Official State of Alaska Vacation and Travel Information
Chugach National Forest
by: Michael DeYoung
by: Frank Flavin
Driving to and in Alaska isn't a means to an end – it's simply one more way to enjoy what this beautiful state has to offer, with the flexibility and comfort that driving your own vehicle implies. Hitting the road in Alaska you will find friendly people, paved highways, plenty of public and private campgrounds, scenic waysides and an easy-to–use guidebook that lists all these and more, mile by mile.
Driving from Fairbanks to Valdez
Day 1 Fairbanks is the second-largest city in Alaska, and a great start for your RV trip down the Richardson Highway. Before heading south, spend a few hours touring the city and head 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks on Chena Hot Springs Road to Chena Hot Springs Resort. Soak in the healing waters of the resort’s mineral springs, enjoy a meal and visit the Aurora Ice Museum. Spend the night at one of the 24 marked campsites at the resort and make sure to step outside at night and check for the aurora borealis.
Day 2 Drive back toward Fairbanks to connect with the Richardson Highway. If you have kids in tow, they may enjoy a visit to North Pole on your way out of the Fairbanks area at mile 348.7. Home to many Fairbanks commuters, North Pole is also the official home of Santa Claus and his elves and offers a great photo opportunity by the giant Santa Claus sign. Drive on for another 73 miles and pull off at Rika’s Roadhouse at Mile 275. Built in 1913, Rika’s was one of the original roadhouses along the former Valdez-to-Fairbanks trail and includes a lot of historical information about the area. Continue south to Delta Junction State Recreation Campground at mile 267 of the Richardson Highway. Directly across the highway from the recreation site lays the Delta River. This allows for some spectacular views of the Alaska Range beyond. On a clear day you can see Mount Hayes, one of the tallest mountains of the Alaska Range. Spend the night at the campground and mingle with other like-minded travelers.
Day 3 After enjoying a stroll in the area or a nice breakfast in this beautiful spot, get back in your RV and take in the beauty of the scenic drive south toward...
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There are many ways for visitors to experience the Last Frontier, but the simplest way to cover the most ground is by driving a car or renting an RV. Public and private campgrounds and recreation sites are strewn throughout the state and provide access to services in most places the roads go. Four major highways and a web of roads stretch out in all directions in Southcentral and Interior Alaska, and the Alaska Marine Highway makes stops in Southcentral, the Inside Passage, the Aleutians and Kodiak Island.
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The bags are packed, the car is loaded, the tank is full – now all that’s left is to make sure you’ve got one of the most essential items for highway travel in Alaska: “The Milepost.” This book includes a mile-by-mile highway log of all the major roads, byways and communities in the state. This is not your typical travel guide, and, at first glance, its size can be slightly intimidating. But with a new application for iPad and Android devices available, whether you choose digital or print, it will undoubtedly take a place of permanence right beside the driver’s seat.
If traveling at your own pace is not reason enough to hit Alaska’s highways, consider this: five of Alaska’s highways received national and state recognition for the stunning views of towering glaciated mountains, waterways, tundra and alpine meadows that delight travelers along these routes. Alaska’s state and national scenic byways received the designation due to their extraordinary scenic beauty, history and cultural attractions, which means they’re a natural addition to any itinerary. Read on for more on these special routes.
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