A road trip in Alaska is a beautiful way to discover a state filled with glaciers, wildlife, and outdoor adventures. It is the perfect vacation destination for family vacations because there are so many adventures you can all have together. There are a few different ways to explore Alaska. You can cruise around the waters on a large or small ship. You can even fly from one destination to the next. But one of the best ways to see this incredible state is by taking a road trip.
There are so many reasons to take a road trip in Alaska! But let’s stick to the top four so you can move on to everything else you must know about taking a road trip in Alaska.
Okay, so you won’t always be seeing roses in Alaska during a road trip. But a road trip will allow you to stop to see everything you spot along the way. And to do whatever you want when you want. You won’t need to keep to a specific schedule. That means you can spend more time in one place and less time in another.
Do you know how you always think it will take less time to do something and more time to do other things? Well, a road trip in Alaska will allow you to change your plans whenever. Therefore, you can skip over places that don’t look as interesting as you thought and add time to the ones your family decides they love.
Cruises and tour groups will almost always take you to all the touristy places in Alaska. When you venture out on a road trip in Alaska, you can choose to visit all the non-touristy destinations. And don’t worry, I will help you find the ones that your family will truly love! To get a headstart, check out my post about festivals that Alaskans love.
Since you won’t be on a strict schedule, you will be free to stop to take pictures and videos at every stop. Think of all the memories you will have to look back on with your family in the future!
The weather in Alaska can change without warning. Therefore, you must be ready for almost anything on your road trip. The mornings could be cool, where the afternoons can be a little warmer during the summer. Of course, evenings will cool back down again. And don’t forget the rain. The winter months will bring sun with snow and ice. Layers will be handy and necessary when you are out and about in Alaska.
Many people ask me, “When is the best time to plan an Alaskan road trip?”. Well, you can begin the planning process at any time. However, you will want to consider a few things before determining which month of the year you want to visit this amazing destination!
The best month to visit Alaska is actually June and July. But for the truly best time, I recommend going between the middle of June and the middle of July. There are so many reasons why I recommend these dates. But the first one is the fact that the longest day of the year is June 21st. And up in Alaska, that means between eighteen and twenty-two hours of daylight, depending on where you are in the state. Those longer days mean more time to explore this gorgeous area.
Now, if you want to see something specific in Alaska, you will need to really plan your Alaskan road trip carefully. The Northern Lights can be seen from the middle of August through the beginning of April. Viewing the wildlife is best from May through September. However, May is the best time, because the foliage isn’t lush yet. To learn more about seeing wildlife in Alaska, see my post about spotting wildlife here.
There are numerous festivals in the state of Alaska each year. The Alaska State Fair is held at the end of August. But if you want to attend the Seward 4th of July Celebration, Honey Jam, Sitka WhaleFest, or other events, we will need to plan your road trip in Alaska according to the festival dates.
I recommend spending ten days in Alaska if you truly want to get the most out of your road trip. You can spend between five or seven days, but you won’t be able to see as much during your visit. Of course, you can spend two, three, or four weeks in this state on an extended family vacation and see so much more!
One of the things you will notice when you are planning your road trip in Alaska is that you can’t drive everywhere you want to. Not all communities and towns are connected by roadways. With that being said, there are approximately fifteen thousand miles of roads you can travel along.
You can reach many of the areas in the middle and southern parts of Alaska by car. Therefore, we can plan for you to visit Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali, and many other destinations. Juneau is also accessible by car, but you must travel through part of Canada to get there.
Destinations in Alaska like Sitka, Bethel, and Dutch Harbor can only be reached via plane or ferry. No worries, I can easily arrange for that transportation when I am booking your trip.
When it comes to driving in Alaska, many people ask me if the Alaska Highway is dangerous. The Alaska Highway is not dangerous. It is actually one of the most famous highways in the state, because of all the different things you can see along the way. This highway is approximately thirteen hundred miles in length, so you can drive along it for quite some time.
Just think of all the memories you can make with your family along that road! The laughs, the arguments, and the question, “Are we there yet?”, millions of times! I get all weepy-eyed just thinking about those vacation drives with my kids!
I recommend driving an SUV or a truck for your road trip in Alaska. You can drive a car, but you may not be able to reach everywhere you want to go. SUVs and trucks are known to be able to get up steeper inclines, as well as the rough terrain in some of Alaska’s backcountry areas.
If you do happen to take the Alaska Ferry to a destination you can reach by car, there are a few things you should know. The main one is that you will not be able to sleep in your car during the trip. Once your car is on the car deck, you must head to the upper decks and stay there until you reach your destination.
There are many different routes to take during a road trip in Alaska. Whereas one route may be perfect for some people, other travelers like yourself may prefer a different route. It is all about what you want your family to see and experience during your Alaskan vacation.
The Alaska Loop Road is quite long, so you will want to plan on a few extra days if you are tackling it. The Alaska Loop will take you throughout the southcentral section of the state. It also includes stops within interior Alaska.
This trip will take you from Anchorage to Denali, Healy, Fairbanks, North Pole, Delta Junction, Tok, and the Matanuska Glacier. This is the main Alaska road trip from Anchorage that many people take when they visit Alaska. I can easily personalize the Alaska Loop Road trip to meet the needs of your family.
An adventure along the Kenai Peninsula will have you and your family seeing a lot of southcentral Alaska. During your days on the road, you will find yourself stopping in areas like Whittier, Soldotna, Seward, Kenai, and Homer.
This adventure can be accomplished in a week. But extra days will be appreciated.
There are many scenic drives you can take from Anchorage. This means you can easily do a road trip in Alaska while having a home base in Anchorage every single night.
Here are my favorite scenic drives from Anchorage:
There are twenty-three national parks in Alaska. But did you know that most of them are so remote that you can only get to them via plane?
Thankfully, there are three national parks that you can drive to in Alaska. And the best part is they are exactly what you will be looking for during your Alaskan family vacation!
The three national parks you can drive to in Alaska include Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Denali is the most popular of the three, due to the massive mountain of the same name.
Many people ask the question, “How do you get to Glacier Bay National Park?”. They often ask this question when they realize it isn’t one of the national parks that can be driven to.
Well, don’t worry, because it isn’t a park you must skip over during your road trip to Alaska. All you need to do is put your car on the ferry and ride over to the park. You must visit Alaska during the summer months though for this adventure because that is the only time the ferry is running.
It can be a little nerve-wracking to go driving in a state you are not that familiar with. Especially one like Alaska, where the next “rest stop” could be hundreds of miles down the road! However, when I plan a road trip in Alaska for you, I will give you everything you need to know to have an amazing time with your family.
I am here to find those unique opportunities you have been searching for, as well as exclusive adventures to make this a one-of-a-kind family vacation. Contact me today and let me share some ideas that will inspire you to take on a new adventure with your family. Let’s get your road trip in Alaska vacation booked now, so your family can unite to see what tomorrow brings.
Not ready to reach out to me, that’s ok. Let me show you my 3 Insider Ways To Travel To Alaska where you will learn some of the best ways to see Alaska. Just click here.