Featuring: Fairbanks, Tok, Delta Junction
Day 1 Fairbanks, Alaska
Fairbanks is Alaska’s second-largest city and the unofficial end of the Alaska Highway and boasts a wide range of visitor activities and attractions. Visit the new Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitor Center to get your bearings, pick up maps and tips for planning your stay and watch one of the informational movies in the visitor center’s theater. Lots of special events take place in Fairbanks throughout the year so be sure to check the local calendar. Pick up some fresh produce from the local farmer’s market and head 13 miles down the Richardson Highway for a day trip to North Pole and do some early Christmas shopping before having a picnic at Chena Lakes Recreation Area.
Day 2 Delta Junction, Alaska
About 100 miles south of Fairbanks, Delta Junction is the official end of the Alaska Highway, 1390 miles from its starting point in Dawson Creek, B.C. On your way into town, stop for a photo at the large monument signifying the end of the highway in front of the visitors center at physical mile 1422, or with one of the oversized mosquito sculptures nearby. Be sure to stop in at the Sullivan Roadhouse Historical Museum, located across the highway from the visitors center. The roadhouse was originally constructed in 1905 and sat on the Valdez to Fairbanks trail. Today, the museum interprets this history with a variety of artifacts and information about the building’s original owners and life in Alaska at the time. Before you leave town, take a slight detour and drive 25 miles south of Delta Junction on the Richardson Highway to visit the 90,000-acre Delta Bison Sanctuary to see the large beasts on their home range.
Day 3 Tok, Alaska
Tok lies another easy 100 miles or so south on the Alaska Highway. Owing to its strategic location at the entry to Alaska at mile 1279, Tok – once a construction camp – now serves mostly as a trade and services center for travelers in and out of the state on the Alaska Highway. It is also a trade center for a number of Athabascan Native villages in the surrounding area. After grabbing breakfast at the daily Pancake Toss competition at Sourdough Campground, off mile 1.7 of the Tok Cutoff, go shopping for birch baskets, moccasins, boots and beaded jewelry made by local Alaska Native artisans. Pay a visit to the 7,000-square-foot Mainstreet Visitors Center for more information about Tok’s lively dog-mushing culture and history and other attractions. From here you can continue in several different directions. Head south on the Alaska Highway toward Yukon, British Columbia and the Lower 48, or head west toward Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula.