Posted in About Alaska, Traveling to the Yukon

Winter in Alaska offers a unique perspective on beauty – the icy landscapes, blanketed with snow are nothing short of stunning. Bold sunrises and sunsets and the appearance of the aurora borealis dancing across the sky provide inspirational winterscapes and plenty of opportunity for snow-filled adventure. We compiled a collection of winter photos from professional and amateur photographers around the state in hopes they inspires you to bundle up and brave the cold to take in the one-of-a-kind experiences that an Alaska winter has to offer, just outside the door of your Westmark Hotel room.


1.) Although this is not one single photo, we just couldn’t pass up this time-lapse series from photographer Zan Butler. Butler’s breathtaking photos feature Anchorage winterscapes taken from Chugach State Park and Cook Inlet along Turnagain Arm, all set to grand orchestral music. Enjoy!

2.)  No list of the best Alaska photos would be complete without a classic image of the skyline in the state’s largest city. This photo captures Anchorage in a purple twilight glow in early winter.

3.)  This photo captures the stunning sunrise on a cold morning in Anchorage in January 2012. The pastel orange and pink lights rise slowly over the Chugach Mountains, bathing the frozen landscape in light.


1.)  Just as beautiful as the scenery are the creatures we see in the winter months around Fairbanks. In addition to wildlife, sled dogs are a common sight this time of year, especially when the Yukon Quest makes its way to Fairbanks.

2.)  Despite the barren wintery landscape, beauty is still abound in the Fairbanks boreal forests. Birch and aspen trees adorned in delicate frost provide a pretty backdrop against a cobalt blue winter sky. We love how the afternoon twilight shimmers through the trees, creating a whimsical pink and blue winter wonderland.

3.)  Every year ice sculptors from around the globe gather in Fairbanks to compete in the BP World Ice Art Championships. Artists carve glistening sculptures from massive blocks of ice lit with colored lights and displayed for all to enjoy. To view, click here

Southeast Alaska

1.)  This amazing photo from photographer Kent Mearig is of the aqua blue glacial ice from the Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier is more than 10 miles long and is only a few minutes from downtown Juneau.

2.)  Photographer and surfer Scott Dickerson captures surfers catching a wave in the icy waters of Sitka Sound in winter. Dickerson explains in his blog entry why surfing Sitka in winter is a wonderful, albeit somewhat chilly, experience.


1.)  This stunning photo of a purple sunrise bursting over Grey Mountain in Whitehorse exemplifies the beauty of the Yukon’s capital city in the dead of winter. Scroll to the third photo to be inspired by this early morning shot captured by Anthony Delorenzo on Tumblr.

2.)  This photo of the aurora, captured by The Guild Review, as it casts a green glow over Lake Laberge, was made famous by the Robert Service poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” We can certainly see why the author was inspired!

3.)  While this isn’t a still image, it is worth the time to watch the short three-minute clip of winning sculptures from Whitehorse’s annual International Snow Sculpting Challenge. Teams from across the globe convene on Whitehorse for the event, and the resulting artwork is incredible.