Another Alaska Road Trip

10 Days in the 49th State

It was so good in 2015, I went back in 2016.

There was plenty more to see in Alaska, so for the second trip to the land of the midnight sun, I reversed the loop, added a few destinations, and revisited a few of my favorites.

The result is a 10 day, 10 night vacation, beginning and ending in Anchorage, with experiences on the Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound, Denali National Park, and an amazing drive on 100+ miles of dirt road, straight through the center of the state.

Day 1

Hiking and scenic driving south of Anchorage

I spent this day recovering from the long flight across the continent, and getting my bearings. After stocking up on supplies, I took a scenic drive south on the Seward Highway along Turnagain Arm to Girdwood and Portage, then ended the day in Anchorage for my second night there.

Day 2

A hike, then a scenic drive south

I devoted the first half of this day to a hike with a great viewpoint of Anchorage and the Mat-Su valley. In the afternoon, I headed south towards Seward, with a detour out to Hope, Alaska on the way.

Day 3

A very long day on a boat

I decided to ignore the cloudy weather, the warnings of high seas, and my own history with motion sickness, and take a voyage out of Seward into Kenai Fjords National Park. I finished the day with a short hike, and a bear sighting.

Day 4

A long tunnel and a long hike

I started with a look at Exit Glacier near Seward, then drove north, and through the long single-lane rail/auto tunnel into Whittier, Alaska. Once there, I explored the town and enjoyed a great hike over a pass to a glacier.

Day 5

The long drive to Valdez

The day consisted mostly of driving east on the Glenn Highway, then south on the Richardson Highway, to the remote fishing village of Valdez. Along the way, I detoured to Chitina, and saw more bald eagles than I could imagine.

Day 6

Hiking around Valdez

Valdez is essentially a tropical rainforest in the subarctic. On this day, I explored the lush valley surrounding Mineral Creek, and then several other hiking trails close to town.

Day 7

Out of Valdez, then 100+ miles of dirt road

On my first trip to Alaska, I experienced just the first few miles of the Denali Highway. I was determined to drive the whole thing, and this time, despite downpours of rain in places, I did it. The day ended with a sunset north of Denali National Park.

Day 8

A bus ride into Denali National Park

The weather wasn't great, but I still decided to take a bus ride into Denali National Park. And because of the bad weather, the views were not great, either. But, I did have an excellent wildlife sighting that made up for it all.

Day 9

Back to Anchorage

The undesirable weather continued, as I closed the loop and returned to Anchorage. Along the way, I detoured out to Talkeetna. I ended the day with a very soggy hike near Eagle River.

Day 10

One last, great hike

My flight didn't leave until early evening, so I had most of the day to spend around Anchorage before leaving. I made the most of it - hiking a 12-mile trail that I had wanted to hike since the previous year.