Alaska is a big state and if you don’t have an idea of what you might want to do, you could miss some amazing places. There are different type of travelers out there, do you know what kind you are? Do you like having a travel agent book all of your excursions and destinations or are you an independent traveler? For those that like to make their own plans, here are a couple ultimate Alaska road trip itinerary ideas which both start out from Anchorage, AK.
Alaska Road Trip: Anchorage to Seward-Kenai-Homer
For those flying in, rent a car or RV in Anchorage to start your road trip. Head south on the Seward Highway 1. Just south of Anchorage, pull over on the left at Palmer Marsh to see the hundreds of migratory birds. Then a few miles down the road on the right is Beluga Point where when the salmon are running, you can see hundreds of Beluga whales.
Enjoy the 2.5 hour drive south to Seward and look for moose and bears on the side of the road and bald eagles soaring up above. The road ends in Seward where you can spend a day or two and go on a charter fishing boat for Halibut or try your hand at ice hiking on Exit Glacier – Kenai Fjords National Park.
After you have finished taking in the eclectic town of Seward, head back up the Seward Highway to the Sterling Highway. Stop in Cooper’s Landing for lunch and if you are into fishing, go out on the Kenai River with an experienced guide to catch salmon.
Continue on to Soldotna where you can pick up gear as it is the largest town on the Kenai Peninsula. Head to Kenai and stop in at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Center for the lowdown on the town. The Kenai River is infamous for its salmon fishing and is what most people come to the area for.
After Kenai, continue heading south towards Homer. This fishing town is located on a spit, which is a small area of land jutting out into the bay. On the spit is the Salty Dawg Saloon where people have been leaving dollar bills on the ceiling for 30 years – it is quite the sight!
There are many places to camp and shop on the spit and well worth the drive down to the end of this road.
Anchorage to Seward-Kenai-Homer Itinerary Map
Alaska Road Trip: Anchorage to Denali National Park
From Anchorage head north on Highway 1 to Palmer, just 45 minutes north of Anchorage. Then head north on Highway 3 to Denali National Park and Preserve, home of Mount McKinley or as known by the locals as Denali Mountain, The Big One. The trek should take you four hours. Only 30% of visitors get to see the top of the largest mountain in North America because it usually has its head in the clouds. This road trip to Denali is one of the most scenic in Alaska.
One thing not to miss is the free sled dog demonstrations held at the park kennels. Besides mountain viewing, people flock to Denali to view all the different animals. You could be lucky and see grizzlies, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, wolverines, moose, red fox, or even a lynx.
Take a side trip to the super cute town of Talkeetna and spend the day in this mountain town. You can raft the Denali River or take a fishing or hiking guide out from here. It is a must see detour on your way to Denali.
Anchorage to Denali National Park Itinerary Map
Which Alaska Itinerary Is Best?
Whether you head north or south from Anchorage, you are bound to have an epic road trip in Alaska. If you want to see the ocean, head south. If seeing a mountain kissing the clouds, head north.
Enjoy your road trip through Alaska!