You’ve never seen anything like winter in Alaska. Winter conditions begin to creep in during the first weeks of September and lingers through April, but the frigid temperatures are also accompanied by the darkness. The days grow shorter and shorter until the sun disappears entirely for weeks in some parts of the state. As the Earth rotates away from the sun, areas below the Arctic Circle never find themselves in the daylight. Many Alaskan cities see only a few hours of sunlight each day before the blanket of night returns. Other communities on the northern tip of the state see nothing but darkness for months.
The extended night hours make Alaska the perfect place for viewing the unmatched Northern Lights. The patterns and colors of light dance throughout the black sky to create an unforgettable, bucket list sight. At the same time, the weeks or even months without daylight can be incredibly trying.
Sunlight on the shortest day of the year
December 21 marks the winter solstice. This is also the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The first day of winter is marked with short daylight hours and the longest period of darkness. But other states can’t compare to the limited daylight hours in Alaskan cities. Here’s a brief look at the range of daylight hours in a few famed Alaska spots:
- Juneau: Alaska’s capital city sees about six hours and 22 minutes of sunlight on December 21. This is actually one of the higher amounts of time in the state. The sun rises shortly before 9 a.m. and sets several hours later at 3:07 p.m.
- Anchorage: This city located in south central Alaska receives only five hours of sunlight on the day of the winter solstice. The sun rises at about 10:15 a.m. before setting at about 3:45 p.m.
- Barrow: The residents of Alaska’s northernmost town don’t see the sun for 67 days in the winter. The sun dips behind the horizon for the last time on November 18, before returning more than two months later on January 23. Despite this, nearly 4,500 people still call this city on the Arctic Circle home.
Each year, Alaskans are rewarded for their perseverance through winter with an abundance of daylight once summer returns. Cities in the northern part of the state receive upwards of 18 hours of sunlight each day. In fact, parts of Alaska receive more sunlight each year than any other state. Barrow residents get to enjoy the midnight sun all summer, with more than 80 straight days of abundant daylight. Anchorage receives a bit less, with 19 hours between sunrise and sunset on the Summer Solstice. The hours of daylight make summer the perfect time for booking an Alaskan fishing trip.
Enjoy Alaska’s rugged beauty
Ready to experience the unparalleled natural beauty of Alaska? Call Phantom Tri-River Charters today to speak to one of our knowledgeable representatives about booking an Alaskan fishing trip. Our expert anglers are available all year long to book a once-in-a-lifetime fishing excursion in the Last Frontier State.
Categorised in: Alaskan Fishing Trip