How to Have the Best Experience Berry Picking in Alaska
In Alaska, summer’s bounty approaches ripeness each July. We are fortunate to be in the farming area of the state where you can enjoy views of various plant life, like grain fields and apple trees. Around this time, you can start to see the first sign of blush color on apples near the inn. This also means great opportunities for berry picking in Alaska. These sweet fruits are plentiful throughout the summer months and offer a fun afternoon activity!
We know you’ll enjoy berry picking in Alaska, whether you eat them fresh off the plant or bake them into a sweet pie.
All About Berry Picking in Alaska
Types of Berries to Look Out For
The best time of year to find a wide variety of berries is usually around the month of August. You’ll see locals out picking during this time, too! Throughout our state, there are blueberries, raspberries, golden raspberries, salmonberries, high bush cranberries, crowberries and more. Each varies slightly in taste. If you go berry picking, it’s not hard to gather a five-gallon bucket for the freezer with a berry scoop, which you can easily buy at a nearby Walmart.
Note: Be aware that there are many poisonous berries in Alaska as well. Avoid all berries with a white color and consider purchasing a guidebook to distinguish which ones are safe for eating.
The Best Spots to Find Berries
You can tell where the berry picking is good if you see an area with cars off on the side road and people scooping up wild blueberries among the shrubs. Many of our popular local berries favor acidic, rocky soils, so they thrive on the lower slopes of mountains and hillsides. Great spots to spend an afternoon hiking and picking include Chugach State Park, Denali State Park, and the Eklutna Lake trails. Just be sure to be bear-aware while you are out scouting for berries! Guests are welcome to borrow a can of bear spray to attach to your belt for hiking or berry picking in the mountains around the bed and breakfast.
History of Agriculture in Alaska
President Roosevelt moved farm families to the Mat-Su Valley in the 1930s as a relief program and to provide fresh food for the new army bases in Alaska. Since then, farmers have been discovering what’s possible in our summers. This has led to a remarkable industry and celebrations of our farmers’ prowess, like at the Alaska State Fair exhibits and competitions.
Typically, there is still snow on the ground in late May and early June. By the summer solstice, we reach nearly 22 hours of daylight. Summer days are long, but there are not that many of them, and our farmers must adapt to the unique seasonality. By late August, we start to see frost at night and hard freezes come not too far into September. This can make growing many fruits and vegetables difficult. However, we still see impressive harvests of berries, apples, potatoes, carrots, and more!
Stay at Alaska Garden Gate During your Berry-Picking Adventure!
Alaska Garden Gate, located in the Chugach Mountains of the Mat-Su Valley, is an ideal spot to stay if you want to go berry picking. We are an easy drive from many of the best locations to haul in a tremendous bounty. Consider a King Luxury Cottage among our list of accommodations. You can lounge in your jetted tub, enjoy stunning views of the mountains from your picture window, or cozy up by the fireplace. Then, wake up to a delicious breakfast in the morning. Check our availability and book your Alaskan vacation now!