Ketchikan and Juneau are quaint coastal towns in the heart of the Tongass National Rainforest which means it rains quite a bit. On average the annual rainfall is about 62 inches in Juneau and 141.25 inches in Ketchikan! The rainiest month is October. All that liquid sunshine helps keep the timberline surrounding our cities lush and green.
During the summer, temperatures are pleasant but balmy and range from 50 degrees F to 60 degrees F with the occasional hot day of 70 degrees F. Even though that is not scorching compared to places like Arizona or Alabama, to us Alaskans, it is time to break out the sunscreen and box fans (we don’t really have air conditioning here!!!).
When planning what to wear and bring during your visit we have provided some helpful tips to help you get ready.
Lots of Layers
Plan to pack your suitcase with clothes for any type of weather and bring lots of layers from T-shirts and shorts to long pants and fleece pullovers. You can always take off a sweatshirt or tie a jacket around your waist if you work up a sweat or the skies clear in the afternoon. You will be glad to have warmer pieces if the weather gets cold and windy as you are adventuring!
If you are coming for your Alaskan trip in April or early May, you may want to bring along a warm hat, scarf and gloves especially if you are planning to take part in any outdoor activities.
Good Rain Jacket
With the unpredictable weather, it is a good idea to have a quality outer shell to keep you warm on damp, colder days. And always bring a rain jacket, puffer vest or warmer layer when hiking in the spring as the wind often increases as you get higher in elevation.
With miles of hiking trails and so much to see and do wearing good footwear is key. Hiking boots, running shoes, casual sneakers or galoshes are recommended to keep your toes toasty, dry and comfy. Locals wouldn’t be without Xtratufs. These can be seen any time of year and at any event you can imagine!
Other accessories may want to throw into your bag might be retractable hiking poles, baseball cap, bug spray, sunscreen, sunglasses, small first aid kit, and a water bottle.
Are you ziplining?
The same dress code applies to your zipline tour as for walking around town or going for a hike: dress in layers, bring a jacket and wear comfortable shoes. Long pants are recommended and could be jeans, hiking pants, leggings or running tights. On warmer day, shorts are fine to wear but remember you will be in a harness so longer shorts are suggested. An extra rain coat is provided when you check in with your guides for your tour. This will add an extra layer and keep your clothes protected from the rain and tree sap if you plan on doing any tree hugging! If it ends up being a clear, sunny and warmer day there will be a place to secure any articles of clothing you wish to peel off and leave behind. Hats, gloves, scarves and sunglasses are all great items to take along and should not come off as you fly through the trees.
Be sure to wear closed-toe/closed-heel shoes. No sandals, slip-ons or heels are permitted on the course.
The same recommendations apply as if you are on a nature walk or walking around town: dress in layers with waterproof outerwear and wear sensible flat shoes with non-skid soles. And don’t forget your sunglasses and camera!
No matter what you plan to do, be sure you have extra memory cards for your camera!