Once you’ve done enough road trips, it’s easy to start thinking you’ve more or less seen it all, especially once you’ve criss-crossed the country
enough times. However, have you really “seen it all” if you haven’t yet been on a road trip to Alaska? Sure, you know the best roadside stops and scenic views across the length and breadth of the Lower 48, but wouldn’t it be nice to add another state to your list north of the Canadian border?
Just as Alaska’s state motto is “North to the Future,” it may just be the perfect time for you to go north to your future in Alaska. Read on to see how a road trip to Alaska can be the adventure of a lifetime.
Alaska Road Trip Facts
There are many ways to get to Alaska by road, with one of the most popular being the Alaska Highway. You can learn a bit more about Alaska and the Alaska Highway here.
- Alaska is both the northernmost and westernmost state of the United States. It also has the most easterly longitude due to the Aleutian Islands extending into the Eastern Hemisphere.
- Alaska is bordered by Canada’s Yukon Territory and the province of British Columbia to the east.
- The Alaska Highway was built in 1942 during World War II to connect Alaska to the Lower 48 through Canada.
- The Alaska Highway is 1,387 miles long, running from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska.
Best Alaska Road Trip Destinations
Your road trip to Alaska will start in the USA, take you through Canada, and then end back in the USA — and that’s just going one way! There’s so much to see on your road trip, so here’s a breakdown of some of what you can experience along the way.
Priest Lake State Park (Idaho, USA)
Located thirty miles from the Canadian border in North Idaho (an easy jaunt from both the Washington and Montana state borders), Priest Lake State Park is a bucolic oasis. Priest Lake’s extremely clear 23,000 acres of water are surrounded by cedar, fir, and tamarack forests, making this beautiful State Park a great place to visit any time of year. This state park’s activities are suitable for any season you happen to visit.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Coeur d’Alene RV Resort
, Blue Lake RV Resort
Calgary (Alberta, Canada)
This Canadian Rockies city, famous for its annual summer Stampede rodeo festival, is good for a visit almost any time of year. The Calgary Zoo is one of the most visited zoos in Canada, and the Olympic Park hosts what was once the fastest zipline in North America. If you’re the outdoorsy type, Calgary’s extensive urban bike paths are a great way to see the city on two wheels.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Bow RiversEdge Campground
, SpringHill RV Park
Banff National Park (Alberta, Canada)
Famed for the mesmerizing teal blue waters of its lakes, Banff National Park is an example of nature’s breathtaking, exquisite beauty. Extremely photogenic all on its own, Banff National Park will also keep shutterbugs and birders busy for the duration of their visit with wildlife encounters. If you can manage to peel your eyes away from Lakes Moraine and Louise, you may just catch sight of an errant moose!
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Two Jack Lakeside Campground
, Mount Kidd RV Park
Dawson Creek (British Columbia, Canada)
The famed Alaska Highway (or Alaska-Canada Highway/ALCAN Highway) officially begins at Mile 0 in Dawson Creek, BC. The identity of the “Mile 0 City
” centers around it being at the southernmost end of the Alaska Highway, and it is here where you’ll ensure you’re sufficiently supplied for your Alaska-bound trek. Before you head out, visit the Walter Wright Pioneer Village, or the Dawson Creek Art Gallery (housed in an old grain elevator)!
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Mile 0 Campground
, Northern Lights RV Park
Watson Lake (Yukon Territory, Canada)
Located at milepost 635 along the Alaska Highway, Watson Lake is predominantly a mining town and rest stop in the Yukon Territory. With a population of less than 800 people, you won’t find much in the way of tourist attractions. Although the Northern Lights Centre
is the only planetarium in North America dedicated to the Northern Lights, and is an absolute must-see.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Downtown RV Park
, Nugget City RV Park
Whitehorse (Yukon Territory, Canada)
While its status as Canada’s driest city may not draw you in, Whitehorse (located at milepost 918) is the Yukon’s capital city — with a population of around 24,000 — and this means it’ll be the first real taste of civilization you’ve had for a while. While there, avail yourself of the many hiking trails in the area. In winter, you can enjoy the Frostbite Music Festival.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: The Caribou RV Park
, Hi Country RV Park
Tok (Alaska, USA)
Located at milepost 1314, Tok (rhymes with “poke”) owes its very existence to the construction of the Alaska Highway, having been founded in 1942 as a construction camp for the ALCAN. With a population of 1,435, Tok is the only town in Alaska that highway travelers have to visit twice, whether they’re first arriving in Alaska or leaving. It is a great place to shop for Alaska-themed crafts.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Tok RV Village Campground
, Tundra RV Park
Delta Junction (Alaska, USA)
Delta Junction is the official end of the Alaska Highway, where the ALCAN meets the Richardson Highway that preceded it. At Delta Junction, you can take your picture next to a monument at the visitors center marking the end of the Alaska Highway, fish in one of the many regional lakes, try to snap photos of bison, and have a look at the trans-Alaska pipeline.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Snowed Inn RV Park
, Lost Lake Campground
North Pole (Alaska, USA)
Not to be confused with the magnetic north pole, North Pole, Alaska is a small town near Fairbanks famed for its year-round Christmas decorations. Even those who don’t believe in Santa Claus will be charmed by its holiday setting, whether the weather is summer warm or winter freezing. Be sure to stop by Santa Claus House
to stock up on Christmas decorations and toys you can’t find anywhere else.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Riverview RV Park
, Chena Lake Recreation Area
Fairbanks (Alaska, USA)
Fairbanks is Alaska’s third-largest city, with a population of over 30,000 people. A popular tourist attraction is the Pioneer Park, where you can see historic buildings while getting some shopping done. If you’re interested in the mining history of the city, pan for gold at Gold Daughters. Fairbanks is also the perfect place to book a bus tour to the Arctic Circle.
RV Campgrounds Nearby: Tanana Valley Campground and RV Park
, River’s Edge RV Park
Tips for Visiting Alaska
It is one thing to plan a road trip
to Alaska, and it’s another to go through with it. There are some things you should know while planning and before heading out.
- A road trip to Alaska can’t reasonably be done over a weekend. It is more reasonable to set aside two to three weeks, or even a month, considering the length of the drive, how much there is to see, and possible delays.
- If you’re considering visiting Alaska in spring, melting snow and ice can result in muddy roadways that can lead to delays or getting stuck. Then again, even into mid-May (and in early September), new snow and ice can hamper your journey.
- If you’re thinking about braving the drive in winter, be prepared for even more delays, plus the extreme cold.
RV Rental for a Road Trip to Alaska
Once you’ve planned out your road trip to Alaska, it’s time to actually get on your way. Odds are that you will need an RV for your journey, but not to worry: Cruise America has a wide selection of modern RV rentals
that will keep you safe and warm as you venture up through Canada and into Alaska.
Get in touch with Cruise America