Besides world-class scenery, there’s always the potential for wildlife encounters along Alaska’s byways, so wise motorists are always on alert for something furry darting—or strolling, in the case of the regal moose—out of the roadside brush.
Glenn Highway, South Central. Passing between the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains and past numerous glaciers, this highway heading east out of Anchorage is especially scenic in late summer and early fall.
Kalifornsky Beach Road, South Central. Near Soldotna, this twenty-mile long loop off the Sterling Highway is parallel to the coastline along Cook Inlet. The peaks of the Alaska Range are visible, and the active volcanoes Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt are across the inlet. Boats ply the waters here, and bald eagles and beluga whales are common sights.
George Parks Highway, South Central and Interior. Connecting Fairbanks and Anchorage, and passing by Denali National Park, the George Parks offers views of Mt. McKinley on a clear day. Heading south, the mountain seems to loom over you as you drive towards Talkeetna.
Richardson Highway, South Central and Interior. The first highway built in Alaska, this 364-mile road between Fairbanks and the port of Valdez will offer you farm country, vast tundra, and mountain vistas.
Taylor Highway, South Central and Interior. Winding along mountain ridges and through valleys of the Fortymile River is a 160-mile stretch of narrow, rough, gravel highway. This road will transport you to another era when gold was the main reason folks from the Lower 48 made it into the Interior. It remains one of the few places to see active mining without leaving the road system.
Denali Highway, Interior. For a rustic drive, try this road between Paxson and Cantwell. The gravel road is 135 miles of semi-tough sledding for highway vehicles; if you’ve got a well-equipped ride, it’s worth the effort. You’ll find open tundra, views of the Alaska Range, lakes and streams, and miles of land that moose, caribou, grizzlies, wolves, and numerous species of birds call home sweet home.
Dalton Highway, Interior and the Bush. More than 400 miles of road, the Dalton Highway connects Interior Alaska to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Winding, exhilarating, and varied, it’s a true Alaskan motor trek. Built as a hauling road, there are still plenty of 18-wheelers that will share the highway with you as you cross through the Brooks Range into the Arctic Plains.