The city of Anchorage takes diversity to a whole new level. This urban city is the largest in Alaska, yet it ditches the metropolitan vibe in exchange for mountain scenery and coastal beaches that cradle the city.
Anchorage is a large city and it covers a staggering 1,995 square miles. It is said that in Alaska, all roads lead to Anchorage. Some of the most popular attractions near this city include Fairbanks, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, and Denali National Park and Preserve.
Gather your besties and embark on one of the most scenic trips in the USA, via the Alaska Highway. On this RV adventure, you will witness plenty of wildlife, scenic views, forests, lakes, rivers, glaciers, mountains and even get a glimpse into the great Northern wilderness of Canada.
Compared to Anchorage, Juneau, AK, is small. Yet, the capital city of Alaska holds its own when it comes to entertaining and comforting RV road trippers who arrive here after an almost 600-mile journey.
Juneau is one of those cities where you’ll have a hard time keeping your gaze on the ground as you admire the beautiful mountains that tower above the city, surrounding it, seemingly, from all sides. Some must-visit places here include Mendenhall Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska Brewing Company, and the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures.
Now that you are exiting Canada and nearing the States again, you’ll come across an iconic working railroad and a landmark in Skagway, AK. The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad has a lot of history and serves as an important connection between Canada and the US. However, the region is also breathtakingly scenic.
The railroad was built in 1898 and is considered an engineering marvel considering its challenging geographical and weather conditions. Today, this railroad offers stunning and mind-blowing panoramic views of the great Alaskan wilderness including snow-capped mountains, gorges, tunnels, waterfalls, and trestles.
In only 20 miles, you’ll be able to elevate 3,000 feet high. As you are enjoying the great view outside, the historic commentary along the trail will remind you of its difficult inception. The coaches carry a vintage theme and make you feel all comfy as you whiz past White Pass Summit, Bridal Veil Falls, Inspiration Point, and Dead Horse Gulch.
Miles Canyon Basalt is one of the most theatrical natural features in Whitehorse. Miles Canyon’s beauty is magnified by the fact that the Yukon River has made its way through the canyon, via a flow of basaltic lava.
This site is even more ironic because the last thing Yukon is known for is its heat. This basaltic lava flowed and spread over a pre-glacial landscape nine million years ago, just a few kilometers from (now) downtown Whitehorse.
From atop the canyon, you can see a beautiful ribbon of the fast-flowing Yukon river, zigzagging through cliffs that have resisted erosion even after millions of years. If you are fortunate, you can end up here during the summer months and get to attend Created.
Created is an event organized near the suspension bridge where a handful of artists spend the weekend here and create music and art that is inspired by their surroundings.
Dog sledding is a major sport in Yukon and if you are a dog lover, then you can choose these backwoods dog sledding adventures in Ibex Valley; one of the most beautiful places in the world.
There are several rooms and cabins here for an overnight stay. You can also choose to stay in your RV to spend the night. Either way, we would highly suggest staying in this off-the-grid location at night to witness one of the most beautiful sights in the world – the Northern Lights.
One of the reasons why this remote adventure is so popular amongst the road trippers is because it offers an almost magical experience with cute husky dogs, the aurora, snow-covered mountain tops, pink fireweed, home-cooked meals, and the midnight sun. You can even go canoeing in the summers or be mesmerized by golden forests in the months of fall.
Kluane Museum of History, in Burwash Landing, is a popular museum admired for its wildlife exhibits. The museum also showcases various displays on the history and culture of the Southern Tutchone people.
Do not let the exterior of the museum fool you into thinking that it’s a regular one. The museum holds quite a remarkable collection of extremely realistic wildlife diorama of more than 70 animals, birds and native fish of Yukon, including a massive stuffed moose.
The history of the indigenous tribe is equally fascinating and extremely eye-opening with the displays of artifacts, clothing, and tools used by the Southern Tutchone tribe. The museum also has a video theatre that plays northern-themed shows.
The museum delves into the history of plant species that are native to Kluane National Park and Reserve. At the end of your enlightening visit, make sure to head to the gift shop that features the artwork of local Yukon artists.
You can choose to spend the next day at Glennallen or drive on for another two hours to arrive at your first signs of civilization at Tok, AK. This is a small town located 100 miles southeast on the Alaska Highway and 93 miles from Canada’s border. It hosts mostly Canadians who have just entered the States.
Being at a crossroads of sorts, this town is well equipped for RVs as almost everyone here is on a road trip, heading somewhere. You can get help and directions at the huge Mainstreet Visitors Center, established inside a 7000-square foot lodge – often claimed as Alaska’s largest.
One of the most popular activities here is dog mushing, so if you haven’t experienced it before, now is your chance. Tok is also considered a mecca for bird watchers and anglers. In fact, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, located nearby, is home to more than 100 species of birds, which includes both native and migratory bird species.
After an entire day of driving and catching up on Alaskan history, you must be feeling famished! Luckily another two hours of driving will get you to the Caribou Restaurant in Glennallen, AK, and that too just in time for dinner!
The Caribou Restaurant is one of the most popular eateries in this small quaint Alaskan town located at the base of towering mountains. It is also a great stopover for road trippers as well as for those who are planning a trip to the nearby Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, Denali National Park and Preserve, or Kenai Fjords National Park.
Glennallen is a small-ish town that was established as a construction camp for Glenn Highway during the mid-1940s. Although, indigenous Ahtna people have been living here for centuries.
Today, it serves as a popular stopover destination for hungry road trippers who want to fill up on gas and enjoy the delicious food served here. This restaurant/café is one of the finest eateries in Alaska with great ambiance and a scrumptious breakfast and dinner menu.
Palmer Museum of History and Art is established inside a log cabin in the heart of downtown Palmer, and accurately captures the spirits of this quaint city and the surrounding Mat-Su Valley. This museum is ever-changing and constantly being updated to better preserve the history and art of this beautiful Alaskan city.
Palmer is the farming center of the state, so the major exhibits in the museum are regarding irrigation. Additionally, the museum also captures and exhibits the influence of natives, mining, trapping, and 1900s homesteaders on this small city.
The museum also supports local artists by showcasing traveling and temporary exhibits of artwork by resident artists in Palmer and other regions.
Once you have gone through the entire museum, the flower garden adjacent to the log cabin awaits you with fully bloomed flowers in the summer months.
The garden also serves locally roasted coffee, something you’ll appreciate after driving for an hour straight from Anchorage.
Say farewell to Anchorage by paying homage to the culture and heritage of Alaska at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The center imparts the knowledge of Alaska’s 11 major cultures. People from all over the USA can experience these cultures via the dances, stories, languages, art, culture, and exhibitions that are presented here with perfect accuracy.
Alaska Native Heritage Center is unlike your regular museum. In addition to all the visual representation, you can actively participate in the learning experience by interacting with the experts and asking questions.
You’ll find yourself in awe of the life and culture that is so different from ours, as you expand your knowledge about the contemporary ways of the indigenous Alaskans. Learning about different cultures will open your mind to new possibilities and teach respect and acceptance of other ways of life. If you have young ones with you, this can be quite a learning experience for them.
You’ll feel the thrill and excitement thrumming inside your veins as you reach this beautiful city of Juneau. Make sure not to leave this city before seeing the magnificence of Glacier Bay National Park.
The compact city packs a punch with loads of activities to offer. Juneau is situated next to one of the largest wilderness areas in the USA and is the best place to seek thrilling recreational outdoor activities. You can view wildlife, observe numerous species of birds, and make good use of the famous angling opportunities offered in the city.
There's no better way to end a week-long road trip adventure than spending a couple of quality days enjoying and exploring this small yet mesmerizingly beautiful city along the Gulf of Alaska.