Southcentral Alaska's Scenic Byways National Parks

Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley, Talkeetna, Copper Valley, Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Valdez and more...

Day 1 Anchorage

Begin your journey in Alaska’s largest city where you can experience our rich culture & heritage. Visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum of History & Art or the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum. Enjoy fine dining and shopping downtown without having to pay a sales tax! Or take a day trip on the Alaska Railroad (Alaska Scenic Byway) to go rafting or day boat cruising.

Day 2 Mat-Su Valley

Head one hour north on the Parks Highway to the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Make a stop in Wasilla to see the Iditarod Race Headquarters. Continue on to Talkeetna, the small community that is the staging area for over 1,000 climbers who attempt to climb Denali. Some of the best views of Denali are from here especially if you take a flightseeing tour. Or take a guided riverboat or raft tour. Overnight in a lodge, roadhouse or cabin.

Day 3 Mat-Su Valley

Drive to Palmer via Hatcher Pass, a scenic drive through the mountains that climbs to an elevation of 3,886 feet and provides some amazing views and opportunities for outdoor recreation. Tour Independence Mine Historical Park and learn about Alaska’s rich gold mining history. Enjoy lunch at a mountain lodge. Visit Palmer, a picturesque little town with an agricultural flair, to see the Alaska State Fair held in August. Drive on the Glenn Highway, a National Scenic Byway, to Glenallen or Copper Center to overnight. Stop by the Matanuska Glacier on the way.

Southcentral Alaska's scenic byways national parks

Day 4 Copper River Valley

Take a day trip into the largest National Park in the United States, Wrangell St. Elias National Park. It equals six Yellowstone’s with four major mountain ranges that include nine of the 16 highest peaks in the U.S. Take in this spectacular scenery with a flightseeing trip into McCarthy. Explore the historic mining town of Kennicott and take a tour of the old copper mill or a walk on a glacier. Overnight in McCarthy or Kennicott or return to Copper Center.

Day 5 Prince William Sound

Head South on the Richardson Highway to the seaside town of Valdez. En route, stop at Worthington Glacier. Valdez is known as “Little Switzerland” because of the dramatic mountains that surround it. It is also the gateway to Prince William Sound. Take a day boat cruise to Columbia Glacier, the second largest tidewater glacier in North America. Or book a full day or half day fishing trip. Guided rafting trips are also available through Keystone Canyon past towering waterfalls. Valdez also offers museums highlighting its history of the Gold Rush and the Good Friday Earthquake of 1964. Spend the night at one of the many B&B’s or hotels.

Day 6 Prince William Sound

Depart Valdez via the Alaska Marine Highway the port of Whittier. The entire Alaska Marine Highway System is a National Scenic Byway. The ferry can accommodate vehicles and is a popular way to travel around Alaska by both visitors and locals. Upon arrival in Whittier, drive through the longest combined vehicle-railroad tunnel in North America. Head south 78 miles on the Seward Highway, an All-American Road which is the highest designation for a National Scenic Byway. Stop by Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park just outside of Seward. Overnight in Seward.

Day 7 Kenai Peninsula

Seward- Spend the day in Seward enjoying all that Kenai Fjords National Park has to offer. Go whale watching and look for sea otters, sea lions, and puffins on a day boat cruise or from a kayak. Or book a full day or half day fishing charter. Stroll through downtown and shop at the many art galleries or visit the Alaska SeaLife Center. There are many great hiking trails and even summer dog sled tours. In the evening return to Anchorage by vehicle or the Alaska Railroad.