Top 10 Things to Do in Alaska in April

April is a great time to visit Alaska and experience a range of outdoor activities. From witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights to exploring Glacier National Park and taking a wildlife cruise, there are plenty of things to do. Here are the key takeaways:

Key Takeaways

  • Experience the Northern Lights at the best places and follow tips for viewing them
  • Explore Glacier National Park and discover hiking trails and wildlife spotting opportunities
  • Take a wildlife cruise and enjoy popular routes while spotting marine wildlife
  • Visit Denali National Park for scenic drives and hiking opportunities
  • Experience dog sledding and learn about its history

Experience the Northern Lights

Best Places to See the Northern Lights

If you’re planning a trip to Alaska in April, you’re in luck! April is a great time to see the Northern Lights and experience the beauty of Alaska in its winter glory. The prime time for Northern Lights viewing in Alaska is from mid-August to mid-April, with February, March, September, and October being the best months. To maximize your chances of seeing the auroras, head north and get as far away from cities and major towns as possible to avoid light pollution. There are dozens of guided tours available that will take you into the backcountry, where the only light you’ll see is from the sky above. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you can use the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center website to time your visit around the Northern Lights. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Tips for Viewing the Northern Lights

If you’re planning to view the Northern Lights in Alaska, here are some tips to enhance your experience:

  • Book a tour with local experts: To ensure you have the best chance of seeing the lights, it’s recommended to book a tour with local experts. They can guide you to the right locations and provide valuable information about the optimal viewing conditions.

  • Adjust your camera settings: If you’re interested in capturing the Northern Lights with your camera, make sure to adjust the settings for long exposure. Even if you can’t see the lights clearly with your eyes, your camera may still capture them.

  • Bring the right equipment: For serious photographers, it’s recommended to have a good camera, such as a Sony Mirrorless, a tripod, and a trigger. These tools will help you capture the beauty of the Aurora Borealis.

  • Stay warm and comfortable: During your Northern Lights viewing experience, you have the option to stay warm inside the facilities provided by the tour operators. Alternatively, you can keep warm by a fire outside and gaze at the sky for that special moment.

Remember, the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and visibility can vary. But with the right preparations and a little luck, you can witness the breathtaking beauty of the Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Explore Glacier National Park

Hiking Trails in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park offers a variety of hiking trails that showcase the park’s stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or prefer a leisurely stroll, there’s a trail for everyone.

  • Mendenhall Glacier West Glacier Trail: This challenging trail is perfect for experienced hikers looking for a thrilling adventure. Traverse the rugged terrain and witness the breathtaking views of the Mendenhall Glacier. Keep an eye out for the park’s abundant wildlife, including black bears, bald eagles, and Coho salmon.

  • Rainforest Stroll: If you prefer a more relaxed hike, the Rainforest Stroll is ideal. Take a leisurely walk through the lush rainforest and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Keep your camera ready to capture the diverse bird species and beavers that call this area home.

For those seeking more information and tips for hiking in Glacier National Park, consider visiting the Visitor Center. They provide valuable insights into the park’s history, wildlife, and the impact of climate change. Remember to pack appropriate gear, including sturdy hiking boots and layers for changing weather conditions. Enjoy the beauty of Glacier National Park and make unforgettable memories on these scenic trails!

Wildlife Spotting in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to a diverse range of animals, including black bears, bald eagles, beavers, Coho salmon, and various other birds and waterfowl. Visitors can observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat as they roam freely within the park’s protected space. One of the highlights of Glacier National Park is the opportunity to view black bears up close safely from several Steep Creek platforms. These platforms provide a unique and thrilling experience for visitors. The park’s Visitor Center is also a must-visit, offering valuable insights into the area’s history, wildlife, and the impact of climate change.

Take a Wildlife Cruise

Popular Wildlife Cruise Routes

When it comes to wildlife cruises in Alaska, there are plenty of options to choose from. One popular route is a 1-hour cruise that takes you out to observe the glacier, massive icebergs, and the possibility of witnessing the glacier calving. This cruise is ideal for families with little kids, as it is shorter in duration compared to other cruises that can last 3+ hours. However, if you have older kids or are interested in a longer wildlife cruise, I recommend traveling to Seward and joining one of the many wildlife tours available there. Seward offers a variety of wildlife viewing opportunities and longer cruises for a more immersive experience.

Marine Wildlife to Look Out For

Alaska is home to a diverse range of marine wildlife that can be spotted throughout the year. One of the highlights is whale watching, with various whale species including humpback whales, orcas, and minke whales inhabiting the waters surrounding Juneau, Alaska. These majestic creatures often put on a breaching spectacle, captivating the attention of onlookers. Another fascinating marine animal to look out for is the sea lion, known for its playful nature and excellent photo opportunities. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a seal or a walrus during your coastal explorations. For those interested in birdwatching, migratory songbird species return home during the spring months, adding to the vibrant wildlife scene. To enhance your wildlife experience, consider visiting the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC), where you can see a variety of animals, including moose, bears, and reindeer. Remember to check the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s wildlife calendars by region for more information on wildlife spotting opportunities.

Visit Denali National Park

Scenic Drives in Denali National Park

Denali National Park offers breathtaking scenic drives that allow you to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes of Alaska. One of the must-stop locations along the drive is the North View Point on Parks Highway (AK 3), where you can catch a glimpse of the highest peak, Mt. Denali. The South View Point is another must-stop spot that offers a different but equally mesmerizing view of the mountains on the horizon. Both viewpoints provide telescopes for a closer look at the majestic scenery.

After a day of exploration, make your way to Talkeetna, where you can indulge in a delicious dinner and drinks at the Denali Brewpub. If you have more time to spare, consider adding additional activities to your itinerary. Take a bus tour narrated by a trained naturalist for an informative trip into the park. Alternatively, embark on a backcountry safari for a thrilling off-road adventure in Denali National Park.

To make the most of your visit, be sure to check out our complete guide for things to do in Denali National Park and Talkeetna. These resources will provide you with valuable information and recommendations to enhance your experience in this breathtaking part of Alaska.

Hiking Opportunities in Denali National Park

Denali National Park offers a variety of hiking trails for all levels of experience. From easy and short hikes to more challenging backcountry trails, there is something for everyone. One popular trail is the Horseshoe Lake Trail, which offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountain range. Along the trail, you can also hike a short spur to overlook a beaver dam, providing a unique wildlife viewing opportunity. If you have more time to explore the park, there are up to 20 hiking trails to choose from, allowing you to immerse yourself in the unspoiled wilderness. Please note that access to the park during the shoulder season or winter may be limited, so it’s important to plan your visit in advance.

Experience Dog Sledding

Dog Sledding Tours in Alaska

Dog sledding tours are one of the popular attractions in Alaska. Experience the thrill of gliding through the snowy landscapes while being pulled by a team of energetic and well-trained sled dogs. These tours offer a unique opportunity to learn about the history and tradition of dog sledding in Alaska. You’ll get to interact with the friendly and hardworking dogs, and even have a chance to try your hand at mushing. It’s an exhilarating adventure that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Learn About the History of Dog Sledding

Dog sledding in Alaska has a rich history that dates back centuries. It has been an integral part of Alaska’s culture and way of life. The harsh winter conditions and vast wilderness of Alaska made dog sledding a necessary mode of transportation for early settlers and indigenous peoples. Today, dog sledding is not only a means of transportation but also a popular recreational activity for visitors to Alaska.

Go Fishing in Alaska

Best Fishing Spots in Alaska

Throughout the year, there’s great fishing to be found in Alaska. Anglers should consider visiting Ketchikan, a remote fishing town located near the southern tip of the state. Known as the salmon capital of the world, it’s often a popular stop on cruise itineraries, and not just for this particular sport. In the summer, the water can warm up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that almost every waterfront town in Alaska has at least some kind of fishing community, and with more than three million lakes, rivers, streams, and bays, the largest state in the U.S. offers a multitude of fishing spots to choose from. If it’s classic Alaskan King salmon you’re after, visit between mid-May and the end of September, when the season for that species peaks. If you’d like to try your hand at ice fishing, head to the Quartz Lake State Recreation Area between mid-November and mid-April.

Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip

When planning a fishing trip in Alaska in April, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to check the weather conditions and water temperatures before heading out. The weather in April can be unpredictable, so be prepared for changing conditions. Second, make sure to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the trip. Layered clothing is recommended to stay warm in the chilly temperatures. Third, consider hiring a local guide or joining a fishing charter to maximize your chances of success. They have the knowledge and experience to take you to the best fishing spots. Lastly, be patient and enjoy the experience. Fishing in Alaska is not just about catching fish, but also about immersing yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the surroundings.


In conclusion, April is a fantastic time to visit Alaska and experience all that this beautiful state has to offer. From witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights to exploring the breathtaking Glacier National Park, there are endless opportunities for adventure and discovery. Don’t miss the chance to take a thrilling wildlife cruise or visit the stunning Denali National Park. For a unique and exhilarating experience, try dog sledding and learn about its fascinating history. And of course, don’t forget to indulge in some fishing in Alaska’s pristine waters. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a memorable vacation, Alaska in April has something for everyone. Start planning your trip today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best places to see the Northern Lights in Alaska?

The best places to see the Northern Lights in Alaska are Fairbanks, Denali National Park, and Anchorage.

What are some tips for viewing the Northern Lights in Alaska?

To view the Northern Lights in Alaska, it is recommended to find a dark location away from city lights, dress warmly, and be patient as the lights can be unpredictable.

What are the best hiking trails in Glacier National Park?

Some of the best hiking trails in Glacier National Park are the Harding Icefield Trail, Exit Glacier Trail, and the Byron Glacier Trail.

What wildlife can I expect to see in Glacier National Park?

In Glacier National Park, you can expect to see wildlife such as bears, moose, mountain goats, and eagles.

What are popular wildlife cruise routes in Alaska?

Popular wildlife cruise routes in Alaska include the Inside Passage, Glacier Bay National Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park.

What marine wildlife can I look out for on a wildlife cruise in Alaska?

On a wildlife cruise in Alaska, you can look out for marine wildlife such as whales, sea lions, seals, and otters.

What are some scenic drives in Denali National Park?

Some scenic drives in Denali National Park include the Denali Park Road, the Savage River Loop, and the Polychrome Pass.

What hiking opportunities are there in Denali National Park?

In Denali National Park, you can find hiking opportunities on trails such as the Triple Lakes Trail, the Mount Healy Overlook Trail, and the Horseshoe Lake Trail.

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