The sights in Alaska are breathtaking and there is plenty of daylight in the summer to take the breath away!
Our cabin at Jade Lake is only a few miles from Anchorage, as the crow flies, so it shares similar weather and night/daylight cycles as Alaska’s largest city. Many misunderstand how day and night are influenced by the northern latitude. So I’d like to offer a little primer while at the same time waxing reminiscent of our families recent stay in Big Lake.
The longest and shortest days of the year are called the solstices. You have winter and summer solstice. The farther north you go, the greater the difference between daylight and nighttime hours at each solstice extreme. Once you cross the Arctic Circle the sun will not set on the day of the summer solstice and will not rise on the day of winter solstice. This means that as the calendar progresses toward the summer solstice the days will get several minutes longer each day
At the latitude of Big Lake (where our vacation rental is located) it means that in the vicinity of June 20-22 there will be nearly 20 hours of daylight. Due to the fact that the light from the sun illuminates the sky even after the sun has dipped out of sight (we call this dusk) and begins to illuminate the sky before it can actually be seen rising (we call this dawn) it can remain light around the clock.
View of Jade Lake from our cabin at 3:30am during the 3rd week in June
During this later part of June that is exactly what happens when looking out our cabin windows which overlook Jade Lake. This photo was taken at 3:30am, there is no sun yet visible in the sky but it is just about to peek out toward the left (southeast) of the photo.
When you take a journey up our way in the summer months you have some very long, beautiful days in which to explore. It is rather disorienting, but yes the sun does technically set over our cabin since we are some 350 miles south of the Arctic Circle. And yes, between about 11:30pm -3:30am it is too dim to read a book indoors without artificial light.
Imagine the possibilities to enjoy Alaska! A one or two week vacation actually has enough daylight hours for you to enjoy double your actual stay if you’re from Florida, Texas or Arizona.
Who goes on vacation to sleep anyway?
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