Stretch of highway leading to the mountains
Photo Credit: Joris Beugels

Alaska & Canada Road Trip on the Alaska Highway

Alaska & Canada Road Trip on the Alaska Highway

Only about five percent of visitors to Alaska get here by driving the Alaska-Canada Highway — but those who do are treated to a one-of-a-kind, week-long adventure through some of the planet's most breathtaking scenery. Use this itinerary as a rough guide for planning your trip.

Day 1: Dawson Creek, British Columbia

Set out on one of North America’s most epic road trips, starting from from Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. Stop in at the Alaska Highway House—a museum that documents the construction of the highway—and spend some time at Mile Zero Park where you can explore the Walter Wright Pioneer Village, which depicts the 1940s era in which the highway was built. Despite its name, Mile Zero Park is actually 1.5 miles down the highway from the true Mile 0, so you’ll only have 280.5 miles left to go on your way to Fort Nelson, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 2: Fort Nelson, British Columbia

Originally a fur trading post, Fort Nelson prospered with the construction of the Alaska Highway and is now a bustling community of around 4,000 people. Before you hit the road, visit the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum for a look at antique car and truck collections, historic buildings, and artifacts, all related to the museum’s theme of transportation. Today you’ll drive a total of 330 miles to Watson Lake. Along the way you’ll pass one of Canada’s most scenic watersheds (Muncho Lake), plus the highest summit along the Alaska Highway (Summit Pass, 4,250 feet in elevation). Spend the night in Watson Lake.

Day 3: Watson Lake, Yukon

Watson Lake holds one of the Alaska Highway’s most-photographed attractions: The Signpost Forest, where you can add your city’s sign or license plate to the collection. Consider backtracking about 5 miles down the road for a morning picnic at Lucky Lake, which sports the only outdoor waterslide in the Yukon Territory. You have another beautiful day of driving ahead of you, for a total of 272 miles to Whitehorse—about six and a half hours on the road, not counting rest stops.

Day 4: Whitehorse

Spend your morning exploring Whitehorse’s many museums and cultural centers that explore the history of the Klondike Gold Rush, including a restored stern-wheel paddleboat in the S.S. Klondike National Historical Site. Consider extending your stay by a day so you can explore some of Whitehorse’s recreation opportunities like wildlife viewing, hiking, or rafting. Whitehorse is also the turnoff point if you wanted to drive to Skagway, which is just 110 miles to the south. Otherwise, it’s time to catch a leisurely lunch, then make the easy 96-mile drive to Haines Junction.

Day 5: Haines Junction, Yukon

Established in 1942 during the construction of the Alaska Highway, the town of Haines Junction offers a variety of accommodations and places to eat. Although you’re still in Canada, Haines Junction is just 148 road miles north of the Alaska town of Haines, which otherwise can be reached only by ferry or small plane. Have a hearty breakfast and explore nearby Kluane National Park—a hot spot for glacier flightseeing, hiking, and canoeing—before you saddle up for the 290-mile drive that’ll take you across the Alaska/Canada border and into Tok (rhymes with “poke”), where you’ll spend the night.

Day 6: Tok, Alaska

Tok is the first major community that road travelers encounter in Alaska. As such, its branch of the Alaska Public Lands Information Center and the Tok Mainstreet Visitors Center, a colossal 7,000-square-foot lodge, are full of educational exhibits and trip-planning information. Depending on what you have planned for the rest of your time in state, you may want to turn south from here to reach Valdez (253 miles), Anchorage (318 miles), or the Mat-Su Valley (276 miles); or keep driving northwest for another 108 miles to Delta Junction, the official end of the Alaska Highway.

Day 7: Delta Junction, Alaska

Delta Junction is the official end of the Alaska Highway, although the road continues another 95 miles northwest to Fairbanks, the second-largest city in the state and an easy goal for the day. Or, you can turn south on the Richardson Highway and drive 268 miles to the beautiful port town of Valdez. But before you go, make sure you take a photo at the oversized white mile marker that marks the end of the highway, explore the Delta Junction Visitor Center, and stop in at the carefully restored historic roadhouse in Big Delta State Historical Park.

Explore detailed route descriptions, maps, and rules/FAQs for driving to Alaska through Canada.


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