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Cruising to Alaska in early June vs mid August

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2 hours ago, CaribbeanIsland said:

If you are not seeing eagles in June --- you are not looking. I also don't notice a difference later in the season. They are everywhere all summer.

 

 

We were going to do an excursion in early June on the Chilkat River specifically to see the eagles until we read multiple reviews stating that the majority of the eagles appear there in late summer/early fall.  So perhaps they are everywhere else in Alaska all the time....but not there:

Chilkat River - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilkat_River

Near the Chilkat River is the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, where thousands of bald eagles appear between October and February, to take advantage of late salmon runs. Nearby Haines , the nearest town, is the most common organization spot for birdwatchers.

 

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38 minutes ago, Gracie115 said:

 

 

We were going to do an excursion in early June on the Chilkat River specifically to see the eagles until we read multiple reviews stating that the majority of the eagles appear there in late summer/early fall.  So perhaps they are everywhere else in Alaska all the time....but not there:

Chilkat River - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilkat_River

Near the Chilkat River is the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, where thousands of bald eagles appear between October and February, to take advantage of late salmon runs. Nearby Haines , the nearest town, is the most common organization spot for birdwatchers.

 

It makes sense that eagles congregate at rivers when the salmon are running, however I've found them to be about as common as robins here in the upper midwest during several trips in June and July.  So while you may not see thousands, they are very common throughout the SE arm.

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On average, June is much drier than August in southeast Alaska.  If you look at climate statistics from the NWS for Juneau, there is nearly 80% more rainfall in August compared with June.  In Skagway, August gets 60% more rain and in Ketchikan August gets about 50% more rain.

 

As for temperatures, the average high temperature in Juneau is roughly the same in both June and August (17C or 63F).  In Skagway and Ketchikan, June is a bit cooler than August, but the difference is not huge.

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My preference is late May to Mid June for the long daylight hours and generally drier conditions. I've done 25+ trips with the majority in this time frame, to me the 2nd and 3rd weeks in June are the perfect time.

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We've sailed in Alaska 3x in May-June, once in Sept.  Would never do it again in Sept.--Glacier Bay mountains were a muddy mess and it was a rainy day.  Lots more snow on the mountains everywhere the earlier you go.

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I've only been to Alaska once and did a lot of research prior. Because June, on average, had the least amount of rain we decided to go with the averages. It paid off, our weather was perfect for the two weeks except for a little drizzle in Skagway. We went the third week in June and were there over the Summer Solstice so we got to enjoy almost endless daylight throughout the trip. 

We didn't really get to see as many bears as we would have liked. I really hope to return one day to witness a salmon run.

IMG_0175.thumb.jpg.2fc726b0bf5b58352cc838aae8eb5fbf.jpg

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I was on an Alaskan cruise during the middle of June when the sun set at 1am and rose at 3 am.  Nice long days and mostly warm.  But, one problem in going in June is that the salmon has not spawned yet in the regions where the ship goes.   We spoke to one guide who told us to come next time from the middle of July to beginning of August when salmon is plentiful, when there is a lot of salmon it brings out every living thing, as bears, more eagles, etc., if you are interested in more wildlife, then beginning of August is a good time.

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