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The 4 best Alaska road trip ideas

Did you know Alaska is twice the size of Texas? It’s huge! Locals and visitors rely on motor transportation in order to get around the state with ease. From getting to know the road better, and exploring the quaint Alaska communities more intimately, buckle up and fill the gas tank for these fun Alaska road trips.

Whether you’re heading north or south, we recommend starting in Anchorage where the beauty of the wild meets urban amenities. Take a wildlife tour, check out the cities trail system, and learn about the culture at the Anchorage Museum. After you’ve explored the city, it’s time to hit the road.

1. Anchorage to Denali

237 miles | Four hours

About the trip

Have you ever wanted to have a chance to witness the tallest mountain in North America? Take a trip north from Anchorage where you’ll arrive at the George Parks Highway. Commonly called the Parks Highway, this road stretches 323 miles to the Interior of Alaska. Around mile 160, you’ll come across Denali National Park and all its glory! This is a great first place to stop and spend a few days.

Things to do once you’re there

Check out our Denali Travel Guide and some of the top tours to embark on.

  1. Denali Back Country Adventure
  2. Sled Dog Kennel Tour
  3. Denali Park Zipline Adventure
  4. Denali ATV Trailblazer

Anchorage

2. Denali to Fairbanks

126 miles | Two hours

About the trip

Continue the scenic adventure on the Parks Highway about 125 miles to reach Fairbanks, Alaska’s second-largest city.

Things to do once you’re there

Our Fairbanks Travel Guide will give you good points of interest and we recommend setting your sights on the following.

  1. Northern Lights hunting
  2. Midnight Sun ATV
  3. Chena Hot Springs and Ice Museum

Denali

3. Anchorage to Seward

126 miles| Two and a half hours

About the trip

Head south on the popular Seward Highway that connects Anchorage to other small towns south of the city. The road coasts along the Turnagain Arm where you can pull over for picturesque views and try to spot an array of wildlife. It’s the perfect mix of urban and wild!

Things to do once you’re there

Once you arrive in Seward, one of Alaska’s oldest towns, there is no shortage of activities to keep you busy!

  1. Visit the Alaska Sealife Center.
  2. Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise.
  3. Explore Exit Glacier.

Eagle in Seward

4. Seward to Cooper Landing

104 miles | One hour 

About the trip

About a one-hour drive from Seward, pass through the charming town of Cooper Landing along the Kenai Peninsula which locals call “Alaska’s playground.” With seemingly never-ending areas to explore, this is the perfect route for all nature enthusiasts.

Things to do once you’re there

Check out accessible fishing spots and wildlife experiences that will leave you wanting to come back for more!

  1. Explore Kenai Fjords National Park.
  2. Go fishing at Russian River Falls.
  3. Wildlife viewing a whale watching.

Kenai River

Road trip planning tips to know before you go:

We know Alaska is big, but your packing list doesn’t have to be! While we do recommend packing your clothes like an onion — lots of layers — we also have some must-haves to keep your trip successful.

  • Sunglasses: Alaska is bright, and you don’t want to miss out on any views because you are always squinting.
  • Jackets: Prepare for the weather by bringing a rain, fleece, or down jacket. Always check the weather before you go!
  • Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated and love the environment.
  • Bug repellent: If you are planning to spend time outside, you’re going to want this.
  • Sunscreen: Don’t let a low UV index fool you, summer days see around 20+ hours of daylight!
  • Roadside emergency kit: You can never be too prepared with jumper cables, flares, and a first aid kit.
  • Snack: No road trip is complete without something to munch on!



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