Q: I am interested in visiting Alaska in March. Is that a good time? What is the weather, and what is there to do? --Debbie
A: March doesn’t mean springtime yet in Alaska. There’s still a lot of snow, and plenty of darkness, too—but things are start to brighten, literally. By March 21, there is exactly 12 hours each of light and darkness. That said, earlier in March might be your best bet for a March visit. This is still the season for watching the northern lights, and they’re more easily seen with more hours of darkness. The Northern Alaska Tour Company does great day- and multi-day trips to see the aurora borealis outside Fairbanks.
While most tour operators, and hotels outside the main cities, are closed down for the winter, a few make the most of the snow. Check out our pages on the town of Girdwood and the Alyeska Hotel, 40 minutes away from Anchorage, as well as the wilderness lodge Winterlake Lodge.
The hot event for March is the beginning of the Iditarod. You can see the dog teams take off first in Anchorage on the 6th this year, and then again in Willow on the 7th. To catch the winners crossing the finish line, you’d need to up in Nome sometime around the 15th or 16th. To get information on watching the beginning of the race, check out the Iditarod’s official calendar, which includes a $65-per-person banquet on the evening of the 4th where you can meet the mushers, too
For more information the northern lights, check out our pages on Auroras and Fairbankson Alaska.org. We also have an Alaska Weather Planner that helps you predict the weather for your dates and destination.