ALASKAN VIEWPOINT: An Insider’s Scoop for Exploring Alaska’s Best!
September is known as the shoulder season for Alaskan tourism. Here are some great reasons to schedule your visit during Alaskan Tour Guides’ – Fall Foliage Tours.
Choosing when to visit Alaska can be a challenge and we often respond to emails and phone calls asking when is the “best time” for a tour. The answer depends on what you are looking for; Alaska has some unique opportunities for every season. Alaskan residents enjoy the change of seasons and the activities related to each.
Radiant Fall Colors are breathtaking.
Plants and trees change from the deep green of summer to autumn shades of auburns, deep reds, rusty oranges, and vibrant yellows. The higher elevations will begin to change first. Denali’s Polychrome Pass truly lives up to it’s name this time of year. The birch and aspen trees cover the gamut from light pale yellow to the deepest golds. These colors are even more dramatic against the contrast of evergreens like the spruce family. Ground cover can be just as spectacular. The deep crimson and bright orange of fireweed stalks and other bushy foliage appear to be on fire. The alpine tundra comes alive as mosses & lichen put on their own incredible show. Expect to see a showcase of colors which cover our majestic mountains and valleys to highlight your travels.
Crowds start to thin as most visitors are heading home by Labor Day.
Fewer people means more space as you travel and enjoy various activities such as cruising Kenai Fjords National Park or riding the rails with Alaska Railroad. In response to fewer visitors, many businesses lower their rates. You’ll find more bargains when shopping for souvenirs.
Wildlife viewing opportunities increase. Many species, like moose and bear, come down into lower elevations to put on the pounds before dealing with winter. Tundra swans, snow geese, and sandhill cranes gather together before migrating south. Fall is the time some species, like hares and ptarmigan, will be transitioning from summer to winter camouflage colors. Other species, like musk ox will be putting on their thicker undercoats. What you may miss in Denali, you’ll have another chance to see during your visit to the Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage. Many orphaned or injured animals have a second chance when rescued and brought to the center.
NO Mosquitos! (Maybe we should have listed this first.)
We still have long days, but the nights are getting darker and longer.
Now there’s the chance to possibly see the Northern Lights! While the temperatures are cooler than June and July, you could stand out under the lights in much warmer weather than the Aurora viewers who come up in January and February for this Alaska highlight.
Alpenglow can happen any time throughout the year. But like the Northern Lights, we seem to miss our chances to view this natural occurrence during the summer months. Alpenglow is an optical phenomenon that appears as a horizontal pinkish glow across the mountain tops just before sunrise or just after sunset. When skies are clear or mostly clear, we can enjoy this short-lived light show as we end our busy fall days.
So if you are still undecided as to when you should visit – check out our Alaska Fall Foliage itinerary and available dates here:
Alaskan Tour Guides: 2021 Alaska Small Group Land Tours