Alaska in June: Planning a Summer Trip in the Most Popular Month
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Though you haven’t experienced it yet, there are some quintessential experiences to have in Alaska: blue skies over a stunning landscape, wildlife wandering through your view, and the sudden realization that it’s 10pm and the sun is still up! That’s Alaska in June though – long days and lots of fun.
June is widely considered to be the best time to visit Alaska – though it is admittedly also the most popular time to visit (which means many people visit during other summer months to try and avoid the clouds). June is ultra popular because it has great weather, long days, and plenty to do – all of the summer activities and tours and experiences are available for you in this glorious summer month.
So if you’re planning a trip to Alaska in June, you’ve come to the right place. In addition to the general travel advice I provide about Alaska (100+ articles and counting) – most of which is aimed at summer visitors like you – this post is specifically dedicated to answering whatever questions you have left about visiting during the summer. While I don’t have exact weather forecasts, you will find basic weather trend info, what you need to know about daylight hours, unique experiences you can only have in Alaska in June, and tips on what to pack.
Ready to dive in and get your last questions answered before your June Alaska trip? Let’s do it!
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 March 2023, and was updated with even more special events in May 2023.
Weather in Alaska in June
For most of the year, the weather in Alaska is a tricky thing to understand, primarily because temperatures and weather change a lot from place to place. But June has the best weather to visit Alaska, and the weather is usually pretty great almost everywhere – though it does still vary from one part of the state to another.
In June, temperatures across Alaska range from an average low of 47°F (8°C) to an average high of 62°F (17°C). If the temperatures already sound like good news, you’ll also be delighted to know that there’s virtually no rain during June, which is great since so many parts of the state are known for getting rain all year long.
I’ve included below a brief section with the temperatures you can expect in Alaska’s different regions to help you plan better.
- Southcentral Alaska (including Anchorage, Seward, and Homer) has pretty much the same temperatures and weather as in May. The temperature in this part of the state averages lows around 40°F and highs around 60°F.
- The Interior region (like Denali National Park and Fairbanks) boasts the warmest temperatures in June in Alaska, with temperatures ranging between 50°F and 70°F. This might be surprising, but it’s due to the way that weather patterns move across the huge landmass of Alaska.
- As you might expect from the far north, you’ll find the coldest temperatures in the state in the Arctic – even during June. If you’re planning to travel north of Fairbanks, be prepared for temperatures ranging from average lows of 29°F to average highs of 38°F.
Daylight Hours in Alaska in June
How much sunlight Alaska receives also depends on the region. However, get ready to experience very long days if you’re visiting in June. After all, the June solstice (June 21) is when the northern hemisphere has the most daylight of the year – including that iconic “midnight sun” (which really is a thing!).
On average, Anchorage and other Southcentral destinations receive about 18 hours of daylight; that other six hours is partly dusk – so it never really gets dark during the longest days of the year. Further north, Fairbanks and Denali have 20-24 hours of daylight depending on how far north you go. Once you cross the Arctic Circle, it’s all sun, all the time – 24 hours a day for a few weeks surrounding the solstice. Be sure to bring your eye mask! (It’s one of the 10 essentials you need to pack for Alaska!)
Top Events in Alaska in June
With all those warm sunny days, it’s impossible for Alaska to not have a busy calendar. There are tons of fun things to do in June in Alaska, but here are five special events that happen only during June if you’re looking for something extra special to do.
Sitka Music Festival (through June 25)
Music lover or not, I would not miss the Sitka Summer Music Festival if your travel plans will bring you to Sitka in June.
This festival is a longtime chamber music concert series that now lasts a whole month. Some of the best chamber players in the world typically come north for the event. You’ll be able to enjoy not only delightful classical pieces but also the performance of some of the most talented musicians in the world. The festival also includes other special events such as the popular Crab Feed and Boat Cruise.
Spenard Jazz Fest (June 1-4)
The 16th annual Spenard Jazz Fest will be an opportunity to experience up-and-coming local artists, as well as see professionals from within and outside the jazz community. There will be a week of music and shows, a battle of the bands, shows at the Anchorage Museum on First Friday, and a backyard jazz jam.
Trapper Creek Bluegrass Festival (June 1-4)
The Trapper Creek Bluegrass Festival, hosted at Boot’s Bison Ranch, is a weekend of folk fun and music. Attendance will be limited to 500 people and three-day festival tickets are $150, or $200 for a four-day ticket, which includes camping. While 500 people might seem like a lot, this is a popular event for locals, so be sure to snag tickets if you want to attend!
Yakutat Tern Festival (June 1-4)
While Yakutat is admittedly far off the beaten path for destinations most travelers visit, that’s no excuse to skip celebrating!
The 12th annual Yakutat Tern Festival is a celebration of Yakutat, art, and one of the largest nesting colonies of Aleutian terns, Arctic terns, and the rest of the huge variety of bird species that nest in or near Yakutat. There will be four days of family-friendly activities and events for kids and adults.
Skagway Pride (June 3)
Don your most colorful outfit and a big smile, and come to show your pride with fellow Alaskans at Skagway Pride.
Similar to pride events in other cities across the country, there’ll be no shortage of fun activities to enjoy. There are local Skagway performers, a fabulous Drag Show, numerous musical acts to keep the fun going, and tons of activities for the little ones, too. There’s also great merchandise you can get as a souvenir.
3 Barons Renaissance Fair (June 3-4 & 10-11)
The 3 Barons Renaissance Fair will be in Anchorage for two weekends this year, with plenty of crafts, activities, contests, food, and more. The first weekend is pirate themed and the second is fantasy themed; you can hit up a thrift store like Value Village if you want to go all-in on costumes and accessories.
Kenai River Festival (June 9-10)
Looking for a great option on the Kenai Peninsula? There are lots throughout the summer, but let’s start with the Kenai River Festival. Soldotna Creek Park will host booths, crafts, swag, and live music all weekend celebrating the Kenai River. Check out the Kids Education Zone, browse the Alaska Artisan Market, graze from food vendors, and more.
Boreal Bigfoot Expo (June 9-11)
Alaska is home to a lot of natural wonders; some are not even seen yet. While the Pacific Northwest may lay claim to the origins of the Bigfoot myth, Fairbanks is home to something bigger and better: an expo dedicated to this urban (or is it rural?) legend.
The Boreal Bigfoot Expo – one of the coolest and quirkiest things to do in Alaska in June, if you ask me – is an event that delves into one of the most famous legends ever recorded in history: Bigfoot. The Expo organizes many events from seminars to exhibitions, where you can learn about Bigfoot and other monsters that inhabit Alaska’s land.
Colony Days (June 9-11)
Colony Days is Palmer’s summer celebration for the whole family. There will be races and contests, carnivals, farmers’ markets, and more. Check out their website for your opportunity to win prizes in cornhole, or perhaps by baking with rhubarb (here’s a winning recipe you can try!)
Chickenstock (June 16-17)
Looking for one of the most popular events in Alaska during the summer? Woodstock is out, Chickenstock is in! The 17th annual Chickenstock Music Festival will feature Alaska artists, local foods and craft brews, games, crafts, and plenty more to fill the weekend.
I’m actually passing through Chicken during Chickenstock this year, but it’s completely sold out so even I won’t be able to attend!
Juneteenth (June 17/18)
To mark Juneteenth, there will be events in both Anchorage and Fairbanks. In Anchorage, there will be a full weekend of events that includes a health fair, an education fair, a pageant, a parade, and performers on the Delaney Park Strip. Further north in Fairbanks, the celebration will be from noon until 4pm at Allridge Park in Fairbanks, and will include food, vendors, and cultural presentations.
Summer Solstice (June 15-24)
The summer solstice is the pinnacle of summer – quite literally since it’s when the sun reaches its highest and stays up the longest throughout the year. Alaska loves to celebrate it, so if you’re visiting on/near June 21st, you should definitely enjoy one of the events happening this year.
Scottish Highland Games (June 24-25)
The Alaska Scottish Highland Games is a celebration of Scottish heritage and traditions. Stop by the Alaska State Fairgrounds to compete in the games or to spectate. There will also be traditional games, music and, of course, food.
What to Pack for Alaska in June
Now that you have a better sense of what Alaska is like in June, it’s helpful for me to provide some advice specific to packing for a trip during this month.
To be completely transparent, my packing list for Alaska is designed for visiting during the whole summer season; this includes June. (I have a winter packing list, which you should consult if you’re planning to visit September through April, but I’ll assume not as you’ve made it this far in my June post.)
You don’t need anything special for visiting in June, other than an eye mask if the ultra-long days will interfere with your ability to sleep. Otherwise, my normal advice – layers, waterproof shoes and coat, sunglasses, and a decent jacket in case a night is chilly – all that applies.
Have any other questions about visiting Alaska in June specifically? You can always consult my Alaska Travel Guide (100 free articles and counting!) or let me know in the comments below!
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