Anchorage is not only an important center for tourism but also serves as the gateway to some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the world. The city is tucked between the Chugach Mountains and Turnagain Arm, which provides a perfect backdrop for exploring the rugged wilderness of Alaska. With a reliable car, one can quickly embark on a road trip adventure from Anchorage and witness some of the most stunning vistas, ranging from snow-capped mountains to glaciers, fjords, and wildlife. Explore some of our favorite three-day road trips from Anchorage and the attractions and landmarks that make them unforgettable.
#1 Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Fjords National Park is located on the coast of southern Alaska and offers visitors the opportunity to go on a scenic drive and witness some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. This national park is recognized for its incredible views of fjords, ice fields, and glaciers. Furthermore, Kenai Fjords is famous for its whale-watching tours, which offer visitors the chance to observe humpbacks, orcas, and other species that migrate through the area. The park also offers several hiking trails that allow hikers to experience the area’s natural beauty up close. Overall, Kenai Fjords National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who appreciates breathtaking scenery and the beauty of nature.
#2 Denali National Park
Denali National Park is a symbolic destination for those seeking adventure amidst the majestic wilderness of Alaska. A 4-hour drive north of Anchorage takes you to a frontier of over six million acres of wilderness, offering awe-inspiring vistas and an unparalleled experience. Experiencing Denali’s rugged beauty can include hiking, backcountry camping, wildlife viewing, and photography. The park’s centerpiece, Denali, North America’s tallest peak, stands tall at 20,310 feet and towers over the surrounding glaciers and mountains. Visitors can take the Denali Park Road, the only road that accesses the park’s wilderness, to view the stunning landscape and spot some of the wildlife that occupies the park, such as grizzly bears, moose, and caribou. Denali National Park is a must-see destination for adventurers looking to immerse themselves in Alaska’s natural grandeur, and it’s within reach of Anchorage for a 3-day road trip itinerary.
#3 Crossing the Arctic Circle
Crossing the Arctic Circle is the ultimate journey to the top of the world. As one crosses the Arctic Circle the landscape completely transforms. Travelers will find themselves surrounded by the vast tundra, endless rolling hills, and thousands of icy lakes. The Arctic Circle is also where the sun never sets during the Summer solstice and never rises during the Winter solstice. This provides a unique opportunity to witness the infamous Midnight Sun during Summer, a natural phenomenon where the sun stays visible around the clock. This journey is truly unforgettable and one of the best road trips from Anchorage.
#4 Seward Highway
The Seward Highway starts in Anchorage and winds south until it ends in the gorgeous town of Seward. One of the most impressive features of the Seward Highway is the wildlife sightings that can be enjoyed along the way. Moose, bears, and eagles are just some of the animals that can be spotted in their natural habitat from the comfort of a vehicle.
Additionally, the breathtaking scenery of the Chugach Mountains and the Kenai Peninsula provides a stunning backdrop along the journey to the Sterling Highway junction which leads to Soldotna, Homer, and the rest of the Kenai Peninsula. The turquoise waters of the Turnagain Arm add to the landscape’s splendor, as do the expansive glaciers that can be seen from the roadside. The combination of the wildlife and the scenery along the Seward Highway make this road trip a truly sensory experience that cannot be missed.
#5 Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park offers a unique opportunity for the adventurous traveler seeking a wilderness experience. With over 13 million acres of rugged terrain, visitors can explore glacial valleys, towering peaks, and vast expanses of untamed wilderness. The park is also home to countless species of wildlife, including moose, bears, and wolves. For those with a taste for adventure, there are numerous activities available, such as hiking, mountaineering, and backcountry camping. Visitors can also take a flightseeing tour to witness the park’s sprawling beauty from the air. Whether exploring on foot, by car, or from above, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is a must-see destination for those seeking an unforgettable wilderness adventure.
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