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How long are the days in Alaska?

2645590772_f85954c364This post is part of our ongoing Alaska FAQ series, answering commonly asked questions about the state.

Among the many nicknames for Alaska, the best-known is probably “Land of the Midnight Sun”. This refers to the fact that, in summer, there is sunlight well into the night-time hours. This is true of all high-latitude regions, but Alaska is one of the most famous places to experience the longest summer days.

But how long are the days really? Because of the huge range of latitudes that Alaska covers, from about 56 degrees North in Wrangell (Southeast Alaska) and 71 degrees North in Barrow, the daylight hours also vary across the state. In Barrow, there is no real darkness for three months, while in Anchorage there are about 19 hours in the longest day of the year.

Obviously, the actual amount of sunlight varies a bit day to day, and can also be affected by the weather. It will be lighter for more hours on a clear day than through heavy clouds.

Below is a table of the daylight hours for a few cities and towns in Alaska, in order from South to North. Note that in April and September, there is virtually the same amount of daylight throughout the state, and how the differences increase as you get closer to the Summer and Winter solstices.

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Juneau 6:30 8:15 10:35 13:15 15:45 17:50 18:10 16:30 14:00 11:30 8:55 6:55
  Anchorage     5:40     7:45     10:25     13:20     16:50     18:45     19:10     17:05     14:15     11:25     8:30     6:10  
Fairbanks 4:00 6:55 10:05 13:35 17:00 20:35 21:25 18:10 14:40 11:20 7:50 4:45
Barrow 0:00 4:05 9:20 14:15 19:45 24:00 24:00 24:00 14:45 11:05 5:50 0:00