Alaska Excursions

Alaska Excursions

A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.

Iditarod 41

Photos and stories from the last great race.

Anchorage: 37°/54°/Cloudy

Fairbanks: 30°/52°/Partly sunny

Juneau: 36°/56°/Cloudy

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Daylight and darkness

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Painter brings odd Alaska dinosaur to life

It may have been the ugliest dinosaur ever. But Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum, an arctic-dwelling relative of the three-horned Triceratops, was uniquely Alaskan, a species whose existence was only announced by scientists last fall. In the atrium of the main entrance of University Center Mall, Anchorage artist James Havens is depicting the beast on a 10-foot-by-10-foot canvas daily from noon to 8 p.m.

Ferry times to Alaska

People coming to Alaska often get on the state ferry at Bellingham, Wash., and float north to Haines, where they head up a road to the Alaska Highway. How long is the Bellingham-Haines trip?

Flight time to Anchorage

A flight to Anchorage from Seattle, the most commonly used connection point, takes about 3 hours 30 minutes.

Getting to Alaska

Many of Anchorage's visitors fly into or out of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, west of downtown.

Vacationers have a wide variety of ways to get to Alaska.

Most of state sees the sun every day, even in winter

A common notion about Alaska is that the whole state goes dark in the winter and has unending sunlight in the summer. That's not quite the case, as shown by the statewide sunrise/sunset times listed below.

Barrow, at the very top of the state, has a two-month winter period in which the sun doesn't rise. But that's the extreme, and winter's long nights get shorter the farther south one goes. South of the Arctic Circle, every place has sunshine at least part of the day.

In the summer, all of Arctic Alaska gets 24-hour sunlight for at least one day at the solstice. Barrow has continuous daylight for 85 days. South of the circle, every town has a night every day, even if it's quite brief.

Long dawns and dusks can make the day appear longer than it actually is. Even as far south as Anchorage, it's possible to read a newspaper outdoors at 2 a.m. -- two hours after sunset -- in the days around the summer solstice.

The Arctic Circle, at 66 degrees 34 minutes north latitude, crosses Alaska about 125 miles north of Fairbanks. The circle is the point at which the sun doesn't rise for a day in the winter and doesn't set for a day in the summer.

Winter solstice in 2002 occurs Dec. 21 at 4:15 p.m. Alaska Standard Time. In the summer of 2003, solstice occurs June 21 at 11:10 a.m. Alaska Daylight Time.

Anchorage

(Southcentral Alaska.) Latitude 61.17 north, longitude 150.02 west. Also near this latitude: Bethel, Eagle River, Girdwood, Glennallen, Palmer, Wasilla, Valdez, Lake Clark National Park, Wrangell St-Elias National Park; Whitehorse, Yukon Territory; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; St. Petersburg, Russia.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June4:21 a.m.11:42 p.m.19:21
December10:14 a.m.3:42 p.m.5:28

Barrow

(Extreme northern Alaska.) Latitude 71.30 north, longitude 156.78 west. Also near this latitude: Hammerfest, Norway; Murmansk and Wrangel Island, Russia.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
JuneUpUp24
DecemberDownDown0
Note: Sun is up 85 days from May 10 to Aug. 2. The sun is down 67 days from Nov. 18 to Jan. 23.

Bethel

(Western Alaska.) Latitude 60.78 north, longitude 161.80 west. Also near this latitude: Anchorage, Nunivak Island, Pribilof Islands, Wood-Tikchik State Park.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June5:13 a.m.12:24 a.m.19:09
December10:58 a.m.4:34 p.m.5:36

Cold Bay

(Western Alaska Peninsula.) Latitude 55.20 north, longitude 162.73 west. Also near this latitude: Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Ketchikan.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June5:10 a.m.10:35 p.m.17:25
December9:16 a.m.4:23 p.m.7:07

Fairbanks

(Interior Alaska.) Latitude 64.82 north, longitude 147.87 west. Also near this latitude: Eagle, Galena, Nome; Reykjavik, Iceland; Arkhangelsk, Russia.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June2:59 a.m.12:48 a.m.21:49
December10:59 a.m.2:41 p.m.3:42 p.m.

Juneau

(Northern Panhandle of Southeastern Alaska.) Latitude 58.37 north, longitude 134.58 west. Also near this latitude: Glacier Bay National Park, Kodiak; London, Berlin, Moscow.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June3:51 a.m.10:09 p.m.18:18
December8:46 a.m.3:07 p.m.6:21

Ketchikan

(Southern Panhandle of Southeastern Alaska.) Latitude 55.20 north, longitude 131.38 west. Also near this latitude: Dawson Creek, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June4:04 a.m.9:33 p.m.17:29
December9:12 a.m.4:18 p.m.7:06

Kodiak

(Western Alaska.) Latitude 57.75 north, longitude 152.50 west. Also near this latitude: Juneau, Dillingham, King Salmon, Katmai National Park.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June5:08 a.m.11:1518:07
December9:53 a.m.4:24 p.m.6:31

Kotzebue

(Northwestern Alaska.) Latitude 66.87 north, longitude 162.63 west. Also near this latitude: Bettles, Fort Yukon, Selwawik, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Kobuk Valley National Park.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
JuneUpUp24
December1:01 a.m.2:41 p.m.1:31
Note: Sun rises June 3 and sets July 9.

McGrath

(Western/Interior Alaska.) Latitude 62.97 north, longitude 155.62 west. Also near this latitude: Denali National Park, Yukon Delta.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June4:15 a.m.12:33 a.m.20:18
December10:59 a.m.3:42 p.m.4:43

Nome

(Western Alaska.) Latitude 64.52 north, longitude 165.45 west. Also near this latitude: Galena, Fairbanks, St. Lawrence Island.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June4:19 a.m.1:48 a.m.21:29
December12:04 p.m.3:57 p.m.3:53

Prudhoe Bay

(Northern Alaska.) Latitude 70.25 north, longitude 148.33 west. Also near this latitude: Deadhorse, Barter Island/Kaktovik, Wainwright.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
JuneUpUp24
DecemberDownDown0
Note: Sun is up from May 15 to July 28. Sun is down from Nov. 25 to Jan. 18.

Seward

(Southcentral Alaska.) Latitude 60.12 north, longitude 149.45 west. Also near this latitude: Cordova, Homer, Yakutat, Kenai Fjords National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Lake Clark National Park, Wood-Tikchik State Park.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June4:32 a.m.11:27 p.m.18:55
December10 a.m.3:50 p.m.5:50

Yakutat

(Southeast Alaska.) Latitude 59.52 north, longitude 139.67 west. Also near this latitude: Skagway, Haines, Glacier Bay National Park, Seward.

SolsticeSunriseSunsetHours of daylight
June4 a.m.10:42 p.m.18:42
December9:16 a.m.3:17 p.m.6:01

Sources: National Weather Service, Alaska Almanac, U.S. Naval Observatory, Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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