Icefields Parkway in Alberta
Photo Credit: Travel Alberta, Colin Way

North to Alaska - Taking the Scenic Route

North to Alaska - Taking the Scenic Route

Driving north through western Canada into Alaska, the highways are more than just roads; they are gateways to breathtaking scenery and miles of untamed beauty. From the stunning forest views along the Seward Highway to the majestic peaks of the Canadian Rockies along the Icefields Parkway, each route offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for travelers. 

Whether you're drawn to the coastal wonders, crystal blue lakes, or vast wilderness views, these highways not only lead you to Alaska, but also immerse you into the history, beauty, and serenity of the region’s natural landscapes. Remember: it’s about the journey, not the destination! 

When traveling along each of these iconic routes and highways, don’t forget to slow down, make time for all the scenic pull offs and take a few detours. 


Journey along the Icefields Parkway to experience a scenic adventure like no other, offering travelers a stunning glimpse into the radiant beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Rated one of the most beautiful drives in the world, the Icefields Parkway is a 144-mile drive through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, connecting Jasper and Lake Louise. Along the way, travelers are guaranteed to pass by over 100 glaciers, encounter diverse wildlife and experience the serenity of tranquil waterfalls.

There are many popular stops found along the Icefields Parkway that further confirm this road's beauty. Bow Lake, one of the largest lakes in Banff National Park, can be found 30 minutes north of Lake Louise and is a prime location for a scenic picnic. Next the Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies, affords guests a thrilling opportunity to walk above the Sunwapta Valley on its Skywalk. And lastly, Athabasca Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies, perfectly rounding out the awe-inspiring views found along this iconic route.

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Skywalk in Alberta
Skywalk. Photo Credit: Pursuit Collection, Mike Seehagel

British Columbia

The Gold Rush Route through British Columbia offers a scenic and culturally enriching journey that is more than just a highway. Starting in Smithers, travelers can experience the greatness of Hudson Bay Mountain up close and personal on a flightseeing tour. Then, continuing west, travelers can stop at Witset to view the Widzin Kwah Canyon and learn more about Witsuwit’en culture at the local museum.

 Take a short detour off Highway 16 to reach hidden gems like the 'Ksan Historical Village and Museum and the Hagwilget Canyon Bridge for jaw-dropping views. Further along, travelers will find Kispiox, which is home to an impressive collection of 24 totem poles at the edge of the community where Kispiox and Skeena Rivers meet. Another popular detour to consider is one off of Highway 37 to Stewart, which can actually speed up your journey to Alaska. Highlights of this route include the stunning Salmon Glacier and the Portland Canal. These stops provide the perfect backdrop for a road trip, making the Gold Rush Route an unforgettable journey.

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Hagwilget Canyon Bridge in British Columbia
Hagwilget Canyon Bridge. Photo Credit: Andrew Strain

The Yukon

The popular Alaska Highway is full of scenery that beckons the traveler looking to immerse themselves in picturesque landscapes and unforgettable experiences. A road known for its historic significance and vast wilderness, the Alaska Highway travels through a number of notable Yukon cities and towns. Along the way, travelers have the opportunity to stop and explore each of the charming communities and embrace its unique blend of culture and history.

 Cross the Nisutlin Bay Bridge, the longest bridge on the Alaska Highway, to discover the stunning views found at the lakeside community of Teslin. A summer camp for the Tlingit people from Southeast Alaska, Teslin Lake is renowned for its trout fishing and is a prime location for water-based adventures. For the traveler that enjoys a bit of wilderness with their scenery, Haines Junction is the perfect town to explore. Featuring attractions including Kluane National Park and Reserve and Pine Lake, there is no shortage of scenic views to explore. 

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Kluane Lake in the Yukon
Kluane Lake. Photo Credit: Government of Yukon, Derek Crowe


A USDA Forest Service Scenic Byway, Alaska Scenic Byway, and All-American Road, Seward Highway is known for showcasing spectacular mountain views, pristine lakes, and the coastal beauty that Alaska is known for. Running from Anchorage to Seward on the Kenai Peninsula and considered to be one of the most scenic drives in the country, the Seward Highway offers travelers a variety of wildlife viewing options, including beluga whales, bald eagles, Dall sheep, and more.

 While traveling along this highway at the end of the Rockies Route, there are several points of interest for travelers looking to add a change of scenery to their road trip. Whether you're interested in making a pit stop to bike at Granite Creek, hike along the 23-mile Johnson Pass Trail, pan for gold at the Crow Creek Mine, or admire swans at Summit Lake, the Seward Highway promises an unforgettable journey filled with natural wonders and adventure at every turn.

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Seward Highway in Alaska
Seward Highway. Photo Credit: Travel Alaska, Michael DeYoung