Page 21 - RV Alaska
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Highway Routes in Alaska
Alaska's highways are generally referred to by their names instead of the route number. Most highways are paved but Denali Highway and Dalton Highway have gravel sections. For current highway conditions, check www.511.alaska.gov.
    Dalton Highway
 Richardson Highway
Valdez to Fairbanks ê 366 miles
The Richardson Highway is paved and offers
scenic views of mountain ranges, canyons, glaciers and waterfalls. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, can be seen from the highway.
Originally called the Valdez to Eagle Trail, the Richardson Highway was the first major road built in Alaska, in 1910.
Near Valdez, the Richardson Highway is surrounded by sheer canyon walls containing waterfalls and interesting rock formations where it passes through Keystone Canyon. See page 20 for more information about this section of the highway.
The Edgerton Highway and Wrangell St. Elias National Park can be accessed by the Richardson Highway.
Seward Highway
Anchorage to Seward ê 127 miles
This paved highway is a National Scenic Byway and runs along Turnagain Arm, through the scenic Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest and Kenai Mountains.
South of Anchorage the highway hugs the shore of Turnagain Arm. Here the scenery is dramatic with flats on one side and towering mountains on the other.
Bird Creek, at mile 101, is a great stop for photography, fishing and spotting marine wildlife.
Exit Glacier is the only part of Kenai Fjords National Park that can be reached by road. The turn-off is about 4 miles north of Seward.
Parks Highway
North of Anchorage to Fairbanks ê 358 miles The Parks Highway, also called the George
Parks Highway, is a wide, well-maintained route that is open year-round. It begins 35 miles north of Anchorage at the junction with the Glenn Highway. The highway, which parallels the Alaska Railroad, is the main route between Anchorage and Fairbanks. It travels over rugged terrain and crosses over 40 bridges.
Views of Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) can be seen at several spots along the highway, particularly Willow and the Denali Viewpoint at mile 135 from Anchorage.
Talkeetna is a historic village nestled at the base of Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) with panoramic views of the Alaska Range. The town is located at the end of the paved 14-mile-long Talkeetna Spur Road. The turn off to Talkeetna is at at mile 99.
The entrance to Denali National Park is along the Parks Highway, about 240 miles north of Anchorage.
Glenn Highway
Anchorage to Glennallen ê 189 miles
The Glenn Highway is the main access to Anchorage from the Alaska Highway. The road surface is in good condition and generally well maintained.
The highest point of the highway is the Eureka Summit at 3,332 feet.
The 139-mile section of the Glenn Highway between Anchorage and the Eureka Summit is designated a National Scenic Byway. This section hugs the south end of the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) valley and parallels the path of the Matanuska Glacier. The pullout for Matanuska Glacier is at mile 91.7 and there are several more pullouts further down the highway.
The junction of the Glenn Highway and Richardson Highway is at mile 189. Turn south on the Richardson Highway to visit Valdez and north if you’re headed to Tok or Delta Junction.
Sterling Highway
Tern Lake Junction to Homerê142 miles
The Sterling highway leads to some of the best fishing spots in Alaska and explores the popular Kenai Peninsula, known as “Alaska’s Playground.”
For a glimpse of Russian America history in an old-world setting, visit the quaint town of Ninilchik.
The route ends at Homer Spit which extends 4.5 miles into Kachemak Bay on a narrow strip of land.
Fairbanks to Deadhorse ê 415 miles
The Dalton Highway begins 84 miles north
of Fairbanks and is accessed via the Elliott Highway. The Dalton is still a haul road so expect to meet many transport trucks. The road is mostly gravel and conditions can vary greatly depending on weather.
Most visitors want to cross the Arctic Circle, which is at mile 115. Atigun Pass (4,800 feet) at mile 245, is the highest highway pass in Alaska.
Some visitors prefer to take one of the commercial tours rather than drive this challenging route. Others prefer to rent
a vehicle rather than drive their own. If you choose to rent, be sure your rental is permitted on the Dalton when making the booking.
Deadhorse is the only place along the route with cell phone coverage.
Paxson to Cantwell ê 134 miles
The Denali Highway is a very scenic route,
with limited services available along the way. Plan four to five hours of driving time for this 134-mile-long road, which includes 110 miles of gravel. Add more time for photographing wildlife and landscapes; maybe plan to overnight along the way.
The Denali Highway was constructed in 1957 as the only route to Denali National Park and Preserve. When the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Anchorage opened in 1972, the Denali Highway became a seasonal route that closes in winter. When the highway is open, conditions vary greatly depending on the weather. There are sections of rough washboard and places with sharp rocks.
Maclaren Summit (4,086 feet) is the second highest highway pass in Alaska. Only Atigun Pass (4,800 feet) on the Dalton Highway is higher.
The Tangle Lakes area, 21 miles from Paxson, is popular with fishermen.
Tok Cutoff
Gakona Junction to Tok ê 125 miles
This road is paved and well-maintained while
offering scenic backcountry views.
The junction with Nabesna Road is at mile 60.
The Slana Ranger Station has visitor information at the start of this 42-mile gravel road into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.
   Denali Highway
    DRIVING TIME (IN HOURS)
  Anchorage Fairbanks
  Anchorage, AK - 7.0
  Cooper Landing, AK 1.5 9.0
  Dawson City, YT 10.5 8.0
  Delta Junction, AK 6.5 1.5
  Denali Park, AK 5.0 2.0
  Fairbanks, AK 7.0 -
  Glennallen, AK 4.0 5.0
  Haines, AK 15.5 13.0
  Homer, AK 4.5 11.0
  Kenai, AK 3.0 10.0
  McCarthy, AK 7.5 8.5
  Seward, AK 2.5 10.0
  Skagway, AK 16.5 14.0
  Talkeetna, AK 2.5 5.5
  Tok, AK 6.5 4.0
  Valdez, AK 6.0 7.5
   Wasilla, AK 1.0 6.0
  Whitehorse, YT 15.0 12.0
  Whittier, AK 1.5 9.0
  The Mentasta Summit (2,434 feet) is at mile 78. Visit rvalaska.co for mile-by-mile highway information
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