Things to do in Alaska in winter

Why it’s worth visiting Alaska during winter

Alaska is a unique destination that offers breathtaking scenery, winter sports, and exciting outdoor activities that attract visitors worldwide. In the winter, Alaska is transformed into a winter wonderland with its snowy landscape, Northern Lights, and winter activities.

Alaska is a vast and diverse state with a lot to offer visitors, especially during the winter. The winter season in Alaska is from November through March and is characterized by its snowy landscape and long nights.

Yet, despite the cold weather, Alaska offers visitors a unique and memorable experience worth the trip. Visitors can enjoy various winter activities, see the Northern Lights, attend festivals and events, and explore the state’s stunning national parks.

Things to do in Alaska in winter

Winter Activities in Alaska

Skiing and Snowboarding

Alaska has some of the best ski resorts in the country. For example, Alyeska Resort in Girdwood offers a variety of trails for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort also offers other winter activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

Alaska has miles of trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. These activities are perfect for those who want to explore the state’s winter landscape at their own pace.


Snowmobiling is a popular winter activity in Alaska, and many tour companies offer guided snowmobile tours. In addition, visitors can explore the snowy landscape and some of the state’s most beautiful sights.

Dog Sledding

Dog sledding is an iconic Alaskan activity and a must-do for visitors during the winter. Visitors can experience the thrill of mushing their sled dog team or take a guided tour through the snowy wilderness.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is another popular winter activity in Alaska. Visitors can try ice fishing on one of the state’s frozen lakes or rivers. In addition, many tour companies offer ice fishing tours that provide all the necessary equipment and expertise.

Seeing the Northern Lights

One of the most incredible experiences in Alaska during the winter is seeing the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, is a natural light display in polar regions. Alaska is one of the best places to view the Northern Lights, and there are many ways to increase the likelihood of seeing them.

Best times and places to view the Northern Lights

The best time to see the Northern Lights in Alaska is September through April. The lights can be seen throughout the state, but Fairbanks and Anchorage are the best places to view them.

How to increase the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights

Visitors can increase their chances of seeing the Northern Lights by staying in a remote area away from city lights, checking the weather forecast, and monitoring the aurora forecasts. In addition, many tour companies offer Northern Lights tours that provide transportation to the best viewing locations and knowledgeable guides who can provide information about the phenomenon.

Tips for photographing the Northern Lights

Photographing the Northern Lights can be challenging, but it is a great way to capture the beauty of this natural wonder. Visitors should use a tripod, a wide-angle lens, and a high ISO setting to get the best photos. It is also essential to have a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake.

Festivals and Events

Alaska hosts many festivals and events during winter, offering visitors a chance to experience the state’s unique culture and traditions.

Fur Rendezvous

Fur Rendezvous is a winter festival that takes place in Anchorage every February. The festival features a variety of events and activities, including a carnival, a sled dog race, and a snow sculpture contest.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual race that covers over 1,000 miles across Alaska. The race starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome, typically taking about 10 to 17 days to complete.

Winter Carnival

The Winter Carnival is a celebration of winter that takes place in Fairbanks every February. The carnival features a variety of events and activities, including ice carving, snowshoe softball, and a human-dog sled race.

National Parks

Alaska is home to some of the most stunning national parks in the country, and these parks are just as beautiful in the winter as in the summer.

Denali National Park and Preserve

Denali National Park and Preserve is a vast wilderness area that allows visitors to see some of the state’s most stunning natural scenery. Visitors can go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or take a guided sled dog tour through the park in the winter.

Kenai Fjords National Park

Kenai Fjords National Park is a coastal park that allows visitors to see glaciers, wildlife, and the Northern Lights. In addition, visitors can take a guided snowshoeing or boat tour in the winter to see the park’s stunning natural beauty.


Alaska is a unique and unforgettable winter destination that offers visitors a chance to experience some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world. Whether visitors want to go skiing, see the Northern Lights, attend a winter festival, or explore the state’s national parks, there is something for everyone in Alaska during the winter. We encourage everyone to plan a winter trip to Alaska and experience the state’s winter wonderland.

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