Winter in Alaska
Winters in Alaska provide the perfect conditions for many wintertime outdoor activities, but you better move fast, because there isn’t much daylight to play in. Daytime temperatures average in the 20s, and nighttime temperatures in the teens. Winter length of daylight is about 5-1/2 hours. With occasional temperature spikes in the zero and negative numbers, you need to pay attention to the weather forecast .
Winter biking, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are just a few of the activities that are available in the Anchorage and up to the Denali area. For the hardy among us, winter camping can be enjoyable when you’re well prepared.
Winters in Alaska are also a time to take extra precautions. Cold temperature, short days, and unique situations like overflows can be uncomfortable or deadly. Water laying on top of ice and under snow (overflows) cannot be seen and is a trap for snowmachiners, dog sled mushers, and anyone who ventures on the ice can quickly be overcome with icy cold wet boots, leading to hypothermia and exhaustion.
Winters in Alaska are a great time to see the wilds in the care of professional guides. Services are available to fly you in comfort to sightsee the mountains, valleys, and up the glaciers. For the thrill seekers who need more hands-on adventure, glacier treks are available, as well as ice cliff rappelling, and ice cave exploring.
Another Alaskan phenomenon is the chance to view the Aurora Borealis. It can be predicted almost as accurately as the weather. The farther away from the sources of human light pollution, the better. Winter’s darkness is most conducive to watching the Northern Lights, and even though the upper atmospheric event occurs year round, the advancing daylight of the other seasons wash out the viewing opportunities.