Yes, this amazed me too, but there are actually butterflies in Alaska!
There are 75-80 species of butterflies that live in Alaska, 35-40 live right in the Anchorage area and the nearby Chugach Mountains. They are found at sea level, on mountaintops, and everywhere in between. Some range throughout North America or even other continents, while others are unique to cooler climates. I always thought they were so delicate that they wouldn’t be able to survive in a colder climate but they have been able to adapt over the century’s.
In warmer climates, most butterflies go through their life cycle in a few weeks. Alaskan butterflies can live over a year. Some, such as the very dark-colored Mourning Cloak, hibernate in their adult form during the winter, and are among the first to appear in the spring. Some overwinter in the caterpillar or chrysalis form. The species, called Painted Ladies, do not go through their life cycle here, but are migratory summer visitors. So Alaskan butterflies have managed to find ways to adapt to their cooler climate. They are all beautiful and fascinating creatures that will enhance your hiking experiences in Alaska.