Alaska in June: Weather Info and Travel Tips

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Are you planning an Alaska trip for June?

Then this article is for you! I’ve spent over 25 years in Alaska and currently live here. And since the weather is a BIG topic in Alaska, I have a lot to say about it.

In this article, I’m going to cover all the weather-related information you need to know about visiting in June. I will also answer any questions you may have about June, including the best places to visit this time of year.

Alaska June Weather

So let’s get right to it, what is the weather like in June?

June in Alaska means that summer has finally arrived! And overall, June and July are the best months weather-wise.

This is the mildest weather of the year. There isn’t a lot of wind, there are usually no major storms, and the temperature is pleasant.

Everything is green and everything comes to life. Insects are buzzing (no literally, the mosquitoes are buzzing all over), the bears are wide awake, the female moose have their calves, and the migratory animals have returned.

June marks the first salmon runs and whales feeding in the bays.

June usually brings a mix of sunshine and rain. Warm and cool days, and not a lot of wind.

One thing to note about Alaska weather before we dive any deeper is that there hasn’t been much regularity the past few years. What I mean by this is that we’ve had exceptionally rainy June months and exceptionally dry June months over the past 5 years. Plan as best you can, but also plan for anything to happen.

Is It Rainy in June?

Since Alaska is so big, rainfall varies quite a bit across the state. In June, you can absolutely count on rain.

When it rains here, it’s usually in pockets, so if you drive long enough you’re likely to go in and out of the rain.

The best thing you can do is plan for rain and be delighted when it doesn’t rain.

The state is broken up into different regions, with the most visited being Southeast Alaska, Southcentral Alaska, and the Interior. I’ll discuss these regions here.

Southeast Alaska Rainfall: Much of Southeast Alaska is in a temperate rainforest, so this area of the state gets a LOT of rain (the most in the state). Most people visit via cruise, but some people choose to fly to Ketchikan, Juneau, or Skagway to visit.

Skagway and Haines get around 2 inches of rainfall, Juneau averages around 3.8 inches of rain, and Ketchikan gets upwards of 7 inches of rain in the month of June.

Whale-Watching-Tour-and-Glaciers-Seward-Alaska-5

Southcentral Alaska Rainfall: Southcentral Alaska is a large region and the most densely populated in the state (which isn’t saying much). This area includes Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula, and areas to the north such as Palmer, Valdez, and Talkeetna. This region gets considerably less rain than Southeast Alaska, ranging from an inch in Anchorage and Homer to over 2 inches in Seward and Valdez.

Interior Alaska: The Interior comprises Fairbanks, Denali, Tanana, and Tok. It’s essentially a large region in the middle of the state. Here you’ll find drier conditions because you’re so far from the ocean and many of the large weather systems off the Gulf of Alaska. Weather averages around 1.5 inches in Faibanks and 2.4 inches in Denali.

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Average temperatures in June

Here are some of the typical average temperatures across the state (data retrieved from NOAA NWS).

LocationAvg TempAvg HighAvg Low
Anchorage Area56F60F51F
Fairbanks Area61F67F58F
Juneau55F58F50F
Homer52F58F48F
Valdez52.5F54F50F
Average Temperatures June – Alaska

As you can see, the temperature hovers around 50F – 67F, although we have days in the 70’s too (what a treat!).

Does Alaska Get Hot in June?

While Alaska isn’t known for any sort of extreme heat, it can warm up quite a bit, especially when the sun is out.

In Alaska, the sun rotates lower in the sky compared to other places. So when the sun is out, more of it is shining on you. For this reason, it can actually feel quite warm once the sun makes an appearance.

I typically layer or bring a t-shirt or tank top in the event that it gets sunny. So even though it might ‘only’ be 73 degrees out (F), it sometimes feels like it’s in the 80’s.

Don’t forget your sunglasses for all that sun glare. Ball caps are sold all over breweries across the state, and I recommend snagging one to help with the sun (and to support a local company too!).

Fairbanks once recorded 96 degrees F on June 15, 1969. In Anchorage, the hottest temperature ever recorded in June was 90 degrees F in 1953 and 1969.

But other than some outliers, overall I’d say the averages listed in the table above are accurate.

Are Mosquitoes Bad in Alaska in June?

I wanted to highlight this point if you are planning a June visit. Mosquito eggs hatch when the snow melts in the late spring and can be seen as early as April.

Mosquitoes are the worst between June to July, and start to die off in August.

Alaska has a reputation for swarms of mosquitoes but this isn’t the case everywhere you go. Mosquitoes like freshwater, so if you visit coastal seaside towns like Seward, Whittier, Valdez, or Homer, you’re not likely to encounter as many. In fact, this is usually why I prefer to visit these towns in May and June.

If you go to lakes, streams, or any sort of marshy area, you will encounter many more mosquitoes. And yes, even swarms.

I can’t stand all the buzzing and bites (and constantly hitting myself trying to get them off of me), so I usually carry a small arsenal of stuff to keep them at bay.

The best line of defense is Deet. I’m normally a more natural-minded person, but when it comes to mosquitoes, unfortunately, citronella and the more natural stuff don’t seem to do a lot.

There are a lot of different types of Deet. I prefer to use at least 30% Deet, and use only as much as needed.

If you prefer to avoid the chemical repellant, physical barriers are the next best thing (and something I use in addition to Deet). I have a mosquito net that can be easily worn over a ball cap (there are cheaper ones, I just like this brand). Then the ball cap keeps them off my head.

Long-sleeved shirts and pants also work well. It can warm up pretty quickly once the sun comes out, so I usually have a sun shirt and some lights pants. These relatively inexpensive Baleaf pants are some of my favorites, but I also love almost anything from Kühl.

For more packing tips, check out my Complete Summer Alaska Packing List

Is There Still Snow in June?

Across most of Alaska, the lower elevations will be snow free. Once you hike or climb higher into the mountain elevations, you’ll still encounter snow. And you’ll still see snow on most of the mountaintops.

There’s usually still a good amount of snow in the higher elevations such as Hatcher Pass, near Anchorage.

If you plan to visit the Arctic Circle or any areas north of Fairbanks, there could still be active snowfall in June.

What is Hiking Like in June?

If you plan to do some serious hiking, expect a lot of trails to have mud and snow at higher elevations, especially in early June. But even casual hikers will run into some muddy spots at lower elevations.

In late June, trails will be more dry and more snow will have melted.

Many trails will have a lot of mosquitoes, so I recommend long pants and a long light top in your pack.

How Much Sunlight Does Alaska Get in June?

June is the lightest and brightest time of the year. Across much of Alaska, it feel like midday when it’s 11:00pm. Around Southcentral Alaska (Anchorage area) and the Kenai Peninsula, the sun dips below the horizon around midnight, but it doesn’t get dark. It feels more like dusk until it rises again a few hours later.

Summer solstice is on June 21st, marking the lightest day of the year. But the weeks surrounding the 21st feel just as light and bright.

Further north in the Interior (meaning Fairbanks and Denali area) it’s even lighter out.

Here are some examples of average daylight on June 21st. As you can see, daylight hours change dramatically depending on where you are in the state.

LocationSunriseSunsetTotal Daylight
Anchorage4:20am11:42pm19:21:22
Fairbanks2:57am12:47am21:49:31
Juneau3:51am10:07pm18:16:26
Homer4:44am11:29pm18:45:00
Utqiagvik (Barrow)Up all dayUp all day24 hours
June 21st – Summer Solstice

Can you Go Dog Sledding in Alaska in June?

Yes! Most people are surprised to learn you can go dog sledding (also called dog mushing) in Alaska in June. It just looks a bit different. If you still want the snowy experience, there are tours that take you to the top of a glacier to go dog mushing.

I think this is an incredible experience if you can swing it – you take a helicopter tour, then land on a glacier, then go dog sledding, and then take a helicopter back.

If this is something you’re interested in, there are a few options around Southcentral and Southeast Alaska.

Girdwood, about an hour south of Anchorage, offers a fantastic sled dog tour with Alpine Air. We’ve taken guided helicopter tours with them and they are simply the best. You can find more info on this tour here.

In Seward, you can have a similar experience that takes you to Godwin Glacier, which would also provide fantastic views and dog sledding high up on a glacier.

Seavey's Summer Dog Sledding tour alaska summer

Another options is to book a dog mushing tour at a local dog kennel. We booked a tour with Seavey’s near Seward a few years ago. We were able to pet the dogs, meet the puppies, learn about Seavey’s and dog mushing, and go on a ride through their private owned land.

We weaved through many trails in the woods. It was so much fun and truly, the dogs are so happy!

What Are The Best Activities to Do in June?

1. Whale Watching

June is a GREAT time for whale watching! The whales are in, their babies are growing, and they’re hungry! You can often spot pods of orcas hunting in Seward. The most popular whales in Alaska are orcas, gray whales, fin whales, and humpbacks.

I’ve watched humpback whales breech from the beach in Seward (at Lowell Point) and Orcas hunt sea lions at the same beach (although the locals said this was a rare sight!).

Orcas next to boat resurrection bay seward alaska june

Orca Quest Tour – There’s a unique orca tour that runs for just a few weeks in Seward. The orcas are most active in Seward from mid-May to mid-June searching for food. Major Marine, one of the biggest tour operators in Seward, has a 4 hour tour and prices are reasonable for what you get. The trip focuses on finding orcas, so there isn’t a set route that the tours follows (although the captains know the best spots to look). I’ve booked this tour 4 years in a row and have watched pods of orcas each time!

Seward Alaska Orca Whale with Mountain Backdrop

2. Hiking

June in Alaska means getting out and enjoying the nice weather! There are many amazing hikes around the state, so many that they deserve their own post, but here are just a few of my personal favorites:

  • Reed Lakes at Hatcher PassThis is a long hike that starts off a little boring in the brush but quickly gets interesting as you start to ascend. You’ll cross some makeshift bridges over creeks, a large boulder field, and a lake, and then hike the trail until you reach the top. Even if you decide to hike halfway, it’s still worth it!
  • Gold Cord Lake at Hatcher Pass – This is a short 1.5-mile out-and-back hike that can be accessed from the parking lot at Independence Mine in Hatcher Pass. I like this hike for younger kids since it’s short, interesting (there’s an abandoned cabin halfway up), and you’re rewarded with a lake at the top. The hike does get a bit steep for a small section, so just be more careful and watch your footings.
  • Eklutna Lake – There’s a long flat trail that runs for about 13 miles along Eklutna Lake, near Anchorage. If you want a steeper and more difficult hike, try Twin Peaks. Many people stop after the first or second bench, as the climb gets quite steep beyond that.
  • Exit Glacier and Harding Ice FieldExit Glacier is a popular stop 12 miles from Seward. There’s a well-paved and maintained network of trails to view Exit Glacier, which has receded a lot over the past 20 years. If you want possibly the most epic views on any hike in Alaska, continue on the Harding Icefield trail. Just be prepared for snow and likely postholing.
Eklutna Lake

3. Camping

June is a perfect month for camping. Just like any activity, you could get rained on but that’s just part of life in Alaska!

I highly recommend renting an RV for at least part of your trip. This way you can ‘glamp’ with conveniences like water and heat while still experiencing more of an authentic Alaska experience.

4. Fishing

There are many different salmon runs and other fish coming in during the summer, and June is one of the best months for fishing in Alaska. Down along the Kenai and Kasilof rivers there’s the King Salmon run, sockeye salmon, rainbow trout run, and Dolly Varden.

In Seward, silvers are entering the waters at the end of June. King Salmon are also entering the water for their saltwater phase and peak around June 15. Homer also has King Salmon and is known for it’s halibut and rockfish as well. Home is considered the Halibut Capital of the World.

If you plan to fish, be sure to get all the different licenses you’ll need. If you sign up with a charter (which I recommend), they’ll likely walk you through the process so you’re prepared to go out when you arrive.

Seward Harbor Summer Alaska

5. Glacier Walking

Glacier hiking/walking is an incredible experience to have year round. June brings mild weather and the ability to see glaciers not completely covered in snow. Matanuska Glacier is one of the most popular glacier hiking options near Anchorage. I recommend taking a day trip with either 907 Tours or Greatland Adventures.

Both are local companies with a fantastic reputation. Greatland does an 8 hour tour with roundtrip transportation from Anchorage. Their tour has 85 5-Star reviews.

907 Tours also has a fantastic 10-hour tour with pickup/drop off. They currently have 225 5-star reviews.

Either way, it’s really a cool experience and something you need to do while here.

Matanuska Glacier Alaska Fall

6. Bear Viewing

When the salmon runs enter the streams and rivers in Alaska, the bears come to life. With all the fish activity in June, this means that June is one of the best times for bear watching.

There are many day tours available from Anchorage and Homer. The popular areas to visit include Katmai, Redoubt Bay, and McNeil River. The salmon runs at Katmai usually don’t start until July, but some years they arrive early, so you could get lucky.

In late June, the bears make their way to the Russian River (near Cooper Landing). There’s a nice wheelchair accessible boardwalk and path where you can watch the fish jump from the falls. This isn’t a guaranteed bear sighting location, but if you’re passing through this time of year, it’s worth a stop (actually, it’s worth a stop even if it’s not late June).

Katmai in June

Festivals Around Alaska in June

Summer Solstice Festivals

Summer solstice is a big event in Alaska! Since the state gets such dramatic swings in sunlight throughout the year, we celebrate both the lightest and darkest days each year. Summer solstice occurs on June 21st and there are many events happening around the state.

In Anchorage, many bars and restaurants have parties. There are also unofficial midnight hikes, like the popular one to Flattop where there’s usually drinks and sometimes even a band. Parking can be scarce, so I recommend taking an Uber or getting there early.

In Fairbanks, there’s a large 12-hour street fair downtown with food and locally made items. There’s also three stages with a lot of live music to cover 12 hours.

Homer, Seward, Girdwood, and virtually everywhere else will have something going on, so be sure to check the local town website for events near you.

Ultimate Travel Guide: Alaska in June

Packing for June in Alaska

Alaska in June will bring a mix of sun, rain, and cloudy days. When the sun comes out, it can warm up fast!

For this reason I always recommend layers; t-shirt/tank, long sleeve (I usually wear a light zip up), and a jacket that’s at least water resistant.

A ball cap or sun hat will be your best friend since the sun sits lower in the sky. I also always, always, always pack sunglasses wherever we travel in Alaska.

It’s more windy along the coastline so a light jacket will come in handy. This is also true if you plan to do any glacier or water tours. In fact, I would recommend bringing a beanie or warm hat if you’re getting out on the water. It gets COLD!

Mosquitoes are the worst in June and July, so be sure to have some Deet on hand. I’ve tried a lot of different mosquito repellants over the years and you just can’t beat Deet. If you’d rather not have to spray something, a good alternative is a Thermacell. You can attach it to yourself easily and enjoy a bug free zone. If you plan to be outside near lakes or marshes in the wilderness (fishing, hiking, etc), I’d recommend grabbing a cheap mosquito net as well.

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I have a summer packing guide that covers everything you’ll need specifically for Alaska (no fluff). You can find it here.

Is Alaska Expensive in June?

Yes, June is prime tourist season. The months of June, July, and August are the most expensive out of the entire year. Expect to pay high season rates everywhere you go, and often prices are at least double the off-season rate.

For this reason I always recommend booking your trip a year in advance if possible. This ensures you have the most choices when it comes to accommodations and vehicle rentals.

Where are the Best Places to Go in Alaska in June?

Everywhere!

By June, the entire state opens up and nearly all roads are open. From the coastal towns up to Denali and Fairbanks, it’s a great time of year to visit.

Please note that not all roads are open in June. The road that connects Hatcher Pass to Willow doesn’t open up until late June. Most vehicle rental companies don’t allow you to drive this road, so it’s usually not a concern.

*Note that Hatcher Pass is open year round, it’s just one stretch of road that doesn’t open until the snow is completely melted.

Otherwise, all of the typical routes and activities are open in June.

Final Overview on Alaska in June

Overall, June is the perfect time of year to visit Alaska.

Because the weather is so ideal and there’s tons of animal activity, it’s also a popular time to visit. Prices tend to be much higher than shoulder season or winter, but it’s hard to beat the midnight sun and mild temperatures.

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With over 25 years experience living here, I have tons of articles about visiting Alaska.

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