Blog

20 Photos of Summer in Alaska That Will Take Your Breath Away

Within Alaska’s hundreds of thousands of square miles lie dramatic mountain peaks, lush wildflower meadows, serene seaside vistas, and of course, a multitude of woolly wildlife. When surrounded by so much natural beauty, it’s almost impossible not to take thousands of pictures. We’ve rummaged through the best Alaska photos we’ve ever seen, and selected our 20 favorites just to share with you. If you haven’t yet planned your summer trip to Alaska, these stunning photographs will have you packing in no time!

1. Serene Glacier Bay

1 Glacier Bay

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from jjjj56cp.

Glacier Bay National Park is a World Heritage Site and one of the best (and only) ways to catch a glimpse of ice age topography. Tour the park by boat for a truly memorable experience.

2. Orcas on the Move

2 Alaskan Fjord

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Rennett Stowe.

Views like this make boat tours in Alaska absolutely awesome. These two orcas take a pause within the calm waters of an Alaskan fjord, providing a truly picturesque scene.

3. Cook Inlet Sunset

3 Cook Inlet Sunset

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from T Wilcox.

The spectacular Cook Inlet waterway reaches 180 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to the city of Anchorage, lined by mountain views the whole length.

4. Rolling Tundra

4 Bering Land Bridge

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

One of the most remote stretches of Alaska’s protected land, the Bering Land Bridge is also one of its most beautiful. There, you can find tundra dotted with caribou, muskox and extinct lava flows.

5. Summer Graze

5 Summer Alaska Moose

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Frank Kovalchek.

This young bull moose is beginning to gain his glossy summer coat.

6. Field of Fireweed in Bloom

6 Field of Fireweeds

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from slashvee.

Vivid fireweed isn’t hard to spot during the Alaskan summer season. It gets its name for being one of the first plants to colonize an area after a fire has passed through.

7. “The Great One”

7 Mt McKinley

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Teddy Llovet.

Denali towers 20,320 feet over the horizon. When the clouds lift and it emerges in clear, snowy perfection, it’s hard to tear yourself away.

8. Waving Wildflowers

8 Fairbanks Wildflowers

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from A FK.

A wildflower display in every shade of the rainbow—including orange California poppies and blue asters—graces the Fairbanks area.

9. Daily Catch

9 Fishing Bear

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Ray Morris.

This bear takes advantage of salmon spawning in Margaret Creek in the Tongass National Forest, selecting from a premium mix of steelheads, cohos, sockeyes, and pinks.

10. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

10 Wrangell St Elias

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

Rugged, spiny Wrangell-St. Elias is the largest national park in the United States and stretches from the mountains to the ocean—it’s packed with glaciers and wildlife and enough breathtaking views to fill your memory card.

11. Crested Auklet

11 Crested Auklet

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Headquarters.

This crested auklet was spotted on Kiska Island. Both male and female auklets sport the same unique head plumage, which they leverage to find a mate.

12. Nature’s Spa

12 Hot Springs

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Paxson Woelber.

An inviting, naturally-formed hot spring can be found at Upper Reed Lake in the Talkeetna Mountains. Talk about relaxing with a view!

13. The Land of the Midnight Sun

13 Summer Solstice

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Gavin Clabaugh.

Alaska truly earns its nickname during the summer solstice, boasting 22 hours of daylight on the longest day of the year. This solstice sunset was captured on a state ferry traveling between Skagway and Sitka.

14. Denali National Park

14 Denali National Park

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from faungg.

Comprising six million acres and containing only one road, world-famous Denali National Park starts in the taiga and extends to the soaring heights of the Alaska range.

15. Caribou Swimming the Kobuk River

15 Caribou Kobuk River

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Education Specialist.

Caribou have adapted to become good swimmers with big hooves for paddling and hollow hair shafts that help to keep their large frames buoyant in the water.

16. Active Volcanoes

16 Volcano

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from NOAA.

Makushin Volcano smokes on the western side of Unalaska Island within the Aleutian Islands.

17. Inside a Glacier

17 Glacier

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from NOAA.

Where else can you get this close to calving glaciers? The pictured iceberg broke off from the LeConte Glacier in the southeastern portion of the state.

18. Rainbows & Seabirds

18 Rainbow

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters.

A rainbow arches over the sharp cliffs of Puale Bay in the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge. Each summer, seabirds come here to nest and enjoy the warmer temperatures.

19. Taking a Load Off

19 Sea Otter

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from NOAA National Ocean Service.

This playful sea otter was observed in the National Estuarine Research Reserve of Kachemak Bay, Alaska.

20. Secret Wonders

20 Virgin Creek Falls

Image used under Flickr Creative Commons license from Frank Kovalcheck.

An endless amount of hiking trails and backcountry adventures lead to uncovering gems like the tranquil Virgin Creek Falls near Girdwood, Alaska.

Whether you have a passion for flowers, large mammals, mountain scrambles, or solitude on the water, Alaska has it, and more. The magic of another summer season is just kicking off. Come join us.

 

See current Gray Line Alaska specials.



Back to Blog