Home Traveling guide Alaska Road Trip: A Guide from Seattle to Anchorage

Alaska Road Trip: A Guide from Seattle to Anchorage


Driving in Alaska can be done, and while it does take some preparation, it will lead to the trip of a lifetime if you follow the essential tips.

This trip is tailor-made for the daring, courageous and adventurous minded. While many prefer to fly to Alaska and observe its wilderness from the air, others wonder whether or not they can fly straight through it. In short? The answer is yes – and those who have the chance should definitely consider it.

Getting there, however, takes a bit of planning, including when it comes to crossing the border to do so. That being said, the trip is one for the books and would make a truly mind-blowing addition to any travel list.

Here’s where to start the adventure of a lifetime.

Driving in Alaska: what to consider

The Alaska road trip is a journey that requires effort, endurance and patience. This is by no means a short road trip and can take travelers up to three weeks, depending on their point of departure. Most people consider the trip in the first place because of its unique and undeniably beautiful landscapes – and for some, these, on their own, are enough reasons to embark on this.

For others, the payoff may be worth it, especially when the driving is shared among several people. Still interested? Start here …

Planning the trip

There are two main points of descent when it comes to driving in Alaska. Basic geography tells us that Alaska borders the Canadian territory of the Yukon; travelers can infer that international travel will be part of their trip. Here is what it takes to be prepared for border crossings:

  • An enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or passport valid for those living in the United States
  • A copy of the itinerary, including any proof of hotel reservations, chargeable excursions or tours to prove the reason for the trip.
  • Health certificates and other vaccination documents for pets, if you are traveling with them.
  • A negative COVID test or full proof of vaccination for current restrictions at the time of writing.

Travelers should be aware that the majority of the journey consists of Canadian scenery. That being said, crossing the border is inevitable, but there are two ways to cross it.

Related: When Visiting Juneau You Won’t Want To Miss These Attractions

Start in Seattle, Washington, and move through British Columbia

This is a longer trip and those who opt for the proper sightseeing tours may want to plan a full month on the road. However, the result will be a scenic and utterly breathtaking road trip. Departing from Seattle, the big city of Washington, drivers will travel through all of British Columbia before reaching the border of the Yukon Territory, from where the Alaska Highway will take them to the east coast. from Alaska. From this point the nearest large city is Anchorage.

From within Canada’s borders

To shorten the trip, many might consider starting their trip from Canada. The only way to do this and save time is to book a flight to Canada, preferably to British Columbia. This too will require a passport as it always involves crossing an international border (an EDL is not suitable for travel requirements for air travel).

How long will it take?

On average, depending on the time of year, the time it takes to travel on the highway from Seattle to Alaska is about a week. However, this does not include stops for sightseeing or intervening days without road travel.

  • Distance: 2,315 miles
  • Time: ~ 43 hours

This travel distance can be divided as a traveler wishes. For example, if six hours are spent driving each day, the time it will take to reach Anchorage from Seattle will be approximately 8 days, with the last day being a short day on the road.

Top Routes to Travel from Seattle to Anchorage

There are several different route combinations that can be taken from Seattle to Anchorage. No matter what city or region you want to explore in Alaska, it pays to have Anchorage as your central starting point.

Cassiar Highway: remote but beautiful

Those who don’t mind a shorter but much further trip can take the Cassier route across Canada. From Seattle, drivers will follow the Trans-Canada Highway through Vancouver to Cache Creek. Here they will stay due north on Highway 97 before reaching the Yellowhead Highway in Prince George. From there, Highway 37, aka the Cassiar Highway, will take them through British Columbia to the Alaska Highway in the Yukon (where the route is the same regardless of which direction you start).

Western access road: direct and simple

While one would take Hwy 37 in Prince George, the Western Access Road requires travelers to continue to Dawson Creek via Hwy 97.

Optional: Eastern access road

This route is strictly for those coming from anywhere corn the West Coast. To take this route from a Pacific Coast state, one would have to go incredibly far through Calgary or the Canadian Rockies. Those taking this route will head to the Red Deer Expressway following Calgary, head north to the Canadian Rockies, and head to Dawson Creek and the Alaska Highway in the Yukon.

Next: How To Visit Point Barrow & UtqiaÄ¡vik: America’s Northernmost Points

an abandoned gulag prison cell in russia

Infamous: All About Russia’s Gulags, Extinct and Isolated Prisons

About the Author