What is the time zone of Alaska?
Alaska is divided into two time zones. Vast majority of the land lies in the Alaska Time zone (including the cities of Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks). The state is observing daylight savings so there are two different clocks depending on the time of year.
- Alaska Standard Time (AKST): – 9:00 UTC (behind)
- Alaska Daylight Time (AKDT): – 8:00 UTC (behind)
Only the western islands of the Aleutian chain and St. Lawrence island are observing Hawaii–Aleutian Time. They also observe daylight savings so there are two different clocks depending on the time of year.
- Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time (HST): – 10:00 UTC (behind)
- Hawaii–Aleutian Daylight Time (HDT): – 9:00 UTC (behind)
In fact, there is actually a third zone as the city of Hyder is unofficially observing Pacific time due to its close proximity to Canadian British Columbia. Anywhere you cross the border with Canada you will be entering the Pacific time zone.
Only the most western tip of the state is in the Hawaiian zone, the boundary line is lies west of Dutch Harbour.
The official border is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) :
- “§71.11 Alaska zone: The sixth zone, the Alaska standard time zone, includes the entire State of Alaska, except as provided in § 71.12 of this title.”
- “§71.12 Hawaii-Aleutian zone: The seventh zone, the Hawaii-Aleutian standard time zone, includes the entire State of Hawaii and, in the State of Alaska, that part of the Aleutian Islands that is west of 169 degrees 30 minutes west longitude.”
Alaska Daylight savings time (DST)
The state of Alaska is using daylight savings as also documented in the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The time changes during daylight savings from Standard time (AKST) to Daylight time (AKDT).
It starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. In March the clock is moved forward from 02.00 am to 03.00 am (so you will lose an hour of sleep during the night). While in November it’s reversed as the clock is moved backward from 03.00 am to 02.00 am and you will gain an extra hour of sleep. One way of remembering the movement sequence is that clocks “spring forward and fall back”.
The total period of daylight savings lasts for 34 weeks which is about 65% of the year.
Alaska time news, bills and legislation
There is a continuous debate about which time zone should be applied in Alaska. Several bills have been introduced to legalize daylight saving time as the year-round clock, whereas others try to align the time with bordering counties or states. The table below gives an overview of the latest bills in the state of Alaska.
|15 Jul 2021||HB31||To House State Affairs Committee||An Act relating to daylight saving time; and providing for an effective date.|
|18 Feb 2021||HB31||Intro, To House State Affairs Committee||An Act relating to daylight saving time; and providing for an effective date.|
|11 Mar 2020||HB292||Intro, To House State Affairs Committee||An Act relating to daylight saving time and providing for an effective date.|
|9 Mar 2020||HB43||Intro, To House State Affairs Committee||An Act exempting the state from daylight saving time.|
|14 May 2019||HB173||Intro, To House State Affairs Committee||An Act relating to daylight saving time.|
Other US states
Check out the information and maps of the other US states.