What clothing to wear in Juneau, Alaska

Despite its location on the coast, Juneau enjoys a humid continental climate, where there is a zone of conflict between polar and tropical air masses. The city’s temperature extremes are moderated by the local topography and the Pacific Ocean. When it comes to appropriate clothing for Juneau weather, prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Even the warmest sunny day can turn cold and rainy (and vice versa).

Juneau is no place for sun worshipers, as it rains on average 222 days per year, averaging 62 inches of rainfall. June and July are the driest months, with an average of 16 days of rain. It never really gets hot in Juneau, except on those few days each year when the temperature exceeds 80F (27C). During the summer season, expect average highs in the mid-60s F (high-teens C), and evening lows in the high 40s F (about 9C). See our post on Weather to find out more.

Layering your clothing is therefore key in all seasons: t-shirt, sweatshirt or fleece, windbreaker and waterproof outer layer. Also strongly recommended throughout the seasons: sturdy waterproof footwear. Read our recommended guidance below of what to wear in Juneau. Rule #1: Layer up!

What clothing to wear on a whale watching tour

Clothing to keep you cool, layers of clothing to keep you warm and a waterproof rain jacket; as well as shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Sunglasses, a hat for sun, wind and rain protection, and sunscreen. It’s worth noting that conditions on the Inside Passage are usually calm and stable. We provide water and granola bars, and our fleet is equipped with a first aid box should any minor emergencies arise.

Recommended clothing for Juneau

Winter (Dec 21 – Mar 20) Spring (Mar 20 – Jun 20) Summer (Jun 20 – Sep 22) Fall (Sept 22 – Dec 21)
Short Sleeved Shirt Short Sleeved Shirt Short Sleeved Shirt Short Sleeved Shirt
Long Sleeved Shirt Long Sleeved Shirt Long Sleeved Shirt Long Sleeved Shirt
Shorts Shorts Shorts Shorts
Jeans/Slacks Jeans/Slacks Jeans/Slacks Jeans/Slacks
Walking Shoes / Hiking Boots Walking Shoes/ Hiking Boots Walking Shoes/ Hiking Boots Walking Shoes/ Hiking Boots
Thick Socks Lightweight Socks Lightweight Socks Midweight Socks
Windbreaker or Insulating mid-layer or Warm Sweater Windbreaker or Insulating mid-layer or Warm Sweater Windbreaker or Insulating mid-layer or Warm Sweater Windbreaker or Insulating mid-layer or Warm Sweater
Rain jacket Rain jacket Rain jacket Rain jacket
Warm Hat & Warm Gloves Hat / Cap & Thin Gloves Hat / Cap & Thin Gloves Hat / Cap & Thin Gloves
Thermal Underwear
Winter Coat

Extras

Winter (Dec 21 – Mar 20) Spring (Mar 20 – Jun 20) Summer (Jun 20 – Sep 22) Fall (Sept 22 – Dec 21)
Sunscreen & Sunglasses Sunscreen & Sunglasses Sunscreen & Sunglasses Sunscreen & Sunglasses
Blister Plasters Blister Plasters Blister Plasters Blister Plasters
Mosquito repellant Mosquito repellant

During the summer months in Juneau, you can definitely leave the parka at home.

Other recommendations

  • Rule #1: Layer up!
  • Inner Clothing Layer: A baselayer or inner layer made from lightweight fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin e.g. merino wool or another natural fiber. On a hot day, you can wear this instead of a cotton shirt—it’ll dry much more quickly. If you’re just walking around town or enjoying one of our bus tours, there’s no need for specialized active-wear. But if you plan to do some hiking, you might be more comfortable if you pick up a few basics at a sporting goods store.
  • Mid Clothing Layer: The middle insulating layer could be a windbreaker, fleece jacket, or a sweater. Something that keeps you warm and protected from the elements if it gets a little windy or chilly.
  • Outer Clothing Layer: The outer layer is the one you really need to get right. You want a shell that’s waterproof and breathable to stay warm when it’s windy and dry when it’s rainy.  These thin, outer jackets can be tucked into your daypack and should be fully waterproof. The outer shell made of Gore-Tex® material (including a hood) will keep a wet day from turning into a miserable one.
  • Pant: A pant that wicks away the moisture will be ideal for summertime, especially made of fabric that’s quick-drying.
  • Dress code: Casual clothing only—no formal attire will be needed during your visit to Juneau.
  • Footwear: Comfortable shoes with good traction that don’t need breaking in. Preferably ones that are waterproof too. Alternatively, consider investing in a pair of waterproof socks.
  • Headwear: A lightweight brimmed hat for protection from the sun and rain, sunglasses and sunscreen.
  • Accessories: A lightweight scarf and pair of thin gloves can take the edge off a chilly glacial wind.
  • Mosquito repellent: The bugs generally aren’t as bad as people fear, and they’re really only a consideration in June and July. There’s nothing more effective than DEET: 30-40% concentration should suffice. Mosquito head nets tend to be overkill unless you plan on doing a lot of hiking or tent camping.
  • Small first aid kit: All our buses and boats have you covered, but it’s convenient to have Band-Aids and ointment for minor emergencies while you’re on the fly.
  • Camera / video camera: Capture your Alaska experiences, and don’t forget the extras: batteries, lenses, chargers, and memory cards.
  • Storage: Daypack, backpack or tote bag.
  • Binoculars
  • Watch/alarm clock: With so much daylight, it’s easy to lose track of time.