Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Sign in to follow this  
beckzay

Snow covered mountains

Recommended Posts

 I'm just starting to research an Alaskan cruise for my husband and I for 2021. Yes, I know, a long way off but I need that much time in order to save up for it! I haven't really looked at all of my options for cruise line/itinerary, but I first I want to get an idea of what time of year is best for us. This might seem like a silly criteria, but we want to go when there is snow on the mountain tops. I have this idea of Alaskan beauty in my head and I really want to be able to see the mountains with snow on them. We live in New England so snow isn't new to us, we just feel like this would enhance the beauty of it all. 

 

Is there snow in the mountains year round or should be go early in the season? Like may or June? When does the snow go away (if it does) there?

 

Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite snow-on-the-mountains cruise was in May 2012. We were booked on a one-way cruise from Seward to Vancouver, and we flew to Anchorage and spent the night. The next morning we took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward. There was still so much snow on the mountains and on the ground that that day that I was just in awe. 

 

P1000752.thumb.JPG.0e20178b99da738fe711cfa06cd66d5f.JPG

 

DSC_0076.thumb.JPG.0f1ad11d49f5abedf8571bbc542b8fb4.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Cruise_More_Often said:

My favorite snow-on-the-mountains cruise was in May 2012. We were booked on a one-way cruise from Seward to Vancouver, and we flew to Anchorage and spent the night. The next morning we took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward. There was still so much snow on the mountains and on the ground that that day that I was just in awe. 

 

P1000752.thumb.JPG.0e20178b99da738fe711cfa06cd66d5f.JPG

 

DSC_0076.thumb.JPG.0f1ad11d49f5abedf8571bbc542b8fb4.JPG

 

 

Wow! That's beautiful! I mean, I don't love it for 6+ months here where I live...but it's pretty in Alaska 🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snow starts to melt as summer progresses, so earlier in the summer will obviously be better.  Even in Washington state we have mountains that are covered year round, but at the lower elevations of those mountains the snow has melted by summers end.  In Alaska some of the dog sledding camps close down in mid August due to snow melt.

 

If you're planning on a land tour that includes Denali, you;ll want to arrive after JUNE 1 as that is when the park road is open to Eielson Visitor Center;  June 10 is when the road is fully open. 

 

If you're doing a RT out of Vancouver or Seattle, late May early June will guarantee the most snow.

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, mapleleaves said:

Snow starts to melt as summer progresses, so earlier in the summer will obviously be better.  Even in Washington state we have mountains that are covered year round, but at the lower elevations of those mountains the snow has melted by summers end.  In Alaska some of the dog sledding camps close down in mid August due to snow melt.

 

If you're planning on a land tour that includes Denali, you;ll want to arrive after JUNE 1 as that is when the park road is open to Eielson Visitor Center;  June 10 is when the road is fully open. 

 

If you're doing a RT out of Vancouver or Seattle, late May early June will guarantee the most snow.

  

 

 

Thank you! I'm not sure if we'll do a land tour at this point. Denali sounds amazing, I just don't think it's in the budget at this point in our lives. I was thinking of sometime in the first two weeks of June and was hoping there would still be snow to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to see a lot of snow in the mountains then plan your trip for early May.  There is no guarantee you will see the tops of the mountains because of all the cloudy rainy weather in Alaska.  We took a cruise the first week of June and had great luck with the weather but generally the only snow was on the tops of the mountains.  The farther north you travel the more snow you will see but by June it is mostly melted in the lower elevations.  Here are a few photos I took on our Alaskan cruise to give you an idea of what the mountains will look like in early June.  This first photo is a Disney ship departing Skagway.

image.thumb.jpeg.3f4ea32d22d98e3e292c4774b5ab6e69.jpeg

 

These next two photos were taken as we cruised in Glacier Bay National Park.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.3ac131a40c4344e810ee244ad72114b5.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.be1184cfd8868942b82052e1b7c72bf0.jpeg

 

I hope this helps in your planning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be looking early in the season (ie May) for the white stuff.

 

You might also want to look for a ship that includes Vancouver.  When there, also check out Whistler's Peak 2 Peak gondola.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

If you want to see a lot of snow in the mountains then plan your trip for early May.  There is no guarantee you will see the tops of the mountains because of all the cloudy rainy weather in Alaska.  We took a cruise the first week of June and had great luck with the weather but generally the only snow was on the tops of the mountains.  The farther north you travel the more snow you will see but by June it is mostly melted in the lower elevations.  Here are a few photos I took on our Alaskan cruise to give you an idea of what the mountains will look like in early June.  This first photo is a Disney ship departing Skagway.

image.thumb.jpeg.3f4ea32d22d98e3e292c4774b5ab6e69.jpeg

 

These next two photos were taken as we cruised in Glacier Bay National Park.

 

image.thumb.jpeg.3ac131a40c4344e810ee244ad72114b5.jpeg

 

image.thumb.jpeg.be1184cfd8868942b82052e1b7c72bf0.jpeg

 

I hope this helps in your planning.

 

 

Yes! this is what I want to see 🙂 Thank you....looks like early June it is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As has been said, the further north you go, the more snow you will see. Last year was the hottest on record for Alaska, so who really knows what will happen to most of the snow. Let's put it bluntly, the earlier you go, the more snow you will see.

 

Cheers

Len

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with about all the comment here. Particularly on the southside of foothills of the major mountain ranges in Alaska, most of the snow will be gone by the end of summer at elevations below 7000 to 8000 feet. Above that the snow is generally perennial with the exception of dark rock out cropping's below 15,000 feet which often lose their winter snow. The major ranges are the Alaska Range, St. Elias Range, Chugach Range, Wrangell Range and the Brooks Range with many smaller and lower ranges spread around the state. Here is a shot I took in the latter part of the summer of Mount Blackburn, the highest of the Wrangells, it is 16, 390. All the lower foothills seen here, most are below 9,000. 

Blackburn from Kennecott lodge porch 2013.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to be clear there will/is snow on the mountain somewhere all thru summer, but wait another decade with climate change ( global warming ) who knows.  

 

Matter of is it low down or much higher up and for some things like the pictured dog sledding on glaciers you need to go before August if you want to insure it isn't shut down to receding and soft ice.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did our trip mid May to June 1 this year. On the ship, it was rather dark when we were closest to land but in the east there were many snow covered mountains along the coastline.

 

DYGTDTt.jpg

 

In route to Juneau, we visited Hubbard Glacier where all the surrounding mountains were snow covered. It was also very cold out on the deck during the 2 hour stay.

 

LX4z8WJ.jpg

 

In Juneau, we got a good view of the mountains and Mendenhall Glacier.

 

hyiVM7Q.jpg

 

While we were waiting for our departure day, We did a small boat tour into Prince William Sound. This view is of Cascade, Barry and Coxe glaciers on that excursion.

 

DjQa8VY.jpg

 

We also did an Orca watch into Resurrection Bay where the surrounding mountains were snow covered.

 

86An6U8.jpg

 

In Skagway, we took a couple of excursions into the Yukon and the mountains did not fail to impress. We are from SE Texas and see very little snow. For us, it was about the scenic beauty.

 

V5IpTU3.jpg

 

4mkgFXG.jpg

 

There were several frozen lakes.

 

JIQdHPi.jpg

 

In Ketchikan, we took a short float plane trip and landed on Manzoni Lake. Even some of the lower elevations had snow.

 

uTtojXz.jpg

 

I would heed the advice given here about making the trip in late May if snow covered mountains and the real "feel" of Alaska are close to your heart.

 

 

Edited by masterdrago

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two shots of Hubbard Glacier at the end of May on a very warm day a few years ago. Also, three pictures of Port Wells and Harriman Fiord in Prince William Sound on July 6th, also on a very warm day. See the hanging glacier in full melt.  

118.JPG

132.JPG

2019  4th of July in Seward and 26 Glacier Cruise at Whittier 064.JPG

2019  4th of July in Seward and 26 Glacier Cruise at Whittier 079.JPG

2019  4th of July in Seward and 26 Glacier Cruise at Whittier 083.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!! Beautiful pictures everyone, thank you 🙂 This definitely gives me a better idea of when to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...