Cool Alaska

If anyone is planning a trip up here to Alaska this summer you might want to pack an extra layer of fleece. It has been a late and cold spring which is usually an indication of a cold summer.

alaska weather
Alaska is cold a lot of the time, especially in SE. I worked on the mainland and wore wool longjohns even in July and August.

Alaska Adventure

– Last Updated: May-14-13 8:03 PM EST –

You might be interested in reading the blog here, about a guy making a trip up the Canadian coast, then over the Chilkoot pass to the Yukon River, eventually to the Bering Sea and back south down the coast. I've been following him for a couple of weeks. He's stuck in Skagway now more than a week, with snow conditions on the Chilkoot the worst in memory. I'll be paddling the Yukon River Quest canoe race at the end of June, hoping the late thaw will provide plenty of fast water.

Read the blog about half way down the page about Chilkoot, and the active map of his location at:

Ah the best laid plans of mice and men. Spring is avalance season around here but it is not something most paddler think about. Have a good race on the Yukon! The current really moves fast in places.

Fast Yukon
Yup, it is a fantastic river. This will be my second time in the 460 mile YRQ, and have raced the Y1K (1000 mile) twice. I have learned much about reading the current in wide fast flowing rivers, and it gets better each time. The Yukon calls, and I can’t escape its lure.

Thanks for the info
I am heading up the first two weeks in July to paddle in Prince William Sound. I am going back and forth with what to bring. I’ll add the extra layers.

Well thankfully I was wrong. This past week the temps were up in the 70’s and the sun was shining. great way to turn the 60. Paddling up to the LeConte Glacier! First real summer weather in three years! Hope it lasts but I’m keeping the fleece close just in case.

Whitehorse was warm for paddle training yesterday. Forecast for the next couple of days is to reach the mid 80’s. It’s going to be a very warm and sweaty canoe race. The YRQ to Dawson starts on Wednesday.

The closest I have ever come to freezing to death was in late August in a snowstorm near Chilkoot Pass on the AK/BC border.


– Last Updated: Sep-11-13 11:34 AM EST –

Just got back from Alaska and was in Fairbanks for the solstice. It was my last state to drive on a motorcycle in and it was a cold wet ride up there. I did kayak up there on a previous trip. It was 88 degrees in Fairbanks on June 20th. Still a great trip.

Warm paddle

– Last Updated: Jul-07-13 11:00 PM EST –

On the Yukon River Quest, the start was in the mid-upper 80's at noon on June 26. Lake Laberge was nearly dead calm and glassy flat. That makes twice I have seen it that way, but two other times it showed its fury in full force for the race.

Paddling through the first night we only needed a very light layer over poly t-shirt, and I was marginally too warm in that. Landing at Carmacks at 0900, trying to sleep for the mandatory 7 hour break in 90 degree daytime temps was difficult. Paddling the second "night" it stayed very warm with many constant thunderstorms nearby, with several forest fires visible, including a couple of very fresh starts. Finishing at Dawson Friday evening, still near 90.

Afterward we toured Haines until July 5. Very comfortable temps in the high 50's. Back to Whitehorse it was still quite warm for the flight home.

AK climate
The Interior of Alaska has a continental climate, characterized by wide fluctuations in temperature from summer to winter. It is the coldest and hottest part of Alaska. The coast is just the opposite with the moderating influence of the marine air and lots of moisture. Tough conditions prevail in the coastal mountains with cold, wet conditions most of the year. Many stations have 150 inches of rain a year or more.

Fairbanks is more like 15.