15 Unforgettable Things to Do in Alaska in July

As an adventurer, you are probably always on the lookout for new and exciting destinations to explore. Look no further than Alaska in the month of July.

This majestic state offers a plethora of activities that will leave you in awe of its natural beauty and unique experiences.

From outdoor adventures to cultural events, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this time of year in Alaska.

One of the most popular activities to partake in during July is exploring the various national parks and wilderness areas.

Whether you are an avid hiker or simply enjoy taking in the scenic views, Alaska’s national parks offer countless opportunities for you to immerse yourself in nature.

Moreover, July is the perfect time to indulge in the state’s vibrant arts and culture scene. You can attend music festivals, art exhibits, and cultural performances that showcase the rich history and traditions of Alaska.

No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find an abundance of things to do in Alaska in July.

So pack your bags and get ready to start on a memorable adventure in the Last Frontier.

Key Takeaways

1. Midnight Sun Events: Experience the unique phenomenon of 24-hour daylight in Alaska during July, and take advantage of various outdoor activities and events that take place around the clock.

2. Wildlife Watching: July is a great time to spot abundant wildlife in their natural habitat, including bears, moose, and whales. Consider taking a wildlife viewing tour for a chance to see these magnificent creatures up close.

3. Outdoor Adventures: From hiking and fishing to scenic flights and glacier tours, Alaska offers a wide range of outdoor adventures to suit every interest, making July an ideal time to explore the stunning landscapes and natural beauty of the region.

Outdoor Adventure

Some of the best outdoor adventures in Alaska in July can be found in the breathtaking landscapes, offering a wide range of activities for nature enthusiasts.

From hiking in the midnight sun to wildlife watching and fishing expeditions, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the great outdoors.

What do to in July in Alaska

1. Midnight Sun Hiking

When you visit Alaska in July, you will experience the phenomenon of the midnight sun, with nearly 24 hours of daylight.

This means you can take advantage of the extended daylight hours to go hiking at any time of day.

Whether you choose to explore the forested trails, climb a mountain, or wander along the coast, the surreal experience of hiking under the midnight sun is something you won’t want to miss.

2. Wildlife Watching

Alaska is renowned for its diverse and abundant wildlife, and July is an ideal time to observe them in their natural habitats.

You can go on guided wildlife tours to spot bears, moose, bald eagles, and other fascinating creatures.

Alternatively, you can go on a self-guided adventure and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife while hiking or kayaking.

Just remember to keep a safe distance and respect the animals’ space.

3. Fishing Expeditions

If you’re an angler, Alaska is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. July is the peak season for salmon fishing, with opportunities to catch five different species of salmon as they make their way up the rivers and streams to spawn.

You can also try your hand at fishing for halibut, trout, and more.

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Cultural Experiences

Despite the rugged and wild reputation of Alaska, the state offers a rich cultural tapestry that is worth exploring.

In July, you can immerse yourself in the local culture by attending festivals, embarking on indigenous heritage tours, and visiting historical sites.

4. Visiting Local Festivals

Attending local festivals in Alaska is a great way to experience the state’s diverse cultural offerings.

In July, you can participate in events such as the Sitka Summer Music Festival, the Girdwood Forest Fair, and the Golden Days celebration in Fairbanks.

These festivals showcase everything from live music and dance performances to arts and crafts, providing you with a unique opportunity to connect with the local community and learn about Alaska’s cultural traditions.

5. Indigenous Heritage Tours

Exploring Alaska’s indigenous heritage is an essential part of understanding the state’s cultural identity.

In July, you can take guided tours to visit native Alaskan communities, learn about their traditions, and witness demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as basket weaving, carving, and dance.

These tours not only offer a glimpse into the rich history and customs of Alaska’s indigenous peoples but also provide an opportunity to engage with and support these vibrant communities.

6. Historical Sites

Alaska’s history is as diverse as its landscape, and in July, you have the chance to visit a variety of historical sites that showcase the state’s past.

From the Russian heritage of Sitka to the Gold Rush history of Skagway and the Denali National Park and Preserve, there are numerous opportunities to delve into Alaska’s past.

Visiting these sites allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the state’s cultural evolution and the impact of historical events on present-day Alaska.

Natural Wonders

Despite the summer crowd, Alaska in July is the perfect time to explore its natural wonders.

The state is home to breathtaking landscapes and stunning natural phenomena that you won’t find anywhere else.

Here are some natural wonders that you should definitely include in your itinerary when visiting Alaska in July.

Alaska in Summer

7. Glacier Tours

When in Alaska in July, one of the must-do activities is taking a glacier tour.

You can go on a boat tour to witness the majestic glaciers calving into the ocean, or take a guided hike to explore the ice fields up close.

Some popular spots for glacier tours include the famous Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, the Matanuska Glacier, and the Hubbard Glacier.

The experience of witnessing these massive rivers of ice up close is truly awe-inspiring and will leave you with lasting memories.

8. Whale Watching

July is the prime time for whale watching in Alaska due to the peak of the summer feeding season.

You can catch a glimpse of humpback whales, orcas, and even rare blue whales as they migrate through the nutrient-rich waters of Alaska.

There are numerous tour operators that offer whale watching excursions from various coastal towns, such as Seward, Juneau, and Sitka.

Being out on the water surrounded by these magnificent creatures is an experience that you won’t forget.

9. National Parks and Reserves

Alaska is home to some of the most stunning national parks and wildlife reserves in the country. In July, the weather is perfect for exploring these natural gems.

Denali National Park, with its towering mountains and diverse wildlife, is a must-visit.

You can also visit the Kenai Fjords National Park for its stunning glaciers, fjords, and rich marine wildlife.

The diverse landscapes and unique wildlife that you’ll encounter in these parks will make your trip to Alaska truly unforgettable.

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Recreational Activities

Not only is Alaska a stunning destination for its natural beauty, but it also offers a wide variety of recreational activities to keep you busy during your July visit.

Alaska in July

10. Kayaking and Rafting

Alaska is a paradise for kayakers and rafters, with its countless rivers, lakes, and coastal waters providing endless opportunities for exploration.

You’ll have the chance to spot wildlife such as eagles, bears, and seals as you navigate through the pristine waters.

With the long days of July, you’ll have plenty of daylight to make the most of your kayaking or rafting adventure.

11. Golfing Under the Midnight Sun

One of the most unique experiences you can have in Alaska in July is playing a round of golf under the midnight sun.

With nearly 24 hours of daylight, you can tee off at any time of day and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

Alaska’s golf courses are known for their natural beauty, with many offering views of snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife.

City Attractions

Unlike the colder winter months, July is the perfect time to explore Alaska’s urban areas and take advantage of the many city attractions available. From Anchorage to Fairbanks, there is no shortage of activities and sights to see in Alaska’s cities.

Things to Do in July in Alaska

12. Anchorage’s Urban Appeal

As Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage offers a unique blend of urban amenities and outdoor adventures.

In July, you can explore the city’s vibrant downtown area, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

Take a stroll along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, where you can enjoy stunning views of the Cook Inlet and the surrounding mountains.

If you’re interested in learning about Alaska’s native cultures, be sure to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, where you can experience traditional dances, storytelling, and authentic hand-crafted art.

For a taste of the local food scene, head to the Anchorage Market and Festival, where you can sample fresh seafood, artisanal crafts, and live entertainment.

If you’re looking to escape the city for a day, you can also take a scenic drive along the Seward Highway to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Turnagain Arm and Chugach Mountains.

No matter what your interests are, Anchorage has something to offer everyone in the summer months.

13. Fairbanks Summer Charm

While Fairbanks may be known for its winter attractions, the city also has a special charm in the summertime.

In July, you can experience the Midnight Sun, where the sun remains visible for nearly 24 hours a day.

This unique phenomenon creates a magical atmosphere and allows you to explore the city without ever having to worry about darkness setting in.

One of the best ways to experience Fairbanks in July is by visiting the Tanana Valley State Fair, which features live music, traditional Alaskan food, and agricultural exhibits.

You can also take a paddlewheel boat tour along the Chena River, where you’ll have the chance to see wildlife and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.

For a taste of history, be sure to visit Pioneer Park, which showcases the region’s gold rush heritage and offers museums, shops, and historic buildings to explore.

No matter what draws you to Fairbanks, you’re sure to find plenty of summer activities to keep you entertained.

Scenic Road Trips

Keep in mind that July is a great time to embark on some scenic road trips in Alaska.

The long days and relatively mild weather make it the perfect time to explore the stunning landscapes that this state has to offer.

Here are a couple of road trip options that you should consider during your visit.

Best things in July in Alaska

14. The Seward Highway Experience

When it comes to scenic road trips in Alaska, the Seward Highway experience is a must-see.

This 127-mile highway offers breathtaking views of the Turnagain Arm, the Chugach Mountains, and the Kenai Peninsula.

You can expect to see wildlife, glaciers, and picturesque fjords along the way.

Make sure to stop at Beluga Point for a chance to spot beluga whales, and take a hike at the nearby Winner Creek Trail.

As you drive further, don’t miss the chance to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and enjoy panoramic views at the Summit Lake Lodge.

15. The Dalton Highway Adventure

If you’re feeling adventurous, embarking on a road trip along the Dalton Highway is an experience like no other.

This rugged 414-mile road takes you through the remote and wild landscapes of northern Alaska, with views of the Arctic tundra, the Brooks Range, and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

Keep in mind that this is not your average road trip – services are minimal and weather conditions can be unpredictable.

However, the sense of adventure and the opportunity to see unique landscapes and wildlife make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those with an adventurous spirit.

Accommodations and Logistics

For your trip to Alaska in July, it’s essential to plan your accommodations and logistics in advance.

The state offers a wide range of lodging options, from rustic cabins to luxurious hotels, and transportation can vary from car rentals to ferry rides.

Here’s a guide to help you choose the right lodging and take care of travel essentials for a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Choosing the Right Lodging

When choosing the right lodging for your Alaska trip, consider your travel itinerary and the activities you’ll be engaging in.

If you’re planning to explore the wilderness or national parks, a cabin or lodge near your points of interest would be ideal, providing a rustic experience and easy access to nature.

However, if you prefer urban amenities and convenience, staying in a hotel in one of the larger cities like Anchorage or Fairbanks might be more suitable for you.

Be sure to book your accommodations well in advance, as July is a busy tourist season in Alaska, and popular spots can fill up quickly.

Travel Tips and Essentials

When traveling to Alaska in July, it’s important to pack appropriately for the outdoor activities and varying weather conditions.

Be sure to pack layers of clothing, including waterproof outerwear, as the weather can be unpredictable.

Insect repellent and sunscreen are essential, especially if you plan on spending time outdoors.

Moreover, if you’re planning to explore remote areas, consider carrying a first aid kit and bear spray for your safety.

Knowing the travel restrictions and guidelines for national parks and wildlife preserves is also crucial, so be sure to research and plan accordingly.

  • Pack layers of clothing
  • Carry insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Consider a first aid kit and bear spray for remote areas
  • Research travel restrictions and guidelines for national parks and wildlife preserves

Planning Your Itinerary

Your trip to Alaska in July should be well-planned to ensure that you make the most of your time and experience everything this beautiful state has to offer.

When planning your itinerary, consider the diverse range of activities and attractions available, as well as the unique landscapes and wildlife that you can encounter.

Sample One-week Alaska Itinerary

For a one-week trip to Alaska in July, you can explore a variety of destinations and activities.

Start your trip in Anchorage, where you can visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center to learn about the indigenous cultures of the region.

From Anchorage, take a day trip to the town of Seward, known for its stunning fjords and opportunities for whale watching.

Next, head to Denali National Park, where you can embark on a wildlife tour or hike the breathtaking trails.

Wrapping up your trip, spend a day in Fairbanks, exploring the city’s museums and taking a cruise on the Chena River.

This itinerary provides a well-rounded experience of Alaska’s diverse landscapes and attractions.

Extended Stay Options

If you have more than a week to spend in Alaska, consider extending your stay to fully immerse yourself in all that the state has to offer.

You can add on a visit to the Kenai Peninsula, renowned for its fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Alternatively, a trip to the remote Kodiak Island offers a chance to see brown bears in their natural habitat.

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the remote villages of Southeast Alaska provides insight into the state’s indigenous heritage.

With an extended stay, you can go deeper into Alaska’s natural wonders and local communities.

Wrap Up

The month of July in Alaska offers a plethora of activities and experiences for you to enjoy.

Whether you are looking for outdoor adventures or cultural experiences, there is something for everyone in this beautiful state.

With longer daylight hours and milder weather, July is the perfect time to explore the vast wilderness and unique culture of Alaska.

FAQs – Things to Do in Alaska in July

Q: What are the best outdoor activities to do in Alaska in July?

A: In July, Alaska offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, fishing, wildlife viewing, and glacier cruises. The long daylight hours and mild temperatures make July an ideal time for outdoor adventures.

Q: Are there any special events or festivals in Alaska in July?

A: Yes, July in Alaska is packed with special events and festivals including the Sitka Summer Music Festival, the Girdwood Forest Fair, and the Alaska Scottish Highland Games. Visitors can also enjoy Fourth of July celebrations in many towns across the state.

Q: What are the best places to see wildlife in Alaska in July?

A: July is a great time to see wildlife in Alaska. Some of the best places to see wildlife include Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors may encounter bears, moose, whales, and a variety of bird species.

Q: Can you go whale watching in Alaska in July?

A: Yes, July is an excellent time for whale watching in Alaska. The waters off the coast of Southeast Alaska, including the Inside Passage, are prime locations for spotting humpback whales, orcas, and other marine mammals during this time of year.

Q: What are some must-visit attractions in Alaska in July?

A: When visiting Alaska in July, some must-visit attractions include the Mendenhall Glacier, the Alaska SeaLife Center, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the famous Alaska Railroad. Additionally, taking a flightseeing tour over glaciers and mountain ranges is an unforgettable experience.

About the author

I'm Chloe Raley, the proud founder and curator of this travel haven. As an intrepid explorer and wordsmith, I founded this website to share my adventures.