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Weather and packing

Weather and packing (PDF)
posted August 12, 2012

Anchorage Weather Facts and Figures


Month Average High Average Low Hours of Daylight Average Precipitation
August 63 F / 17 C 49 F / 9 C 15 hours 2.93 inches / 7.4 cm
September 55 F / 13 C 41 F / 5 C 13 hours 2.87 inches / 7.3 cm

Annual precipitation 16 inches / 41 cm

Anchorage Weather (5 day forecast)

Southcentral Alaska Climate

What to Pack

1. Layers

Weather in southcentral Alaska can vary greatly from day-to-day, and even during the day, so it’s best to be prepared for change. Dress in layers, and pack a fleece top, sweater, or sweatshirt.

While we won’t have snow by the end of August, the nights (and often the days) can be cool. Bring a jacket that can also serve as a raincoat, and a hat or headband. A pair of gloves wouldn’t hurt.

2. Comfortable shoes

Comfortable walking shoes are a good idea. There is a great walking trail around University Lake, steps away from the hotel. If you plan to explore, you’ll find more than 150 miles of paved trails inside the city. And if you plan to do some serious hiking, a good pair of boots isn’t a bad idea either. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails in Chugach State Park and beyond.

3. Casual dress

Alaska is a pretty casual place, so bring comfortable clothes. Leave those three-piece suits, ball gowns, and high heels at home.

4. Camera

Make sure to bring your camera and plenty of memory cards to store lots of pictures. If you run out of batteries, there are places all over town to get more. With so much to see and so many places to explore, Alaska is a photographer’s paradise.

5. Binoculars

Want to see a moose? Eagles? Bears? It’s possible to see all three, right on campus! If we’re lucky, we could even spot beluga whales in Turnagain Arm on the drive to Seward on Tuesday afternoon. A pair of binoculars is a great way to view wild animals up close and personal.

Cell Phone Service

If you have a phone through any domestic cell carrier, you should have no problem getting service in Anchorage. Keep in mind that coverage isn’t as reliable in remote areas of Alaska, so if you’re planning an excursion, long or short, make sure to let someone know where you’ll be and how long you’ll be gone before starting out.

If You Forgot Something

Anchorage isn’t nearly as remote or isolated as people think, so not to worry if you left something at home by mistake. Anchorage’s outdoor outfitters, clothing stores (we even have a Nordstrom’s!), and shops have you covered. You’ll find many of the same kind of grocery stores, pharmacies, big box stores like Target, and retail shops that you would at home.