Where You Can Drive to in Alaska, and Where You Can’t

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General information about Alaska’s road system
Alaska’s Highways
Where you can drive in Alaska
Where you will need to take a plane or boat to


General information about Alaska’s road system

Alaska has almost fifteen thousand miles of public roads in the state. However, not all of its communities and towns are connected to each other by roads. Some areas are only accessible by plane or boat. Thus, it is important to know which roads and highways will lead where.

Inclement weather can play a big role in how easily you are able to navigate Alaska’s roads. Be sure you do not attempt to drive on any roads that are currently impassable. If you are only visiting Alaska, try to do so during the warmer summer months so that road conditions will be at their best. Although, you should still be on the lookout for wildlife crossing the road and road issues such as potholes.

Alaska’s Highways

Alaska has several major highways which connect much of the southern and middle parts of the state. The following is a breakdown of Alaska’s Highways:

  • Dalton Highway – The Dalton Highway is infamous for its long lonely trek that many consider quite dangerous as well. It is over four hundred miles long and connects the upper north of Alaska near Deadhorse with the rest of Alaska through its connection with Elliot Highway just north of Fairbanks. It is recommended you drive this road with someone and that you do not attempt to drive on the highway during any bad weather.
  • Alaska Highway – The most famous highway in Alaska, the Alaska Highway is over thirteen hundred miles long. It runs through Canada into Alaska. It runs from Dawson Creek in northwest Canada to Delta Junction in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is often referred to as a wonderful road trip experience due to all the great scenery along the route.
  • Edgerton Highway – Edgerton Highway is a short road, only thirty-three miles long, that extends from the Richardson Highway in Cooper Center to Chitina. On its route you will pass a popular fishery as well as an airport.
  • Denali Highway – The Denali Highway is a hundred and thirty-five miles long and runs from Paxson, Alaska to Cantwell, Alaska. The route includes, weather-permitting, great views of several glaciers and mountains. There are also several campsites along the route as well.
  • George Parks Highway – At three hundred and twenty-three miles long, the George Parks Highway connects from Palmer all the way to Fairbanks. The road includes exits for Wasilla, the Denali State Park, Denali National Park, Fairbanks and the Fairbanks airport.
  • Elliot Highway – Elliot Highway stretches from just north of Fairbanks up to an area called Manley Hot Springs. The total length of the highway is just over a hundred and fifty miles long. Much of the road is gravel and travel can be difficult during the winter months. Amenities are limited, so bring a full tank of gas and some extra food if you will be traveling on this road.
  • Haines Highway – At nearly a hundred and fifty miles long the Haines Highway in Alaska stretches from Haines in Alaska to Haines in Canada. The road has some breathtaking scenery as well as a stop at a bald eagle preserve.
  • Glenn Highway – The Glenn Highway spans well over three hundred miles. It spans from west to east from Anchorage to Glennallen. The road includes several primary exits for Anchorage as well as exits for Knik River and Palmer.
  • Klondike Highway – Almost four hundred and fifty miles long, the Klondike Highway in Alaska connects Dawson City, Canada with Skagway in Alaska. The route includes connections with a ferry terminal, Whitehorse and Alaska Highway.
  • Nome Road System – The Nome Road system is not accessible from anywhere in Alaska other than Nome itself. It is essentially about three hundred miles worth of roads surrounding Nome. The roads are mostly just for sightseeing or making stops to hike or fish. You can rent a car once you arrive in Nome by plane.
  • Richardson Highway – Richardson Highway stretches from Fairbanks to Valdez and is three hundred and sixty-eight miles long. The highway has exits for Willow Creek, Delta Junction, Alaska Highway and Denali National Park.
  • Steese Highway – This highway stretches from Fairbanks to Circle, Alaska and is over a hundred and sixty miles long. The Steese Highway is a National Scenic Byway.
  • Taylor Highway – Taylor Highway is a hundred and sixty miles long and spans from Tetlin Junction to Eagle. The highway has exits that lead to Chicken Airport, Eagle and Jack Wade Junction. The road can be fairly tricky to navigate at points due to its narrowness and curves so be careful when you are driving here.
  • Sterling/Seward Highway – The Seward Highway in Alaska totals a hundred and twenty-five miles in length. It starts in Seward and ends in Anchorage. The road has great sightseeing and fishing spots and it includes exits for the Alaska Railroad, Portage glacier and more.


Where you can drive in Alaska

You can drive most places in Alaska. There are some more remote places that you won’t be able to drive to which we will discuss below. But, places like Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Palmer, Valdez, Denali, Wasillia and more are all accessible by car one way or another.

Some may be easier to drive to than others, but you can get there by car. When you drive in Alaska, be sure to check road conditions before you head out. Try and use an app like Waze which will give you up-to-date crowdsourced information on road and traffic conditions.

Where you will need to take a plane or boat to

Unfortunately, there are several areas in Alaska that you can only travel to by plane and/or boat. These areas include: Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Bethel, Nome, Barrow, and Sitka.

You can travel to and from Juneau by car, but you will need to cut through Canada to do so.

For places like Dutch Harbor and Kodiak, you can easily take a ferry there. You can find more information about taking the Ferry in Alaska by reading this guide.

As for places like Nome and Barrow, consider taking a short flight there. You can learn more about getting flights to places like Nome here.

Category: Alaska Car Shipping.