Alaska is a magnificent state with its majestic mountains, endless hills, many lakes and rivers, trees, valleys, and the abundance of wildlife. If you choose to see the sites of this great state, then driving will allow you to have the freedom of exploring at your own pace. There are so many scenic views of towering mountains, glistening glaciers and water glittering, tumbling, rushing through creeks and rivers. For fans of wildlife, Alaska is also a destination for you. Wildlife, like dall sheep, eagles, moose, and porcupines are all regularly sighted from the roadway. Alaska’s most popular destinations, Denali National Park, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and many others are all fairly accessible by car or truck. If you love the outdoors, you could scarcely find a more perfect driving destination than Alaska.
If you don’t have the time to bring your own car to America’s last frontier, most large cities have ample resources for renting cars, trucks and RVS. There are ample fuel stations, restaurants along the way to aid travelers on their journey. There are also many hotels and motels for those not excited about the idea of camping in a tent in the heart of bear country.
Many travelers choose to see Alaska by road so they can fully experience the beauty of the scenery and wildlife. If you choose to drive the highways, it is recommended that you pick up a copy of The Milepost. The Milepost is a comprehensive, mile-by-mile guide to Alaska’s roads. Besides maps, you’ll also find detailed information on services and attractions to enjoy along the way.
Out on the road, there are many surprises that can startle the unwary driver. As you discover Alaska, keep a keen eye out for wildlife and other surprises as you are enjoying the scenery. In one four-mile stretch of road, I have witnessed red foxes darting across the road, several porcupines including a baby with its mama, numerous moose and moose yearlings, a lynx, ptarmigans, eagles, magpies, ravens, mice, a small bear, and even a bush plane that made an emergency landing due to low fuel.
If driving seems to be too much and you just want to be able to relax and enjoy the sites, you might consider taking motorcoach or charter bus tour and leave the navigation to someone else. This way, you still get to experience Alaska’s beauty with the added bonus of tour-guide commentary. Prices can vary depending on the charter tour you choose but, in general, these tours are very economical. With promotions and group discounts, some places may be cheaper to visit by bundling the package deals offered by the tour company.
Of the other 49, Alaska is a unique state to visit from mid-May to mid-August as that is when you will get to experience the phenomenon of the midnight sun. Whatever method of travel you use, remember to stay buckled, don’t text and drive, and watch out for the wildlife sightings along (and possibly in) the road.