You can avoid the summertime crowds and prices. Most people visit Juneau in the warmer months, prices go up accordingly. Off-peak prices on accommodations and travel make this an appealing time to visit. Trails and tours, and the town itself are uncrowded, but mostly free of snow. As summer nears, prices go up, cruise ships arrive, and crowds of people visit in droves.
The Northern Lights
During the summer months, the amount of daylight limits the window of opportunity for viewing the Aurora Borealis, or the northern lights. Winter means having limited daylight hours to enjoy, and it seems to be cloudy more often, which restricts your view. Spring means warmer temperatures, fewer cloudy days and often wonderful, wide-open views of the lights. If the lights don’t make an appearance, the number of visible stars on a clear night will still blow you away if you live in a more urban area.
Bald eagles, whales, orcas, brown and black bears, wolves, seals, moose, deer and all the other adorable critters people adore start making appearances more often during this time of year. Birders will enjoy the migrating birds during this time of year. You may even see the rare ‘glacier-bear’, a local variety of black bear adapted to glacial life. It is a bluish-white, and there is one on display in the airport to enjoy should the elusive creature evade you. Fish also become more common, so if you’re into fishing or just eating fish, then salmon, trout, and halibut await you, to name a few.
After a long, dark, snowy winter, Juneau begins to come alive during the spring months. Harbors bustle with activity as people ready for the upcoming fishing season. Bears come out of hibernation, birds begin their annual migrations north, and green replaces white as the snow retreats up the numerous mountains and plants begin to grow. There is a nice balance of daylight and darkness that only exists in the spring and autumn, and this combines with temperate weather to make ideal conditions for viewing the spectacular northern lights displays that frequent the area. One can go skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing in the morning, and then go explore the coastlines on foot, bike, kayak or canoe afterward. Hang out in town visiting museums or at the harbors, watching the activities, explore the rich mining heritage of the area It is a time of change and anticipation that ensures a unique, enjoyable experience.
Juneau has often been called ‘The most beautiful Capital in America’, but it is also, in my humble opinion, one of the most gorgeous, enjoyable areas in Alaska. Juneau has it all, and springtime is a perfect time to visit.