Head North to Alaska Road Trip

One of the first challenges a road trip planner must tackle when he first sets his sights on Alaska is to decide how much driving he wants to do on this road trip. Alaska offers vast mountains, colossal blue-white glaciers and an abundance of wildlife with activities unique to the state; this combination makes one want to see it all, even if it means extending the trip in order to do so!

For most road trip planners, their itinerary will start with flight plans. Most people flying in will land in Anchorage. At this point, they’ll either rent a car and stay in hotels along the way (reserved in advance of course!) or they’ll rent an RV to explore Alaska at their own pace (with their itinerary allowing impromptu exploration options).

After exploring Anchorage’s offerings, many place the city of Tok as a destination in their road trip planner because it helps create a good triangle for your road trip. Tok is known as the “Sled Dog Capital of Alaska”. Plan on 5 ½ hours driving time from Anchorage but I know you’ll stop – even spend a day or two – around the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Get ready for the largest and most magnificent of the National Parks of Alaska, with 9 of the 16 highest peaks in the United States. This mountain region contains numerous glaciers, lakes and mountain streams and is home to a rich variety of wild life. It is superb country for climbers, walkers and water sports enthusiasts.

Fairbanks would be the third point of your trip triangle to add to your road trip planner (Anchorage to Tok to Fairbanks). Some travelers start their Alaskan Road Trip by flying in to Fairbanks, so for them, their trip triangle would be Fairbanks, Anchorage, Tok. Fairbanks is second biggest city of Alaska and has the all the amenities of an urban community. The Gold Rush Street at Pioneer Park was a replica but a real operating gold mine exists in this proud city. Visit the Museum of the North, take a river trip for half-day cruise through the Chena and Tanana Rivers. In the summer, the Riverboat Discovery Tour runs twice a day. Trip reservations are a must so make the necessary arrangements ahead of time.

Leaving Fairbanks, include the impressive Denali National Park in your road trip planner before hitting Anchorage. Denali contains Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America and is definitely worthy of some heavy-duty exploration.

A four- to six-hour drive down south from Denali National Park, passing through Talkeetna, you’ll reach the town of Wasilla. Moose or bear sightings along the way are often part of the journey. For canoeing experience, go to the Nancy Lake Recreation Area. There are plenty of cabins to rent for overnight stays. Further south, visit the Big Lake for swimming, camping, jet-ski and fishing. Proceed to Mat-Su Valley and drop by Iditarod Trail Headquarters on Knik Road. Learn some history at Knik Museum and the Sled Dog Musher’s Hall of Fame.

Another town to add to your road trip planner is Palmer, only 15 minutes away from Wasilla. There is a great RV campground here as well as some cool farms like the Musk Ox Farm. Best time to be here is in late August when the Alaska State Fair is celebrated.

Leave another day in your road trip planner to explore more of Anchorage. It has plenty of hiking opportunities, cultural events and art exhibits. The Flattop Mountain and Chugach State Park are the city’s pride together with Alaska Zoo and Potter Marsh, a bird and wildlife sanctuary.

If you have more time, add another leg of your road trip by driving along the Seward Highway, designated as the All-American Road, and enjoy the scenic view. Picnic opportunities are everywhere, and the picture perfect backdrop is hard to resist. Fishing, camping and canoeing activities in the Kenai/Soldotna area are nice options too.

I’ve shared one road trip example, but customize yours to reflect your own Dream Alaskan Trip. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your trip.


* See the Northern Lights; plan on coming either late fall and early spring.

* Enjoy the Midnight Sun; put June 21st in the middle of your road trip planning.

* Go whale watching; head to Alaska anytime from mid-May through mid-September.

* View the most wildlife; summer-time will get you sightings of moose, bear, mountain sheep, caribou, coyote, wolves, sheep, beaver, otter, mink, or hare. In addition, birdwatchers can photo-capture eagles, hawks, jays, owls, spruce hens, grousePsychology Articles, and ptarmigan and migratory waterfowl coming north to nest each summer.

Make this the year you go wild with your road trip planning and head North to Alaska for a trip of a lifetime.

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