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Alaska in July: A Guide for Planning Your Summer Visit

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Alaska may have a short summer season, but we certainly know how to make the most of it. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Alaskans and visitors make the most of long days, good (or at least better-than-winter) weather, and get outside a lot to enjoy the beauty of The Last Frontier.

If you’re planning to visit Alaska in July, you might have questions specifically about visiting during this month. After all, it’s not the shoulder season (May and September), nor is it the generally agreed upon most popular month to visit with the best weather (June). It’s July – what does that mean?

Alaska in July Hero

After growing up in Alaska and visiting many times since my family moved back to the Lower 48, I’ve spent a fair number of Julys in Alaska, and I know what makes a visit during this month special – as well as what particular things you need to know when planning your trip and once you arrive.

Below you’ll find a guide specifically about visiting Alaska in July, including the weather and daylight hours, as well as lots of special events you can only attend in July, and tips on what to pack to enjoy those events, make the most of those daylight hours, and be prepared for any weather. Ready to tie a tidy bow on this last stage of your Alaska trip planning?

In this post, I promote travel to destinations that is the traditional lands of many Alaska Native groups, including the Aleut, Athabascan, Haida, Inupiat, Tlingit, and Yuit peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

This post was originally published in April 2023, and was updated most recently in April 2024.

Weather in Alaska in July

Alaska in July - Weather

If you’re planning a trip to Alaska in July,  you’re in for a treat. July is one of the warmest months in Alaska, and the weather is typically sunny and mild. While temperatures vary depending on the region, you can expect average temperatures to range from the mid-50s to the mid-70s.

Southcentral Alaska (including Anchorage and Seward) typically has an average temperature of 55-70°F, while the Interior (Fairbanks and Denali) boasts some of the warmest weather in July in Alaska, with average temperatures ranging from 55-75°F. Another warm region is Southeast Alaska (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka), where temperatures range from 65-80°F on average. Unsurprisingly, the Arctic region is the cooler one as expected, with temperatures ranging from 35-50°F.

Daylight Hours in Alaska in July

 You can expect to see plenty of sunshine in Alaska in July. Like the weather, how much sunlight you get depends on the region. The state receives an average of 19 hours of sunlight. However, some areas experience nearly 24 hours of daylight, without ever getting fully dark. The further north you go, the more sunlight there will be each day!

Anchorage typically decreases from 19 hours of daylight to 17 by the end of the month, Fairbanks decreases from 21.5 to 18.5 hours of daylight, and Juneau decreases from 18 to 16.5 hours of daylight. Still plenty of time for adventures, even at the end of July.

20 Great Events in Alaska in July

All those hours of daylight have to be filled in some way or another. Luckily, Alaska has no shortage of exciting festivals and events to pack your itinerary, in addition to all of the general things to do in each part of the state. Here are ten of the best events to attend in July in Alaska, depending on where you’ll be and when.

Kachemak Bay Highland Games (July 1)

Hullo, hoo are ye? Don’t miss the chance to attend the Kachemak Bay Highland Games and celebrate Scottish heritage… and athleticism! Held on July 1st, this event showcases traditional Scottish games, music, and dance. From the thrill of caber tossing to the skirl of bagpipes, you’ll get to experience the rich culture of Scotland but with Alaska’s stunning backdrop.

Independence Day (July 3/4)

The 4th of July is celebrated a little differently in Alaska compared with the Lower 48: in most parts of the state, the sky doesn’t get dark enough for fireworks! As such, there are a number of other celebrations held in each big city across the state.

I recently published a guide to all of the different 4th of July celebrations in Alaska this year, which you can use to check where you’ll be on that day to determine which activities you can partake in.

 Fourth of July and Mount Marathon (July 4)

Seward is the place to be on July 4th for a double dose of excitement – the Fourth of July celebration and the iconic Mount Marathon race! Like every town in the US, Seward comes alive with patriotic vibes, featuring parades, fireworks, and family-friendly activities. But the pretty fireworks aren’t the only attraction of the day…

Hundreds of people flock to Seward to attend the Mount Marathon race, where runners challenge the rugged mountain terrain. It’s a full day of fun! You’ll be able to witness the thrill of the race, enjoy the festivities, and soak in the scenic beauty of Seward’s coastal charm.

Girdwood Forest Fair (July 5-7)

Girdwood’s Forest Fair is a celebration of art, music, and community. Honestly, if you have kids, it’s a great event to attend.

Nestled in the heart of the Chugach Mountains, this fair offers a laid-back and family-friendly atmosphere. You can explore a variety of crafts, local artwork, and live performances while enjoying the landscape. There are food vendors, interactive activities, and even a parade.

The fairgrounds are located at Mile 2.2 on the Alyeska Highway in the community park area and entrance is free!

Homer Peony Celebration (July 7-30)

Alaska in July - Homer Peony Celebration

July in Alaska is synonymous with gorgeous weather. So it comes as no surprise that flowers are at their prime. 

Homer is known as the “City of Peonies” and features nothing less than 25 Peony farms. Needless to say, these lush blooms are quite a sight to behold. The city hosts the Homer Peony Celebration and 2023 will be the fourth edition. This month-long celebration of peonies features farm tours where you can appreciate the beautiful blooms in all their glory, but there are also art exhibitions and food trucks to explore the gastronomic scene.

Rock’n the Ranch at the RustyRavin (July 7-8)

If you’d like to enjoy some good music, mark your calendar for Rock’n the Ranch at the RustyRavin in Kenai. This event organizes a weekend filled with live performances, dancing, and good vibes. It’s a great chance to explore the diversity of Alaska’s music scene – they invite local talents to spirited headliners. The rustic charm of the RustyRavin venue also adds to the whole experience.

Love My Pet Fest (July 8)

Calling all pet lovers! Anchorage hosts the Love My Pet Fest on July 8, a free event at the Arctic Rec Center dedicated to celebrating our furry friends. This festival offers a pet-friendly paradise, featuring a variety of products and services for pet owners. From pet care tips to playful activities, you can indulge in everything pet-related. Also, the festival is known for strongly focusing on community and compassion, so it welcomes travelers to share the joy of pet companionship in a cool environment.

Bear Paw Festival (July 12-16)

Bear Paw Festival is a popular festival in Eagle River. It takes place every year and has become a lovely tradition. The festival celebrates the local community and culture with a range of events and activities, including live music, food vendors, a parade, a carnival, and a street fair.

One of the highlights of the festival is the Slippery Salmon Olympics. Teams of two overcome different challenges against the clock while holding a real salmon. 

World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (July 12-15)

Alaska in July - World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

Held in Fairbanks, the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics is an annual multi-day event you shouldn’t miss if you want a deeper look into Alaska’s native heritage. The event brings together athletes from Alaska Native communities to compete in traditional Native games that test strength, endurance, and agility.

But not everything is about sports. The event also features cultural events such as storytelling, traditional dance performances, and an arts and crafts fair.

Alpine Adventure Run (July 15)

Alaska in July - Alpine Adventure Run

Lace up your running shoes and join the Alpine Adventure Run, a scenic race through the mountains above Sitka. The trail is seven miles long, starting at St. Gregory’s Catholic Church parking lot and ending up at the Harbor Mountain picnic area. You’ll be running over hills and valleys while enjoying spectacular alpine vistas of rock slides and stunted-growth forests.

Fly By Festival (July 15)

Alaska in July - Fly By Festival

As you can see, there are activities for pretty much every like and interest in Alaska in July. If you’re into aviation, don’t miss the Fly By Festival. This aviation-themed event in Anchorage is organized by the Alaska Aviation Museum. There will be food trucks and family-friendly activities. But the highlight of the event is the vintage aircraft flying over the beautiful Lake Hood. 

Golden Days 2024 (July 15)

Alaska in July - Golden Days

The Golden Days are a series of activities that Fairbanks has held since 1952. They became so popular that today they are considered a festival and an important part of the city’s identity. In 2024, the Golden Days festival will offer tons of activities for people of all ages.

The festival will kick off with a parade through downtown Fairbanks, featuring colorful floats and marching bands. Other highlights of the festival include the rubber duckie race along the Chena River, a street fair with vendors selling local arts and crafts, live music performances, and delicious food stalls.

Skinny Raven Half Marathon & 10K (July 16)

For all my fellow runners out there, sign up for the Skinny Raven Half Marathon & 10K. This running event in Anchorage attracts runners from all over the state and beyond. The half marathon trail takes you on a scenic route through Anchorage, passing by some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, while the 10K course also takes runners through downtown Anchorage and along the Coastal Trail.

I won’t lie, it’s a bit challenging, but the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the Chugach Mountains and the ocean, make the effort well worth it.

Copper River Salmon Jam (July 19-20)

Cordova’s Copper River Salmon Jam is a mishmash of music, sport, and, of course, delicious salmon. This family-friendly festival combines live performances with the unique charm of this Alaskan coastal town. They organize salmon-themed activities with a diverse musical lineup.

As a traveler, is a great opportunity to savor the local culture while enjoying the breathtaking scenery – not everything is hiking! On the 20th, the event also organizes the Alaska Salmon Runs to celebrate the five species of salmon native to the Cordova area. 

Deltana Fair (July 21-23)

If you’re coming with kids, the Deltana Fair is a great alternative to entertain all members of the family. It takes place in Delta Junction and there’s everything from horse shows to pie-eating contests. The highlight of the Deltana Fair is the annual mud bogs competition, where drivers navigate their vehicles through a muddy course, competing for the best time. 

SAC Blues Brews & BBQ (July 22)

Alaska in July - SAC Blues, Brew & BBQ

Who doesn’t enjoy a sip of beer with good music? As the name suggests, the SAC Blues Brews & BBQ is a festival where you can sample some of Alaska’s best beer, eat the most delicious barbecue, and listen to the deepest blues songs at this festival. The event is child-friendly, so you can bring your little ones, too! 

Wrangell’s BearFest (July 24-28)

Wrangell’s BearFest is a must-go for nature enthusiasts This event invites travelers to immerse themselves in the world of bears. 

For those who don’t know Alaska, Wrangell is right in the heart of the Tongass National Forest, which is home to black and brown bears. 

The event celebrates Alaska’s diverse bear species through educational programs, art exhibits, and guided wildlife tours. It is the perfect blend of adventure and conservation because the guides do a great job giving insights into the fascinating lives of these majestic creatures while keeping it fun.

Southeast Alaska State Fair (July 25-28)

Cap off your Alaskan summer with the Southeast Alaska State Fair. Held in Haines, this iconic fair – the first Southeast Alaska State Fair was held in 1969 – truly captures the essence of community, agriculture, and creativity in the Last Frontier.

As with any good fair, there’s a little bit of everything. You can enjoy lively entertainment, indulge in mouth-watering fair food, and attend exhibits showcasing local talents. Needless to say, all the fun happens with the backdrop of stunning mountain scenery. 

Back to Bluegrass Festival (TBA)

If you enjoy music festivals, pack your camping gear and head to McGrath for the Back to Bluegrass Festival – a foot-stomping celebration of acoustic and bluegrass music! It takes place in Anderson Park and it’s organized to support the local radio station, KSKO. There will be live performances, local vendors offering food and crafts, and the best bluegrass songs filling the air. Oh, also, the small town of McGrath is known for its role in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

What to Pack for Alaska in July

There’s a saying in Alaska, that after the 3rd of July, the rain comes. This might sound dramatic, but I can’t tell you how many times we enjoyed watching the fireworks on the 3rd of July to wake up the next day for the first rain in a month or so. All this to say: July begins to see more precipitation, which increases and cools until the snow flies (typically in September). If you’re visiting Alaska in July, you should be prepared for rain.

  • As always, you should pack layers – especially rain-proof layers if the forecast is even slightly cloudy during your visit.
  • Don’t forget to pack waterproof footwear in addition to any shoes/boots you want to walk around on nicer days. (I have a whole guide to shoes and boots for Alaska including rain boots.)
  • An eye mask is still a good idea, since there are so many hours of daylight each day throughout the month.

As always, my Alaska packing list and cruise-specific packing list will help you cover all the essentials.

And that just about covers it, right? Have any other questions about what to pack for Alaska in July, or things to do in July – or anything else for your Alaska trip? Let me know in the comments below!

Want help planning your Alaska trip?

I grew up in Alaska and it’s my favorite place to visit – let me help you make your trip planning easier!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

2 Comments

  • Arlene

    Hi
    Thank you for wonderful info on Alaska
    I have 3 quetions
    1 Based on your 12 Day itineraryish i thought it might be best to land in Fairbanks and work our way down to Seaward and then across to WSEN Chitna etc and
    And then depart from Anchorage your thoughts
    2. Is there any boat cruise operators out of Anchoarge for a 3 day trip without stopping in Canada. We would like to do the Whittier princess tour you suggedted is that enough. Are we missing out not cruising?
    3. Lastly Sitka And Junea Ketchiwan
    These areas are not on any trips besides big cruise
    Should we include or not necessary as a first time Tx again Take care

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