If you’re traveling the Alaska Highway from the south (through Northern BC and the Yukon), Delta Junction is the end of the road. What a great place to begin exploring Alaska! Here a few ideas about where to go next.
Stop in Delta Junction, Alaska
Delta Junction greets you with spectacular views of the distant Alaska Range across a largely agricultural expanse.
This is one of the only towns in the world with a bison for every couple of people. The herd lives a comfortable life on a sprawling, 90,000-acre spread outside town, a large herd of their ancestors having been moved here in the 1920s from Montana.
The Visitors Centre, at the junction of the Alaska and Richardson Highways (Milepost 1422), will be waiting for you with coffee and a certificate stating you drove the Alaska Highway from beginning to end. Across from the Visitor Centre is the Highway’s End Farmer’s Market, where you can taste the local produce.
Enjoy a Sunny Stay in Fairbanks
The Richardson Highway connects Delta Junction to bustling Fairbanks, Alaska’s second largest city.
Like many communities in the Yukon and Alaska, Fairbanks got its start as a gold rush destination. Thousands came here quickly in 1902 with news of fortunes to be had. More than 32,000 are still here, and the city has become the thriving centre of trade and transportation in the Interior as well as gateway to the vast and wild Alaskan North.
With a Golden Days festival to celebrate its past and 20 hours a day of summertime sunlight, you’ll be tempted to spend plenty of time in this beautiful place, with its access to some of the wildest adventure on the planet.
Visit the Highest Mountain in North America
One of the most popular places in the Alaskan Interior is also the highest on the continent, Denali. Its a killer mountain that reaches more than 20,300 feet into the sky, dominating its environment with its brilliant, white upper reaches, blanketed in snow. Denali National Park and Preserve does not allow private vehicles into the area. The public transportation is first class, as are the adventure opportunities here.
A highway runs from Fairbanks almost straight north to Prudhoe Bay, but most of the northern access is via jet or small aircraft. This is one of the most diverse regions in Alaska, with coasts, tundra, mountain ranges, small communities and abundant wildlife. It is pristine.
See the Alaskan Metropolis
More than 300,000 people live in Anchorage, making it one of the largest, most cosmopolitan cities at these latitudes. There are also 1,000 moose living in Anchorage.
Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska. As such, it is epi-centre of several industries here, including oil, natural gas, fishing, transportation, tourism and military.
From Anchorage, you can book adventure travel to anywhere in Alaska (as well as to just about anywhere in the world).
The Chugach Mountains (with more snowfall than anywhere in the world) provide a striking backdrop that can be seen from anywhere in the city and along 400 kilometres of trails for fitness lovers.
The Anchorage Museum showcases 10,000 years of history, taking visitors back to Beringia and sabre-tooth tigers. The Alaska Native Heritage Center for Native Culture, meanwhile, celebrates the history, traditions, arts and crafts of generations of First Nations people.
Exit with an Inside Passage Cruise
From Whittier, accessible by road from Anchorage, you can sail south from pristine Prince William Sound, and see why Alaska cruise vacations are world-renowned.
Enjoy glacier-viewing experiences in Glacier Bay National Park and then head down the Inside Passage en route to welcoming frontier ports, before sailing through the northern British Columbia portion of the Inside Passage, a beautiful experience, too.
The journey takes you along protected waterways, islands, fjords and more glaciers than you likely ever see again.
Watch for whales, porpoises, sea otters, sea lions and seals on the water. Close to shore, you should be able to spot bears, deer, mountain goats and sheep.