April in Alaska: Tips, Trips, and the Transition

April is a bit of an odd time in Alaska and for those with Alaska car rentals. It’s not quite spring yet, but the snow is certainly starting to melt. In what is know as the “break up” of ice, you’ll find that more and more lakes are beginning to melt. But be aware – you will still discover huge mounds of snow next to the road as you drive your Alaska car rentals around the state.

Because this month is such an odd period of weather for Alaska, we’ve provided you with tips and trips you can take to survive the transition.

Don’t expect tours

At this time of year, you’ll be hard pressed to find many guided tours and day trips around the state. Many tour guide companies close up shop until summer, and don’t reopen until May. That said, you may still be able to find some tours that were open specifically for winter and that haven’t closed yet for the transitional time between the seasons.

For instance, the Turnagain Turnaround Arm Tour from Anchorage runs until April 15 before reopening for the summer season on May 20. If you’re visiting before April 15, we would recommend this tour as a great way to experience a scenic winter drive without having the personal stress of being the driver.

Don’t bank on winter sports

With some snow left, some tourists believe that winter sports are still an option. Unfortunately, you may find when you set out that there isn’t quite enough snow to make your snow-shoeing journey an enjoyable one.

Prepare for both seasons

Especially if you’re an outdoorsy sort, it’s important to prep your Alaska car rentals with the appropriate clothing and equipment for both winter and spring. Don’t remove the winter emergency kit yet – temperatures can still drop quite low at night and you’ll need to be able to stay warm in case of emergency.

If you’re going hiking make sure to pack the appropriate winter-weather shoes with a good tread on the bottom. Keep a few extra sweaters around, also, just in case the temperature decides to play a little trick on you and dip rather than rise through the month.

Fishing has begun

Winter activities like ice fishing and skiing definitely are not the only outdoor entertainment. Now that spring has arrived, fishing has started up again – and this time you don’t have to sit in a warmed hut in order to fish. Around now, you’ll be able to start fishing for halibut and cod.

However, it’s important that you stay off the ice for your fishing trip. Some fisherman attempt to get in a few last ice fishing trips before spring fully sets in without thinking of the danger a slowly thawing ice poses to their safety. In reality, just because the ice looks thick, doesn’t mean it is. These fishermen in Russia got a first hand experience of breaking sheet ice, and it almost cost them their lives.

Avoid overconfidence in your Alaska car rentals

This tip is one that is important whether you’re in Alaska or Oklahoma. It’s easy to become an overconfident driver with the changing season. However, you must remain vigilant in your Alaska car rentals. The winter season hasn’t quite faded, and there will still be slippery sections of the road that must be accounted for.

Continue to leave a respectable amount of distance behind the drivers in front of you, and take sharp turns with caution. Be particularly careful if driving along mountain roads or areas that don’t get as much maintenance. Overall, use your best judgment but try to drive as if winter were still here.

April may not be a popular time to visit Alaska, but we think this state is great all year long. Reserve your Alaska car rentals from Avis and we’ll help to make sure your trip is a thrilling adventure no matter the month!