- Planning A Trip To Alaska In June
- What To Pack For An Alaska Cruise Plus Packing List
- The 7 Best Alaska Cruises For Every Travel Style 2023
- Alaska In June: Is This The Best Month To Visit Alaska?
- How To Plan The Perfect Trip To Alaska 
Planning A Trip To Alaska In June – There’s no doubt that this 7- to 10-day Alaska itinerary includes some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring places on earth, with jaw-dropping national parks, sparkling glaciers, and abundant wildlife.
A summer trip in Alaska to the Alaskan Panhandle, the Kenai Peninsula, and the area from Anchorage to Denali should be on every American’s bucket list.
Planning A Trip To Alaska In June
Visiting Alaska was the completion of our 50 state travel challenge. We saved one of the best for last because we knew we wanted to do a longer 1 to 2 week Alaska trip.
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This Alaska travel guide has everything you need, including daily activities, the best places to stay and the best areas to visit.
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If you are looking for an amazing Alaska itinerary and have at least 7 days in Alaska, be sure to add Juneau.
This capital is full of activities and interesting places to see, but most people can only get there by boat. It’s actually very easy to get there by air on the way to Anchorage, and you might consider a stopover in Sitka on the way.
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When planning your trip to Alaska, you can fly into Juneau or Sitka to see some of the towns that are usually on Alaska cruises.
Major airlines and small planes go to both of these places. Sitka is small enough to visit on a layover or stay the night if you want to go hiking and whale watching.
We set up our initial flight to Juneau and were especially lucky with a 3 hour layover in Sitka which allowed us to visit this tiny town. You’ll be surprised how much you can see in a town just 4 minutes from the airport.
Sitka, Alaska’s third largest city, is located on Baranof Island in the southeastern part of the state. With a mild climate and a rich history, this is definitely an interesting place to explore.
What To Pack For An Alaska Cruise Plus Packing List
The totem pole is one of the first places you see when you enter town with a very cool, very tall totem pole. You will also see the beautiful harbor. It’s not the picture from the movie The Proposal (actually not taken in Sitka).
Downtown Sitka is filled with shops selling everything from Alaskan-themed souvenirs to local artwork. We especially liked the Alaska Pure Sea Salt. They have great flavored sea salts for cooking and good bath salts and scrubs.
Dine at one of Sitka’s must-see cafes and restaurants. Highliner Coffee Company is a local favorite, serving freshly roasted coffee and homemade pastries. Other popular spots include Beak Restaurant and Ludvig’s Bistro.
We went on a self-guided walking tour not knowing what we were doing but saw the interesting St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathedral, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka Fine Arts Camp and Sitka Sound Science Center.
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If we had stayed longer, we would have liked to visit Sitka National Historical Park for hiking, biking and kayaking.
The flight to Juneau from Sitka takes 45 minutes gate to gate. The airport is 9 miles from the city center. Juneau is a lot bigger than you might think and the lack of Uber drivers is why we recommend renting a car at the airport
The Alaskan panhandle is a real rainforest. Even though the environment is so different from a tropical rainforest like Belize, it shares the rainy climate. And the weather in Juneau can change your plans.
Our guided helicopter tour and Juneau Icefield Walk was canceled due to weather and poor visibility for flight.
The Perfect Alaska Road Trip Itinerary: How To See The State In 7 To 10 Days
The trip looks very exciting so hopefully you will be lucky enough to go and get a bird’s eye view of Juneau and walk on top of the glacier.
As a backup plan, take a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. They offer a variety of interactive exhibits that educate visitors about the history and geology of Mendenhall Glacier.
There is also a theater where films about the glacier are shown and a number of ranger-led tours are offered throughout the day.
After exploring the visitor center, visitors can take a leisurely, 2-mile out-and-back hike to Nugget Falls, for an up-close look at one of Alaska’s many majestic waterfalls. The falls are much larger than they look in the picture above on the right.
The Best Time To Cruise Alaska Month By Month
Juneau is also a great place to drive around and explore even if it rains. The way the clouds hug the mountains makes for beautiful pictures. There are plenty of places to stop and explore. You may be lucky enough to see a bald eagle.
Take a drive down Thane Road to see tons of salmon spawning at Sheep Creek. It’s fascinating, but a bit morbid because they die after they lay their eggs. Be prepared to see plenty of dead fish.
Then go soaring through the treetops, as you slide quickly from platform to platform, seven in total. The last zipline takes you right over an ax throwing area.
Try your aim after the instructors have taught you how to throw and ax correctly. If you’re skilled you’ll hear a satisfying thud when you sink the ax into the target, or in my case you’ll hear nothing at all, haha!
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The Mount Roberts Tram takes a six-minute ascent and takes you 1,800 feet up Mount Roberts. You’ll get views of the Gastineau Channel, Douglas Island, downtown Juneau and the giant cruise ships.
You can then choose to climb to the top on one of three main trails or relax and enjoy a meal at the Timberline Restaurant. There’s also a nature center and the Chilkat Theater on site, so you can really take advantage of that.
For a truly adventurous challenge, hike the Mount Roberts Trail from Juneau to the summit of Mount Roberts. The trail is 7.6 miles out and back with a whopping 3,733 feet of elevation gain.
Or just walk up, spend $15 at the Timberline restaurant and get a free ride down on the tram. This is a perfect adventure for your Alaska travel itinerary.
The 7 Best Alaska Cruises For Every Travel Style 2023
One unique experience for your Alaska itinerary can be found just outside of Juneau in the Mendenhall Valley.
We mentioned visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Day 1 in Juneau, but that’s nothing compared to visiting the glacier itself.
Mendenhall Glacier is a 12-mile-long sheet of ice that flows from the Juneau Ice Field into Mendenhall Lake. Over the centuries, the glacier has slowly retreated, creating huge icebergs and magnificent blue ice caps.
The Mendenhall Glacier Trek or Glacier Kayak Tour is a must for any Alaska itinerary. Wherever you get there, you will be able to experience the glacier and the ice caves.
The Best Time To Cruise Alaska
While it’s definitely a workout, it’s well worth it. The experience of standing inside a huge cave made of blue ice is truly unforgettable!
The Mendenhall Glacier Trek Guided Hike takes you on a trail through the Tongass Rainforest to explore the edge of the glacier on foot.
You’ll get to see spectacular crevasses up close, and if it’s safe, you’ll walk on the ice with cramping and/or head into an ice cave.
You’ll need to be in decent shape as you’ll be hiking 8 miles with a 15-pound backpack of hiking gear.
Alaska In June: Is This The Best Month To Visit Alaska?
And the journey is approximately 6.5 hours. Hotel pickup, snacks, water and equipment are offered. The minimum age is 10.
The trip is rain or shine – for us it was rain. Alaskans see rain as a normal part of life – be sure to pack a raincoat. Wear warm workout clothes and they will wear you with waterproof pants, waterproof jacket, boots and kayak skirt.
Once you’re in your kayaks or canoes, all tedious preparation fades away as you head out onto the glassy, reflective Mendenhall Lake with mist gently settling over the water.
It’s 3 miles of leisurely paddling at the most scenic spot until you reach the base of the glacier.
The Ultimate Alaska Summer Trip: 10 Day Alaska Itinerary
The distant glacier ice does not show a varied landscape, but up close you can see the blue color of the compacted ice and all the cracks.
It is a short way from the lake to the entrance of an ice cave. If it’s deemed safe to enter, your guide will explain all the safety precautions before you venture into a wonderland of turquoise ice.
The melting ice drips from the air into rivers on the ground. It’s insanely beautiful and heartwarming to think you’re standing under a giant glacier. For us it was the highlight of the trip.
Then you walk up the edge of the glacier. Without an iceberg, you can’t go to the glacier itself, but it’s still amazing from the edge.
How To Plan The Perfect Trip To Alaska 
Interesting fact – the dirt around the glacier is compacted silt. People pay good money for it as a face mask. Surprisingly, my son refused the on-site beauty treatment we offered!
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