandals can be worn during warmer weather as well as waterproof/resistant walking/hiking shoes with good traction soles.

A lightweight fleece jacket is a great addition during June for its ability to repel water and provide warmth.

Colder Temps: When it is cooler, having a base layer next to the skin that includes a moisture-wicking shirt, a bottom layer such as nylon-spandex leggings, then adding a top layer of a wool sweater, waterproof/resistant pants, merino wool socks (also moisture-wicking and provides a lot of warmth), and finally insulated waterproof/resistant shoes/boots will provide travelers with a cozy and dry experience during any excursion.

Our pants tips:

Great boot suggestions are Baffin or BOGS brands (check prices on Amazon.com). They offer many designs and are especially well suited for Alaska’s conditions.

Jacket: A fleece jacket with a hood or any waterproof/resistant jacket can be your outer (shell) layer. We recommend bringing two light jackets in June, depending on the regions you visit and the length of your trip.

Tip: Even if your jacket has a hood, bringing a toboggan, scarf and waterproof/resistant gloves are essential if the temperatures really cool down.

Our jacket tips on Amazon:

Is a winter coat necessary? In June, you don’t need a thick winter jacket, as inner layers combined with a light jacket are sufficient for colder days. However, there are two exceptions, where destination experts recommend bringing a warmer coat:

  1. On a glacier day cruise (from Seward for example), as they enter colder regions. Even though they have a heated interior the deck is open, windy and cold near glaciers.
  2. A winter coat is also useful when going camping in June.
Clothing to pack:
  • Nylon/Spandex shirts and pants/leggings – skin layer or top layer
  • Wool/Fleece Sweaters – mid-layer
  • Long sleeve t-shirt – mid-layer
  • Waterproof/Resistant pants – outer layer
  • Waterproof/Resistant coat with hood
  • Toboggan
  • Scarf
  • Waterproof/resistant gloves
  • Merino wool socks or any warm moisture-wicking socks
  • Waterproof/Resistant shoes and or boots
Items to pack:
  • Travel First Aid Kit
  • Sunglasses
  • Windproof Umbrella
  • Eye mask
  • Portable charger
  • Chapstick – Alaska’s climate is dry
  • Lotion, moisturizing shampoo, and conditioner
  • Reusable Water Bottle – Tap water is ok to drink
  • Bug Spray – Mosquito netting if traveling above the Arctic Circle
  • Binoculars (some tours may provide them as well)
  • Cash – In some areas, vendors may not take credit/debit cards or digital payments

Hand and Toe warmers if going into the higher elevations

Northern Lights

June isn’t the best time to view the Northern Lights in Alaska. Most of the entire summer is a poor time to see the lights due to the very long days. If you wish to book a trip that includes all the summer activities and the Northern Lights, you should consider a trip between August 15 – September 15, instead of June.

Booking in Advance

With June being the start of the prime travel season, it is highly recommended to book in advance. This will reserve your spot and still give you time to cancel. Many tours and excursions can be booked a year in advance

💡 Anchorage ‘Budget’ Hotel Tip: If you are having trouble finding a great hotel for a reasonable price in Anchorage, we highly recommend the Aspen Suites Hotel Anchorage (via booking.com – save the hotel link if you like). The location is very convenient and it always meets all our expectations: Super clean bathroom, comfortable bed, a very quiet hotel, and everything for a reasonable price!

Travel agents suggest not to book any later than four months out from the travel date. Some tours can be booked on short notice, but we always recommend making reservations in advance

Reservation links (save money):

Tip: Bookmark the links if you want to browse for the best prices later.

Flightseeing | Wildlife Cruise | Arctic Circle

Alaska is a wonderful and magical place to experience. The state is so large one could travel around it for years and not see the whole territory. In June we recommend at least one of these three intriguing experiences below. You will be touched by the magical spirit only Alaska can offer:

  • Talkeetna (between Anchorage and Denali): On a jaw-dropping plane flight you will experience glaciers, massive mountains, and the majesty of Denali itself. Visit Talkeetna when driving from Anchorage to the north. Reservations: Talkeetna: Mountain Voyager with Optional Glacier Landing
  • Seward: On an incredible day-cruise through the Kenai Fjords National Park, you’ll see whales, wildlife, mountains, and glaciers. Enjoy the incredible beauty of Alaska’s pristine waters. Reservations here: Seward: Kenai Fjords National Park 6-Hour Cruise Tip: This tour is especially great if you want to experience whale watching in June. You can spot killer whales, gray whales, and humpbacks!
  • Fairbanks: On this unique tour with excellent and super-friendly guides, you visit the spectacular Arctic Circle and walk through the breathtaking landscapes around Yukon River. Reservations here: Arctic Circle Adventure – Full-Day Tour
Whale Watching

The Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise (see above) is amazing for whale watching. However, if you plan to visit Juneau, we highly recommend this Whale Watching Adventure. You will be able to spot humpbacks, killer whales, and other fascinating species in June.

Tip: We always make whale watching reservations in advance as these tours are likely to sell out!!

Driving Conditions

Portage Creek, Anchorage

Roads are typically clear of snow by June and in good condition for driving in Alaska. If renting a car, the rental facility will require tourists to sign and comply to not drive on any dirt roads. In order to sightsee around dirt road areas, jeep excursions or tour bus trips can be reserved.

Good to know: A landslide on the Denali park road closed the road at mile marker 43 until 2023 or longer.

Getting Around

Train route from Seward to Anchorage
  • Car: Throughout June (roads are accessible)
  • Motorcoach (Bus): Every day in June
  • Train: Each day in June

After you arrive in Anchorage via plane or in Seward via cruise ship, the best modes to travel in Alaska during June are by car, train, or motorcoach/bus. Each way has its own unique benefits. Many travelers combine train and motorcoach for example.

Tip: Most locals say, that the most scenic landscape which can be seen via train is on the route from Anchorage to Seward. The views are truly unique on this 4-hour ride.

Throughout June you have access to all three modes of transportation:

  • Car: Renting a car is the best way if you want maximum flexibility. Since roads are clear of snow and accessible in June, you can easily drive to most places during this month. Make your reservation for a rental car in Anchorage well in advance.
  • Motorcoach: The Alaskan Park Connection Motorcoach is a very convenient way to get to and from Anchorage, Denali Park, Seward, Talkeetna, and Whittier. There are two daily departures from Anchorage to both Seward and Denali National Park. They are operating throughout June. Make sure to check the current schedule: Official Alaska Coach Park Connection Schedule
  • Train: Experience Alaska by train is more expensive than the motorcoach, but a truly unique adventure. Trains are available to the major destinations: Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali Park, Fairbanks, Whittier, and Seward. All trains are operating in June. Check the schedule here: Official Alaska Railroad Schedule

Tip: If you visit Alaska via cruise ship and arrive in Seward or Whittier, you can make use of the many transfer options offered by Alaska Train & Motorcoach.

Estimated Travel Times

Anchorage to Seward:

  • Car: 2.5 hours
  • Motorcoach: 3 hours
  • Train: 4 hours

Anchorage to Denali:

  • Car: 4.5 hours
  • Motorcoach: 5 hours
  • Train: 8 hours

Denali to Fairbanks:

  • Car: 2.5 hours
  • Motorcoach: 3 hours
  • Train: 4 hours

Mosquitoes in June

  • When: After June 21
  • Time of day: Dawn and dusk (peak time)

If traveling north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, especially after June 21 (summer solstice), there will be a heavy mosquito presence.

Worst places: Mosquitoes are more prevalent in densely forested locations, as well as near streams or lakes.  The increased mosquito populations in Denali National Park are well-known.

Safest places: These small insects aren’t as problematic in cities, especially major ones like Anchorage and Juneau. Because of the continual breeze, you won’t see many of them along the coast.

Tips: When visiting in late June, carry insect spray to avoid being bitten. The majority of professionals recommend DEET. Wearing light-colored clothing will also serve to repel mosquitoes. A waterproof ball cap with a mosquito head net over it will keep mosquitos away from your head. Also, avoid anything perfumed, such as scented lotions or shampoo.

Wildlife Viewing

June is one of the best months to view wildlife. If travelers book at the beginning of June they have a better chance to view wildlife during feeding times because the foliage isn’t too thick yet and daylight hours are a little shorter.

Good to know: Very little wildlife can be viewed on the tours from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle

Wildlife viewing tips and availability:

  • One of the best ways to see bears is by bush plane. These flights don’t start until mid-June, but the best viewing happens in July. We still recommend late June.
  • Brown bears can be seen near the coast and black bears in the interior part of the state
  • Moose can be seen all year round from the ground or air throughout most of the state
  • Gray whales migrate up to Alaska waters in March and April
  • Humpback whales can be seen from May – to September.
  • Orcas are in Alaska all year round

Special Tip | Salmon Run at Brooks Falls:

The salmon run Katmai National Park begins in June. However,  it usually doesn’t start until later in the month. In early and mid-June, a few early bears congregate around Brooks Falls, and only some can be seen fishing.

June Crowds

Eklutna Lake, Anchorage

With June being the start of the peak traveling season, crowds can easily be part of the experience. By mid-June temperatures are usually as warm as they are going to get and all facilities, roads, and trails are open.

July may be a little busier than June just because the weather is at its best and all areas are open the entire month. Locations that may have a lot of crowds and ways to avoid them are listed below:

Crowded Areas and Events:

  • Seward Halibut Tournament – June 15 – 30
  • Anchorage Market – May 15 – September 12
  • Palmer Colony Days – 2nd weekend in June
  • Anchorage 1st Fridays – Held along 4th St.
  • Fairbanks Midnight Sun Festival – Saturday, June 19, noon-midnight

Cruise ship ports on docking days – Ketchikan (salmon capital of the world), Skagway, Juneau, Whittier, Sitka, Icy Strait Point (entryway to Glacier Bay National Park), and Haines

7 Ways to Avoid the Crowds
  1. Don’t visit cruise ports on docking days. Travelers can research on the internet, talk to their travel agent, check the port’s website, call the tourism bureau or the chamber of commerce in that area to find out what days the cruise ships will be docked.
  2. If travelers do want to visit the port on docking days, they can avoid the crowds by traveling further inland to see the area. Most cruise passengers stay in close vicinity to the dock (2-3 blocks radius).
  3. If you are a cruise traveler and want to avoid the crowds at the port, venture further inland for sightseeing. Rent a car, use the train, or the motorcoach (read our section above for more details).
  4. To miss the crowds in typical tourist areas, travelers can take the ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System. This ferry takes tourists to smaller communities of Alaska’s inside passage, for example, Wrangell (Caveat: It can take between 3-6 hours to go from port to port).
  5. Visit Alaska regions that are less known such as Kodiak Island (must take a flight there), Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, book a remote outback hunting or fishing expedition as well as a guided hike and stay in a secluded B&B or wilderness lodge, and finally take a road trip on the Glenn Highway into the Copper River Basin or Richardson Highway between Valdez and Fairbanks.
  6. You can avoid crowds via charter flights. These can be reserved to Whittier, Seward, and Haines where they offer drop-offs to remote beaches and islands. You can spend a day beachcombing or a week camping and fishing.
  7. To avoid fishing crowds, contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, to find out during your trip where the fishing won’t be so heavily populated. Areas that draw a lot of fishing crowds are the Russian River, Ship Creek, Seward Beaches, and Homer Lagoon. Our article about the best time to fish in Alaska offers more detailed information.

Other seasons/months: Visit during the Shoulder Season which is May or September – weather is more unpredictable, but the days will be shorter making it easier to observe wildlife during their feeding times. Also, September’s fall foliage is beautiful.

Hiking

Trails at lower elevations are already clear of snow by May. In the mountains, the trails should be clear by June. If hiking closer to the Arctic Circle, wait until the end of June if you want to avoid any snow coverage. Conditions for hiking around the state are usually good until mid-October. A list of some popular hiking trails we recommend in June:

Wickersham Dome Trail – 1 hour from Fairbanks on the Elliott Highway

  • Seasons: June – October
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Elevation: 1007 ft
  • Activity: Hiking and Cross Country Skiing
  • Views: White Mountains and Brooks Range on clear days
  • Wildlife: Moose, snowshoe hare, owls, hawks, and bald eagles

Tony Knowles Coastal Trail – Anchorage – On the west coast of the city from Kincaid Park to where 2nd Avenue ends in Cook Inlet

  • Seasons: All year
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Distance: 11.0 miles – The trail can be accessed from the northeast end of West 2nd Ave, near the railroad depot, at the southwest end of Kincaid Chalet, and many other points in between
  • Elevation: 102 ft
  • Activities: Hiking, Biking, Skiing, Running, and Rollerblading
  • Views: Chugach Mountains, Mt. Susitna, Fire Island, Mt. Mckinley, and downtown Anchorage
  • Wildlife: Moose, Beluga whales

Reed Lakes – Talkeetna Mountains within Hatcher Pass

  • Seasons: Best between late June – September
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2,247 feet
  • Activities: Hiking
  • Views: Upper and Lower Reed Glacial Lakes
  • Wildlife: Bears, moose

*Note – has a boulder field that may be difficult for children and pets to traverse

What is Open | Facility Schedules

During June, all facilities should be open since it’s early peak season in Alaska. With this being said, it’s still better to check with all booked services if there are any (post-) pandemic restrictions and staffing issues.

List of some great facilities around the state is below:

Hotel Tips
  • Hotel Alyeska: Luxe Ski Resort in Girdwood – Open year-round – Features in the area – all-year mountain cable car and skiing and hiking trails.
  • Contact information: Email – alyeskaresort.com, Phone – 800-880-3880
  • Homer Inn and Spa: Kachemak Bay, Homer – Open year-round – Features a spa and Bear viewing day tours from mid-May – mid-September. An outstanding hotel!
  • Contact information: Email – homerinnandspa.com, Phone – 907-268-5465
  • Denali Overlook Inn: Talkeetna – Open year-round – Features world-class fishing, flightseeing, rafting, jet boat rides, sled dog rides, and a 14-mile paved bike trail.
  • Contact information: Email – denalioverlookinn.com, Phone – 907-733-3555
  • *This facility doesn’t have a front desk. If travelers are planning to arrive after 6 pm, they need to contact the property in advance and will receive an email 24 hours before arrival with check-in instructions.
  • Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa – Juneau – Open year-round – Features biking, hiking, kayaking, dog sledding, and flightseeing.
  • Contact information: Email – pearsonspond.com, Phone – 907-789-3772

 

Restaurant Tips
  • Snow City Cafe: Anchorage – Open year-round, 7 days a week. Breakfast/Lunch cafe
    *Check to see if the dining room is open or just to go orders are available
  • Seven Glaciers Restaurant: Girdwood on Mt. Alyeska – Open year-round, Thursday – Saturday 5pm – 9pm. Named one of America’s 100 best Wine Restaurants
  • The Chart Room: Homer – Open year-round – Breakfast, Evening meal, and Sunday Brunch
  • Music of Denali Dinner Theater: Located at Mt. McKinley Chalet in the Denali area – Open mid-May – mid-September
Campgrounds
Camping in Denali National Park

Travelers can check opening details at dnr.alaska.gov/parks/asp/open.htm#top, 907-269-8700

Chugach Bird Creek Campground: Anchorage

  • Camping Limit – 7 nights
  • 24 Campsites
  • 35’ RV size limit
  • ADA facility
  • Toilets available
  • Water and Picnic area available
  • Activities: Fishing, hiking, and biking

Captain Cook State Recreation Area Discovery Campground: Kenai Region

  • Camping Limit – 14 days
  • 53 Campsites
  • No RV size limit
  • ADA facility
  • Toilets available
  • Water and Picnic area available (2 Picnic shelters)
  • Activities: Beachcombing, fishing, and hiking trails

Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area Campground: Palmer – Mat-Su Valley

  • Camping Limit – 14 days
  • 6 Campsites
  • ADA facility
  • Toilets available
  • Water and 8 Picnic sites
  • Cabins
  • Activities: Hiking, glacier trekking, river rafting, skiing, snowshoeing, and snow machine trails

Settlers Cove State Recreation Area Campground: Ketchikan – Southeast Alaska

  • Camping Limit – 7 nights
  • 13 Campsites
  • 35” RV size limit
  • ADA facility
  • Toilets available
  • Water and Picnic sites and shelters are available
  • Activities: Fishing from shore and hiking trails

 

Daylight Hours

Seward Harbor

Before sunrise and after sunset there is a time called Civil Twilight – This is when the sun drops just below the horizon, but it is still light enough that you can do outdoor activities. Some areas don’t have Civil Twilight during June.

To find out how many hours of daylight there will be in the area you are traveling is to check the Alaska Daylight Hours Calculator at alaska.org/weather/daylight-hours.

Daylight hours at the beginning, middle, and end of June at some of the popular travel spots in Alaska are listed below:

Fairbanks: No Civil Twilight

  • June 1 – Sunrise – 3:36 am
    Sunset – 11:59 pm
  • June 15 – Sunrise – 3:09 am
    Sunset – 12:31 am
  • June 30 – Sunrise – 3:18 am
    Sunset – 12:28 am

Anchorage:

  • June 1 – Civil Twilight Begins – 2:50 am
    Sunrise – 4:34 am
    Sunset – 11:17 pm
    Civil Twilight Ends – 1:01 am
  • June 15 – No Civil Twilight
    Sunrise – 4:20 am Sunset – 11:37 pm
    No Civil Twilight
  • June 30 – No Civil Twilight
    Sunrise – 4:26 am
    Sunset – 11:37 pm
    No Civil Twilight

Seward:

  • June 1 – Civil Twilight Begins – 3:19 am
    Sunrise – 4:44 am
    Sunset – 11:05 pm
    Civil Twilight Ends – 12:30 am
  • June 15 – Civil Twilight Begins – 2:46 am
    Sunrise – 4:32 am
    Sunset – 11:23 pm
    Civil Twilight Ends – 1:08 am
  • June 30 – Civil Twilight Begins – 2:57 am
    Sunrise – 4:37 am
    Sunset – 11:23 am
    Civil Twilight Ends – 1:04 am