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Juneau, as with all of Alaska, experiences winters that are long, cold, and dark. The area's first snowfall often arrives sometime in October, with the Arctic chill often lingering into late May. Fortunately however, because of its latitude, Juneau also enjoys gorgeous, long summer days, the sun barely setting throughout the months of June and July. Although most visitors do choose to come to Juneau in the summer, the best time to visit largely depends on the visitors themselves and what type of experience they are looking for.
As one would imagine, the rates for flights and accommodations in the summertime are much higher than in the winter - only because the cheap seats & rooms fill up quickly. However, the summer in Juneau does offer almost unlimited opportunities for visitors to experience the region's natural wonders: glaciers, whale watching, hiking, and boating being just a few. Juneau's winters, while offering lower rates, also offer visitors some of North America's best skiing and snowboarding. The Eaglecrest Ski Area is located on Douglas Island (across from Downtown) has great trails for most ability levels as well as easy hiking in the Summer.
Travelers who are coming to backpack will find that April thru mid June provide the better window to hike and not get wet; whereas August and September are hit & miss. The weather changes rapidly in the Juneau area, so be prepared for every type of weather. While it may be sunny in the Mendenhall Valley, it could be rainy in downtown.