Spirit Island in Alberta Canada
Photo Credit: Travel Alberta, Jeff Bartlett

Photo-worthy Road Trip Ideas

North to Alaska - Photo-worthy Road Trips

Did a road trip even happen if you don’t have a camera roll full of photos ready to post on social media at the end?

One of the best parts of driving to Alaska through Canada on the Alaska Highway is the plethora of photo opportunities. The variety of landscapes, from coastline to rugged mountains and glaciers to rock formations in the Canadian Badlands, beckon to be captured. Add in scene-stealing wildlife like bear and moose and plenty of attractions — think everything from the world’s largest dinosaur to gold-rush era history to waterfalls to Indigenous totem poles and buffalo hunting grounds — and you’ve got some Instagram-worthy vacation photos you’ll be reflecting back on for years.

Choose a road trip across Canada and into the 49th state following one of these routes, the Inside Passage, Rocky Mountain or Gold Rush, to find the region’s most photo-worthy landscapes, wildlife and attractions.


The Canadian Rockies steal the show on the Alaska Highway through Alberta. You’ve most likely marveled over photos of Banff and Jasper national parks in magazines or online, but this is your chance to capture your own National Geographic-style images.

  • Start in Calgary, the province’s largest city, for a panoramic view of downtown from Crescent Heights Lookout Point.
  • Plan to spend at least a full day in Canada’s first national park, Banff. Capture the town with a view straight down Banff Avenue toward Cascade Mountain from the intersection with Buffalo Street. Classic landscape shots tend to focus on glacially fed lakes in the park: Minnewanka, Vermillion, Louise and Morraine.
  • Drive the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) for the glacier views of your dreams. A stop at Peyto Lake is a must, as is the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, a glass-floored observation platform suspended more than 900 feet over the Sunwapta Valley.
  • Head into Jasper National Park and take a boat cruise on Maligne Lake out to Spirit Island. This small island surrounded by the glacial lake and mountains behind is one of the most photographed scenes in the world!
  • You’ll know you’ve arrived in Drumheller when you see the world’s largest dinosaur, a replica 4.5 times the size of a T-rex. Enter the badlands along the Hoodoos Trail to capture otherworldly rock formations.

Learn more about photo stops along this route here and find alternatives to these iconic photogenic spots here.

Columbia Icefield Skywalk in Alberta, Canada
Photo Credit: Pursuit Collection, Mike Seehagel

British Columbia

Almost all roads through this west coast province lead north to Alaska, but the historic Alaska Highway cuts across its northeast corner through the Rockies. Towering mountains, lazy rivers and massive parks dominate the landscape here, demanding frequent photo breaks.

  • No matter where you started driving, be sure to document a stop at the official Alaska Highway “Mile 0” signpost in Dawson Creek. Depending on your interests, take a side trip to Chetwynd to check out chainsaw carvings, Tumbler Ridge to visit the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery or Monkman Provincial Park for the impressive Kinuseo Falls.
  • Next stop is the Sikanni Chief Falls Protected Area. Hike about a mile out and back to the scenic vantage point to take in the nearly 100-foot waterfall.
  • Fort Nelson Heritage Museum is nothing short of eclectic. If you’ve never seen a Model T in person or just love antique cars and trucks, get your camera ready.
  • If wildlife and landscapes are more your thing, head to Stone Mountain Provincial Park. The nearly three-mile Summit Ridge trail leads to a panoramic view of the Northern Rockies.
  • The star of Muncho Lake Provincial Park is the jade green lake itself. Depending on your preferred vantage point, rent a boat from Northern Rockies Lodge to get out on the water or book a flightseeing tour for an aerial view.
  • Haven’t seen enough waterfalls? Stop at Smith River Falls, about 1.5 miles down a gravel road off the highway. A steep path leads to the beautiful two-tiered waterfall.

Read more about driving the Alaska Highway through British Columbia here.

Kinuseo Falls in British Columbia, Canada
Photo Credit: Northern BC Tourism, Jason Hamborg


In the Yukon, the Alaska Highway promises a chance to see plentiful wildlife, varied landscapes (including the smallest desert in the world) and a sense of the region’s history.

  • The Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake is a must for everyone. The collection of more than 80,000 signs pointing the way to various destinations started with just one left by a homesick American soldier in 1942.
  • If you’re driving the highway in spring, don’t miss a stop at Marsh Lake to see the thousands of migrating swans that stop at the north end of the lake.
  • Whitehorse, the province’s scenic capital, offers an abundance of photo-worthy options, from quaint downtown streets and Klondike Gold Rush history (don’t miss the SS Klondike sternwheeler) to attention-grabbing mammals at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. But head to the Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs to pamper yourself and to get that shot that makes everyone at home jealous.
  • Drive north for 97 miles and you’ll come around a bend in the highway to be greeted by a postcard, aka Haines Junction.  The breathtaking Saint Elias Mountains are the beginning of Kluane National Park & Preserve. But your first stop is the Da Ku Cultural Centre to learn more about the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations whose roots here go back thousands of years.
  • Kluane is home to the highest concentration of grizzly bears in North America and spotting them from the roadside is common. Keep your camera ready. But don’t just stick to the road, the best way to take in the immensity of this park and its icefields is from a flightseeing tour.

Plan your trip through the Yukon on the Alaska Highway here.

Eclipse Nordic Hot Springs in Yukon, Canada
Photo Credit: Government of Yukon, Andrew Strain


Just crossing the Alaska border from Canada feels like an achievement, but the real reward lies ahead in the breathtaking mountains, massive glaciers and cultural opportunities.

  • If you head south from Tok, start looking for an epic view of Mount Drum as you near Glennallen. After Denali, this might be the most iconic shot of a mountain in Alaska.
  • If you didn’t take a flightseeing tour over Kluane, then it’s a must when you arrive in Chitina. You’ll head into mountain and glacier-studded Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the largest park in the country. If you have time to spend inside the park, don’t miss the Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark to see restored copper mining facilities.
  • If you head toward Anchorage from the park, Matanuska Glacier is the next required visit. One of Alaska’s most road-accessible glaciers, there are several outfitters that will take you up on the glacier to explore the stunning blue ice.
  • As the state’s largest city, Anchorage holds a multitude of cultural opportunities for visitors. A visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center will provide chances to view Alaska Native games, dance performances, village sites and more. Explore downtown to find several murals, showcasing the work of local artists.
  • Head south on Seward Highway, an All-American Road and a National Forest Scenic Byway. There are plenty of pullouts along the Cook Inlet for scenic vantage points and even a chance to spot beluga whales.
  • Finish the drive in Homer, the “halibut capital of the world.” The Homer Spit extends into Kachemak Bay at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula. It’s worth walking down to the docks, whether you plan on going fishing or not. You’ll see plenty of others smiling big in front of gigantic halibut.

To plan a drive through Alaska, check out these sample itineraries here

Wrangel-St. Elias National Park in Alaska
Photo Credit: Travel Alaska