Anchorage to Fairbanks Road Trip Guide


Anchorage is, without a doubt, one of the most sophisticated and developed cities in Alaska. The city started out from just a collection of tents and few settlers, but over the century, it has transformed into the financial and commercial hub of the state.

It might sound like Anchorage is just another big metropolitan city but that’s not true. This city is unlike any you will see in North America. The city’s main attractions are the nearby snow-capped peaks and vast wilderness regions. This makes it the ideal camping destination for those seeking outdoor recreational activities such as mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, bird and wildlife watching, and of course fishing in Alaska’s pristine river and lake waters.

Some of the most memorable places to visit in Anchorage include Eklutna Historical Park, Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, McHugh Creek, Lake George, and Harriman Fjord.

The best route from Anchorage to Fairbanks is via the George Parks Highway Interstate 3. This route is by far the fastest and most straightforward way to get to Fairbanks. Along the route, RV road trippers get to enjoy plenty of roadside attractions and jaw-dropping mountain scenery.

Fairbanks, AK, is the place to be during the weekend if you are looking to sit back and relax amidst nature. Catch a glimpse of the aurora shimmering in the night sky, witness the midnight sun, and enjoy the best kind of solitude amidst wildlife and Alaskan landscapes that feature lakes, pristine rivers, jagged mountains, and just pure unadulterated nature.

Fairbanks is one of those cities where you can enjoy the best of both worlds as it offers plenty of amenities and luxuries, as well as seclusion and raw nature depending on what you prefer.

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Road trip length: 2-3 days
Recommend rig: any
audience: all

Point of Interest


An hour after leaving Suntrana, you’ll come across a small town called Nenana– rhymes with banana – along the George Parks Highway. This town-like-city is situated where the railroad meets the river.

This quaint town might be small but has plenty of interesting sights for one to admire. It is also a great place to stop and enjoy a full-course lunch or dinner before you reach your destination.

When in Nenana, make sure to stop by for whitewater rafting at the Nenana River, and also soak in the wealth of information at the Alaska State Railroad Museum and the Alfred Starr Cultural Center and Museum.

If you are craving a nap before you reach the end of your journey you can also head to the Nenana RV Parks and Campground and doze off before hitting the road again.

Suntrana Coal Mine

A further two hours of driving, and you’ll find yourself in the unincorporated community of Suntrana near Healy, AK. The ancient town is named in Athabascan, and translates as “burning hills”'.

The name is an ode to this region's history. Rich in coal reserves, smoke would constantly rise up from the coal seams found here and is the reason behind the chilling name.

Reaching the coal mine will require you to get off the highway and drive deeper into the wilderness. However, these few extra miles are well worth the effort and time.

Amidst all the nature stops, a peek into an old and abundant mining town expands your understanding of the world, and allows you to appreciate the hard work of the people so unlike us in privilege.

A huge part of this coal mine has been demolished now, but some significant structures still remain. You’ll be able to see the loading tipple, the grizzly and its small control cabin, the storage tower, the dog house, and many other unidentified structures.

Denali State Park

With the route you’re taking, it might not be possible for you to make a trip to the highly acclaimed Denali National Park And Reserve, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a glimpse of Denali – the highest peak in North America.

After nearly two hours of driving, from Wasilla, you’ll find yourself at the gates of Denali State Park that straddles the George Parks Highway. Located next to the southern border of Denali National Park, the state park is spread on 324,240 acres of land and is nearly half the size of Rhode Island, making it the fourth largest state park in Alaska.

This park is an excellent stop on route to Fairbanks and allows RV road trippers the chance to witness some majestic Alaskan wilderness. You can set up camp for the night in one of the many campsites available here and enjoy the gorgeous network of hiking trails and abundant wildlife.

You'll also get to witness the scenic views of the Denali that rises 20,310 feet off the ground and disappears amidst the clouds.

Wasilla Lake

After about an hour of driving from Anchorage, you’ll find yourself in Wasilla, AK, the largest town in Matsu Borough. Skip everything else if you’re short on time and make a beeline for Wasilla Lake.

This glassy and calm lake is a prime spot for fishing and water sports aficionados. There’s a parking lot available near the lake where you can leave your RVs and enjoy a hearty picnic at one of the picnic tables. RV campers can make use of the clean and well-maintained toilet facilities as well as plenty of other amenities available here.

Settle down and relax by the lake, or partake in the many recreational activities offered here; both land and water-based. Winters bring a whole new set of lakeside activities, including but not limited to ice-skating, ice hockey, etc.


Fairbanks has achieved the title of Alaska’s golden heart city fair and square. This city is cold but never dead. In fact, the colder it gets the more beautiful and scenic this place becomes.

People brave the cold and step out into the dead of winter to witness the magical sight of the northern lights dancing in the dark sky. Midsummer brings out the midnight sun and with it, lots of folks, both locals and tourists.

Fairbanks is just the place if you are wanting to experience the beauty of Alaskan winters. However, if your timing is off and you aren't able to catch sight of the aurora or the midnight sun, you can still have loads of fun hiking Table Top Mountain, relaxing at Chena Hotsprings, exploring Chena River State Recreational Area, admiring antique cars at the Fountainhead Auto Museum, visiting the Aurora Ice Museum, and taking the little ones to Pioneer Park.

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