If you’re looking for the best time to visit Juneau in Alaska, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, you will find an overview of what the weather is like in Juneau during different seasons, as well as some tips on where to stay and what to do.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Alaska for the first time or have been before and are looking for new ideas, this guide will help make your experience enjoyable!
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Best Time to Visit Juneau (AK)
The best time to visit Juneau, Alaska really depends on what kind of activities you’re interested in. Juneau is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its stunning glaciers, mountains, and forests.
The summer months are the busiest, but also offer the best weather for hiking and other activities. If you don’t mind braving the cold, winter is an excellent time to visit Juneau for its Northern Lights and dog sledding.
Juneau Alaska Weather in the Summer
The warmest months in Juneau, Alaska are June, July, and August, with temperatures ranging from the lower 40s to middle 60s. The rain comes and goes, so when the sun is out, it can feel quite hot, but when it’s raining, it can be very chilly and windy. Your best bet is to wear a rain jacket with two or three layers that can be easily taken off.
- Juneau Alaska Weather in May: May is the month with the least rainfall (19 days), but it’s still a bit chilly, with an average temperature ranging from 32 degrees to 54 degrees. The average length of the day is 17 hours – meaning there is an average of 17 hours of daylight.
- Juneau Alaska Weather in June: an average temperature ranging from 40 degrees to 52 degrees. The average length of the day is 18 hours.
- Juneau Alaska Weather in July: This is one of the best times to visit Juneau not only because of the warmer weather (average temperature ranging from 45 degrees to 56 degrees) but also because it’s the salmon spawning season. There will be an abundance of salmon, and you may see bears looking for food by the creeks! It rains for an average of 21 days.
- Juneau Alaska Weather in August: It will be similar to July with 22 days of rain, but the seawater will be warmer.
Juneau Alaska Weather in the Winter
In contrast to the summer when the days are long, Juneau in the winter months is cold with a very few hours of sunlight every day. However, this is also the best time to see the Northern Lights! If you’re interested in dog sledding, this is also the ideal time to visit. Keep in mind that many businesses and attractions close down during the winter, so be sure to do your research in advance. Activities like Gold Creek Salmon Bake and Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure may not be available.
How to get to Juneau, Alaska
1. By air – Alaska Airlines has regularly scheduled flights to Juneau International Airport from Seattle. If the nonstop flight costs more than $100, I highly recommend booking a flight with a layover in Ketchikan. It may be cheaper and you will get to enjoy a day trip to the beautiful “Salmon Capital of the World”. You can refer to the article Best Cheap Way to Cruise Alaska without a Big Cruise Ship for instructions on how to book cheap combo flight tickets to Ketchikan and Juneau.
2. By sea – Alaska Marine Highway connects Juneau with other towns in Southeast Alaska such as Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangel, Sitka, Haines, and Skagway. You can take your car with you and can even start your journey from Bellingham, Washington.
3. By land – Just kidding! You can’t reach Juneau by the road.
Is Juneau worth visiting?
Juneau is a beautiful city with a lot to offer, no matter what time of year you visit. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors or experience some of Alaska’s unique culture, you’ll find everything you need here.
I myself had wondered if Juneau was worth visiting when I looked at the weather forecast and saw so many days of rain. But with its stunning scenery and abundance of activities, Juneau was definitely worth visiting.
Juneau is the gateway to many beautiful cities in Alaska, so you may have a layover at the Juneau Airport for your next flight to Gustavus or a few hours waiting on the ferry en route to Skagway. So instead of wasting a few hours of your vacation, why not break your trip to include a day or two in Juneau and make the most of it?
Whether you choose to sit by the waterfront watching clouds float over snow-capped mountains and enjoying delicious king crab legs or when you hike the glaciers, you will most likely agree that Juneau is worth visiting!
Where to Stay in Juneau, Alaska
There are a variety of hotels and lodges to choose from in Juneau, depending on your budget and preferences. Although accommodations in Juneau are not on the luxury side, there are plenty of comfortable options with great value for money!
Best Places to Stay in Downtown Juneau
- Four Points by Sheraton Juneau – upscale hotel, located in a quieter area but a quick walk to the main street, has a restaurant on-site with good fish and chips
- Hotel Driftwood– decent budget hotel with free airport shuttle (worth $60 round trip), very close to Four Points by Sheraton, and pretty much next door to a small local supermarket so you can easily get alcohol and late-night snacks.
- Alaskan Hotel & Bar – this is a cheap hotel right in the middle of everything in downtown Juneau so it may be tempting but beware when you book. It is inconvenient to access the hotel before the bar is open so you may have difficulty checking in early. Rumour also has it that a hotel room is haunted.
Clean Place to Stay Near Juneau Airport
- Super 8 Juneau – a budget hotel that is clean with a free airport shuttle leaving as early as 4 am! We took an air excursion from Juneau and our returning flight was canceled due to bad weather. We came back to Juneau one day later and thought we would have to pay for a night extra, but the staff was very accommodating. They already helped us pack and completed the check-out early so we could avoid extra charges!
Best Things to do in Juneau Alaska
The Mendenhall Glacier Shuttle is the best way to get from Juneau to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. The shuttle provides a roundtrip, narrated express shuttle service that runs every 30 minutes. The shuttle will take you directly to the visitor center, where you can begin your exploration of the glacier. There are several different hikes available in the area, ranging from easy to difficult. If you have limited time, you can take a short, easy walk to Nugget Falls and see Mendenhall Glacier. However, if you want to experience walking on the glacier, you can sign up for a guided tour such as Ice Adventure Tour.
2. Juneau Helicopter Tour and Dogsledding Experience
If you’re looking for an unforgettable Alaskan adventure, look no further than the Juneau Helicopter Tour and Dogsledding Experience. This once-in-a-lifetime tour begins with a scenic helicopter ride over Juneau, providing stunning views of the Mendenhall Glacier and the city skyline. After landing on a remote glacier, you’ll have the opportunity to mush your own team of sled dogs through the winding trails of the Alaskan wilderness. Along the way, you’ll learn about dog sledding techniques and the fascinating history of this unique mode of transportation.
3. Juneau Wildlife Whale Watching & Salmon Bake
Looking for an up-close encounter with some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife? Then this Juneau Wildlife Whale Watching & Salmon Bake tour would be perfect for you. With this tour, you’ll not only get to see orcas and humpback whales in their natural habitat, but you’ll also come back for an all-you-can-eat meal of delicious Alaskan salmon. After your meal, you can stay for as long as you want and roast marshmallows over the open fire.
4. Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Juneau is the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure. The gardens feature a series of interlocking trails that wind through a dense forest with some upside-down trees. Visitors can take a ride on an old-fashioned tramway, or they can explore the gardens on foot. In addition to being a beautiful place to visit, the Juneau Glacier Gardens are also educational, as they provide information about the local ecology and the history of Juneau.
5. Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway
Glide up 1,800 feet above sea level in just minutes and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area. You can also continue your adventure by hiking one of the many trails that wind their way through the mountains. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a fun and different way to explore, the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway is definitely worth a visit.
6. Gold Creek Salmon Bake
Every summer, locals and visitors alike gather to feast on fresh-caught salmon, grilled to perfection over an open fire at Gold Creek Salmon Bake. The Salmon Bake is more than just a chance to enjoy a delicious meal; it’s also an opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the area’s wildlife. Black bears are often seen prowling around Gold Creek in search of food, and the mounted platform at the Salmon Bake offers visitors the perfect spot for bear watching.
What to do in Juneau On Your Own
If you have just a few hours to spare from a cruise and didn’t want to take any tours, you can walk around the waterfront, take the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway, and try local food or beer! If you have more time, you can try this list of activities. Depending on your pace, this could be done in one or two days!
- Sample salmon for free at Taku, right by Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway
- Try some juicy king crab legs at Tracy’s King Crab Shack
- Explore waterfront area, shops, and parks
- Take the shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier for hiking or kayaking
- Get some fish tacos at the popular spot Deckhand Dave’s
- Sample Alaskan beers at Alaskan Brewery
- Check out the Red Dog Saloon which was founded decades ago during Juneau’s mining era
The Wrap Up: Best Time to Visit Juneau
Juneau is a great place to visit any time of year, but the best time to go really depends on what you want to do. If you’re looking for some summer fun in the sun, then head over in July or August when the temperatures are at their peak. If you’d rather see the sights without all the crowds, plan your trip for May or September instead. And if you’re down for some adventures in the cold, don’t rule out the charms of Juneau in the winter.
No matter when you choose to go, you won’t be disappointed with all that Juneau has to offer.
The best time to visit Juneau is between May and August. You'll have to compete with hordes of cruise passengers at the area's top attractions, but the days will be long and sunny. Plus, these months correspond with whale migration season, meaning you're guaranteed to see some activity in the water.What is the best month to go to Alaska? ›
The spring and fall months in Alaska offer unique opportunities and lower prices. In our opinion the best time to travel to Alaska is in June, July and August. The best month to visit Alaska is July, when travelers will experience the best combination of weather and wildlife.What is the best way to get around Juneau? ›
Call a cab.
The public bus system in Juneau might work for a few errands around town, but it stops short of some important landmarks, like the ferry terminal. So if you have a place you need to go, especially if it's a one-way trip, calling a taxi is always a good option.
Juneau is definitely worth visiting. It is rich in history and became the capital city of the territory in 1906 and of the state in 1959. It has a marvelous State Museum that contains artifacts and displays, an active waterfront with piers full of boats, ships, and floatplanes.What is the rainiest month in Juneau Alaska? ›
A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in the months: January, July, August, September, October, November and December. On average, October is the wettest month with 199 mm (7.8 inch) of precipitation. On average, April is the driest month with 70 mm (2.8 inch) of precipitation.When can you see northern lights in Juneau? ›
Alaska's northern lights season is between late August and late April, peaking in March, though it's a season defined more by its long, dark nights than by solar activity.What month is best to see northern lights in Alaska? ›
BEST TIME TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN ALASKA
The northern lights occur all four seasons of the year, although they are harder to see under the Midnight Sun. The best time to see the northern lights in Alaska is between August and April, when less daylight leads to darker night skies.
The Cheapest Time to Visit Alaska
The least expensive time is early November through mid-December. Overall, Anchorage is the least expensive city to stay in and has the most identifiable seasonality curve with midsummer being the most expensive time to go.
Alaska's northern lights viewing season stretches from late August through late April. The best time to visit Alaska for Northern Lights is winter or early spring. As far as cruises go, Alaska cruises in September is a good pick because nights are long and dark.Can I get around Juneau without a car? ›
Getting Around Town
Downtown Juneau is very walkable, and you can get to many landmarks within 15 minutes from the docks. You can also explore at your own pace by renting a car.
- Hiking Trails. Cost: FREE! ...
- The Mendenhall Glacier and Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center. ...
- Cope Park. ...
- Celebration Festival. ...
- The Juneau-Douglas Museum. ...
- The Alaskan Brewing Company. ...
- First Fridays. ...
- State Office Building Concerts.
Juneau is incredibly spread out, so if you're staying outside downtown, you'll need a car (or a serious appetite for hiking). There are, of course, numerous chain hotels near the airport, but you can do better than that.How long should you stay in Juneau? ›
With so much to do and see, you would ideally want to spend a full week in Juneau, but with proper planning, you can experience the highlights over a long weekend getaway. If you're planning a 3-day trip to Juneau, you won't be hard-pressed for things to do.What is Juneau best known for? ›
Juneau is many things: a mountain town, a coastal community and the most scenic capital city in the U.S. A natural wonder, wildlife hotspot and cultural jewel, Juneau is rich in history, art, music and Native heritage.Can you go to Mendenhall Glacier on your own? ›
While many people go to Mendenhall Glacier with a tour group or on a shore excursion, you can also get to the glacier on your own. You can take a taxi from Juneau, drive to the glacier with a rental car, or take the city bus to Glacier Spur Road and walk the rest of the way (1.5 miles).What is the coldest month in Juneau Alaska? ›
The cold season lasts for 4.1 months, from November 10 to March 12, with an average daily high temperature below 39°F. The coldest month of the year at Juneau International Airport is January, with an average low of 25°F and high of 33°F.Is there snow in Juneau Alaska in May? ›
The snowless period of the year in Juneau lasts from May to October. The most snow falls around January, with an average accumulation of 4.8 inches.Does it get cold in Juneau Alaska? ›
Freezing temperatures can happen in Juneau anytime from September until May. Juneau typically sees 128 frosty nights a year. The coldest nights drop down to below 0 °F (-18 °C), which happens on average twice a year. For an average of 39 days annually the thermometer never rises above freezing.When can you see whales in Juneau? ›
The best time to whale watch is from April to November, when approximately 600 humpbacks inhabit the waters of the northern Inside Passage. Whale watching tours are offered in Juneau and near Glacier Bay. Daily boat tours to Tracy Arm rarely return without whale sightings - and you'll often spot many on a single trip.How much does it cost to go to Mendenhall Glacier? ›
There is a $5 entrance fee for 16 & over at the visitor center during summer months (May 1 to September 30) when the visitor center is open from 8:00am-7:30pm daily. Winter (October to April) is free (no fee required) and visitor center hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am - 4:00pm.
On Celebrity, cruises to Alaska and Iceland just might yield sightings of Aurora Borealis. That said, even if you don't see the Northern Lights during your cruise, there's plenty to fall in love with in these exciting destinations, from incredible dog-sledding competitions to hiking along stunning fjords.What time do the northern lights come out in Alaska? ›
What Time of Night is Best to See the Northern Lights in Alaska? Your best chances of seeing the northern lights in Alaska is always between 10 pm and 2 am. That is the best time to see the northern lights in Alaska, but you may not want to wait up for the entire night to see the northern lights.Can you see the northern lights every night in Alaska? ›
Yes, you can see the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis, from Anchorage - but not in the summer. The aurora actually occurs all year long, but the sky needs to be clear and dark to see it. Views are best from September to April. Winter is the prime viewing time.Can you see the northern lights on an Alaskan cruise in September? ›
The Timing of the Northern Lights
The best month to see the Northern Lights in Alaska while cruising is in September. With fewer hours of daylight and more darkness, there are additional chances to see the waltzing colors illuminate the evening sky.
Alaska is a state in USA, no need for a visa........What is the average cost of a 7 day Alaska cruise? ›
A 7-night Alaska Cruise can cost anywhere from $500 per person to $5000+ per person, depending on the type of cruise ship and your choice of stateroom. Alaska land tours with 3-star hotels, train travel, and popular day tours generally cost around $300 per person per day, based on double occupancy.How much is a Big Mac in Alaska? ›
How Much A Big Mac Costs In Every State.
April to November is the best time to whale watch in Alaska and that nicely encompasses the cruise season. Like most of us, whales enjoy Alaska in the spring and summer months, when the days are long, and feeding is plentiful. Some whales are in Alaska year-round and others migrate to the state during summer months.Do I need a passport for an Alaskan cruise? ›
Do you need a passport to go on a cruise to Alaska? Even though Alaska is part of the United States, most cruise itineraries will require you to travel with a U.S. passport. If you're on a cruise to Alaska that begins or ends in Canada, you are required to carry a passport book or passport card.Is there a shuttle from Juneau airport to downtown? ›
The City and Borough of Juneau offer an outstanding public transit system called Capital Transit. You can get an airport shuttle in Juneau, AK, for $2 a ride.
Complete your plans today by reserving a ride with Uber in Juneau. Request a ride up to 30 days in advance, at any time and on any day of the year.Does Juneau have a hop on hop off bus? ›
Plan Your Trip
Enjoy the downtown Red Trolley Tour! Hop off at the State Museum, Salmon Hatchery and the life size Breaching Whale Fountain.
You can fly to Juneau from Seattle (2 hours) and then take the Alaska ferry from Juneau to Gustavus and then take a taxi or the Glacier Bay lodge shuttle from the ferry dock to Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park (the cost of both is about $30 round trip).Where are the Mendenhall ice caves? ›
The Ice Caves located at the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska are natural ice formations tucked away in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.Is Juneau pretty? ›
One of Alaska's oldest and most beautiful cities, Juneau is home to majestic mountains, glaciers, wildlife, and views of waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and ocean. In a town where even pubs and coffee shops advertise great views of the incredible scenery, it can be hard to know where to go.How much is the ferry from Seattle to Juneau Alaska? ›
The best way to get from Seattle to Juneau without a car is to train and car ferry which takes 37h 22m and costs $440 - $700.Can I drive from Anchorage to Juneau? ›
The direct drive from Anchorage to Juneau is 850 mi (1367 km), and should have a drive time of 1 day 1 hr in normal traffic.Is a road trip to Alaska worth it? ›
Alaska has well-maintained, Instagram-worthy scenic highways. And with car rentals available in most major cities, you'll have plenty of exciting and beautiful natural landmarks to gaze out at along the route. Take it slow and leisurely, or pack your itinerary with all the top sights.Is Juneau Alaska walkable? ›
This location is Very Walkable so most errands can be accomplished on foot. This location is in the Downtown neighborhood in Juneau. Nearby parks include Cope Park, Seawalk and Capital School Park.Does it rain a lot in Juneau? ›
Juneau, Alaska gets 71 inches of rain, on average, per year.
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Juneau has seen an increase in the number of moose appearances in recent years. Kevin White of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said recent counts showed 300 moose in Gustavus and over 110 in Berner's Bay.What is the best way to get around Juneau? ›
Call a cab.
The public bus system in Juneau might work for a few errands around town, but it stops short of some important landmarks, like the ferry terminal. So if you have a place you need to go, especially if it's a one-way trip, calling a taxi is always a good option.
At $33 for adult tickets (and $16 for kids between 6 and 12), the tramway can be expensive for some. Although, that price includes all-day unlimited rides, a short film viewing and a visit to the Juneau Raptor Center and the Raven Eagle Gifts & Gallery.Where can I see moose in Juneau? ›
Moose have been spotted at Point Bridget State Park and Mendenhall Lake, according to wildlife biologist Mary F. Willson. Juneau area biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Roy Churchwell said moose are occasionally spotted in Juneau but a population has never established itself.Can you see the Northern Lights from Juneau? ›
Juneau is a wonderful place in Alaska where you can watch the Aurora phenomenon. Go hiking on some of the trails at Juneau to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.What should I wear to Mendenhall Glacier? ›
CLIMATE AND CLOTHING
Come prepared with clothing that is warm even when wet - such as wool and polar fleece - and with items that can be layered. Raingear, hats, gloves and sturdy shoes or hiking boots are strongly recommended.
After further research, we stumbled upon a description of the West Glacier Trail. From this trail, one can actually access Mendenhall Glacier directly on foot. Unfortunately, the trail head is rather far from downtown Juneau, so you will either need a rental car or a taxi to get there.What's the warmest month in Juneau Alaska? ›
The warmest months are June, July, and August. Normal high temperatures in June and July are in the lower 60s continuing through most of August reaching the middle 60s late in the month. The record high for Juneau is 90 degrees set on July 7, 1975.What are the coldest months in Juneau Alaska? ›
The cold season lasts for 4.1 months, from November 10 to March 12, with an average daily high temperature below 39°F. The coldest month of the year at Juneau International Airport is January, with an average low of 25°F and high of 33°F.Is there snow in Juneau in June? ›
Snowfall. The snowless period of the year in Juneau lasts from May to October. The most snow falls around January, with an average accumulation of 4.8 inches.
Freezing temperatures can happen in Juneau anytime from September until May. Juneau typically sees 128 frosty nights a year. The coldest nights drop down to below 0 °F (-18 °C), which happens on average twice a year. For an average of 39 days annually the thermometer never rises above freezing.Why is Juneau so cold? ›
The coldest areas in Juneau will be in the Mendenhall Valley near Mendenhall Glacier. “Cold air likes to pool in valleys during the nighttime, then having the glacier just exacerbates that,” Moore said. “So, that's why we get 10 to 15 degrees colder than the airport, which is only a few miles away.”Does it rain a lot in Juneau? ›
Juneau, Alaska gets 71 inches of rain, on average, per year.What is Juneau like in June? ›
The average temperature in Juneau in June for a typical day ranges from a high of 54°F (12°C) and a low of 44°F (7°C). Some would describe it as cold humid but cool. For comparison, the hottest month in Juneau, July, has days with highs of 58°F (15°C) and lows of 48°F (9°C).What's the longest day in Juneau Alaska? ›
Dates are based on the Gregorian calendar. The June solstice (summer solstice) in Juneau is at 1:13 am on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. In terms of daylight, this day is 11 hours, 54 minutes longer than the December solstice. In most locations north of the equator, the longest day of the year is around this date.Is there snow in Juneau Alaska in August? ›
The month with the highest number of snowfall days is January (21.9 days). The months with the least snowfall days are June, July, August and September (0 days).Is there snow in Juneau in May? ›
In Juneau in May, there's a 39% chance of rain or snow on an average day. And on the average day it rains or snows, we get 0.01 in (0.1 mm) of precipitation.What are the rainy months in Alaska? ›
If you ask people in Interior Alaska, what's the wettest month of the year, in the eastern Interior it would July. But for the North Slope the Western half of the state, down into Southcentral, August is the wettest month of the year. If you go down to Southeast, it's September and even October in some places.Is it rainy in Alaska in June? ›
In June, high temperatures in Alaska's interior and coastal regions average between 60°and 70°F (16-21°C) during the day. It's a dry month with a 20-23% chance of rain and between 19 and 22 hours of daylight. Snow has usually melted.What is Juneau like in April? ›
Daily high temperatures increase by 9°F, from 44°F to 53°F, rarely falling below 38°F or exceeding 62°F. Daily low temperatures increase by 6°F, from 32°F to 38°F, rarely falling below 24°F or exceeding 43°F.
Alaska's capital city is one of two United States capitals that are not accessible by car. Arriving by plane, cruise ship, or ferry will give you access to the amazing views that surround Juneau.What is Juneau like in September? ›
Juneau weather in September is moderate with an average high of 57 degrees and an average low of 45 degrees. But you'll want to plan for moisture because September has an average of 19 days of rain. If you wait one more month to visit, you'll be here in the rainiest month of the year: October.