Things to Do Outside Anchorage
And... to help you find your way, consult these maps...
Selected destinations as encountered driving south from Anchorage, then north from Anchorage, finally those that can be reached only by air
SOUTH from Anchorage
- Alyeska - (36 miles) [Girdwood] Ski slopes, tramway, hiking. On the way south stop at Beluga Point to watch for whales, Windy Point (mile 106) to watch for Dall Sheep. At Bird Creek, 2 hours after low tide in Anchorage, watch for the bore tide in Turnagain Arm.
- Portage - (47 miles) Glacier (907) 783-2983, 277-5581- Boat fee. Crow Creek Mine (907) 278-8060 for gold panning, wildlife farm (Big Game Alaska-907-783-2025 Entrance fee). Tramway up to Restaurant-(907-754-1111)
- Whittier/Prince William Sound - Pop. <300-At present accessible only by train-Alaska Railroad 907-265-2313. Boat whale tours (Phillip's (907-276-8023, Major 274-3000, Stephens 835-4731), fishing, glaciers, museum, Alaska Marine Highway ferry service to other coastal communities (800-642-0066), kayaking 907-276-7235. Horse Tail Waterfall is said to flow up! Many hiking trails, and you may even engage in scuba diving here. A tunnel now provides access to Whittier from the Seward highway since June 7, 2000. Contact Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel. During the year 2000 season there will be no charge for driving through the tunnel.
- Hope - (88 miles) Ressurection Pass Trail hike, museum, RV park, Gull Rock hike, Cabins. Call 907-782-3141 Bear Creek Lodge for information.
- Seward -(129 miles) Glacier, boat whale/glacier tours, Sea Life Center (907-224-6300), fishing, Mount Marathon hill climb July 4th. Travel there by car, train (907-265-2494, bus 907-224-3608 or 563-0800, air 907-248-9595, or by Ferry 800-642-0066 (907-224-5485).
- Soldotna and Kenai - (158 miles) Salmon fishing-fresh water and marine trips, Visitors center with many native and natural displays, golfing.
© April 2002 - Clyde E. Pearce
Remnants of the original Seward pilings at the Wharf, after the earthquake of '64
- Clam Gulch - (172 miles) Clamming, fishing
- Homer and Seldovia - (227 miles) The end of the road. Fishing, halibut derby, tidal pools, arts & crafts, Homer Spit, Russian village. The Kachemak Bay Shore Bird Festival in held the second week of May-Call 907-235-7740.
- Seldovia-Population 307-15 miles across the bay from Homer. Fishing, hiking, kayaking, berry picking & clamming, mountain bike rentals, shopping. To reach Seldovia you must either fly or take a water taxi from Homer -Water taxi (Danny J -907-235-7847 1.5 hours over -$45.00),
Alaska Ferry 1-800-382-9229, Tustumena 907-234-7868, Jakalof Ferry 907-235-2376, Rainbow tours 907-235-7272. Fly over-(Homer Air- 907-235-8591- 15 minutes.)
ERA 800-866-8394, Great Northern Air 800-243-1968. Also visit Halibut Cove, entire community is on boardwalks.
NORTH from Anchorage
- Eagle River and Chugiak - (10-20 miles) Museum (907-694-0819), Nature center (907-694-2108), Lake Eklutna and Eklutna Cemetary (907-688-6026) and Orthodox church, Scottish Highland Games in June-hiking, fishing, kayaking, bicycling. Bear Paw Festival (907-694-4702-July), Birchwoods airport-fixed wind aircraft rentals and ultralights, Thunderbird Falls (25 miles north of Anchorage). Arctic Valley- Berry picking and hiking in late summer, skiing in winter.
- Palmer - (42 miles) Musk Ox Farm-(907-745-4151), Reindeer Farm-(907-745-4000), Wolf Country USA-
(907-745-0144), State Fair-(907-745-4827), glaciers.
- Wasilla - (42 miles) Dogsled teams- Happy Husky -(907-373-5399), Knik Kennels -(907-376-5562), Reddington Dog Sled Rides-(907-376-6730). Chugach Express-(907-783-2266)
Also, the Tesoro Iron Dog Classic begins in Wasilla, races to Nome and ends in Fairbanks. At 2,274 miles it is the longest snow machine race in the world. 907-563-4414. (17th Annual TIDC Starts February 20, 2000).
- Talkeetna - (100 miles) Flight see trips to Mt. McKinley -K2 Aviation-(800-764-2291),
- Denali - (235 miles) National Park - (907-683-9640) Public Lands Information Center 907-456-0527. Wildlife viewing, hiking, camping. Accessible by car, bus (907-344-8775, 907-274-8539), train (907-265-2494), air. 20,320 ft. mountain. Park is 6 million acres. The Mt. McKinley is 20,320 feet above sea level. Entrance and camping fees. Call 1-800-622-7275 to make reservations... well ahead of when you plan to be there.
- Fairbanks - (358 miles) University of Alaska, pipeline, . Fairbanks has widest temperature spread of any U.S. city, from minus 66 degrees to 99 degrees. Chena Hot Springs 60 miles N.E. University of Alaska with musk ox and caribou/reindeer research station (907-474-7207), science museum. "The" place to see auroras. Ice museum is unusual. Alaska land them park and outdoor salmon bake-907-452-7274. Visitors & Convention Center number is 907-456-5774, or 800-327-5774. Chen Hot Springs is 60 miles out of town-907-452-7867.
- Circle (520 miles) Arctic Circle, hot springs-907-520-5113.
- Deadhore/Prudhoe Bay - (847 miles) Travel the Haul Road. Above the Arctic Circle. Tours by bus or air and bus call 907-474-8600 (van, fly), 800-478-6388 Gray line bus.
- Glenallen - (189 miles) Buffalo herds. Visit on way to Valdez, Fairbanks or Tok.
- Valdez - (304 miles) See Matanuska glacier on highway along route to Valdez. Southernmost end of pipeline. This town was destroyed by the March 27, 1964 earthquake, then 25 years later the Exxon oil spill on March 24, 1989. Both events occurred on Good Friday. This town can be reached by car, bus, air, or ferry. Visitor Center 907-835-4636. Fishing, rafting, birdwatching.
- Haines - (785 miles) More bald eagles then anywhere else on earth in the fall. Accessible by air, ferry, car, bus. Visitors Center is 907-766-2234.
- Skagway - (832 miles) Chilkoot Pass destination of old gold miners. End of Inside Passage cruises. 907-983-2854. Check out the White Pass Railroad, 907-983-2217, or www.whitepassrailroad.com.
Accessible only by air or, in some cases, by boat (Ferry)
(Travel times are from Anchorage.)
- Barrow - (2 hr 45 min) (Farthest north of any U.S. city) - Above the Arctic Circle. Visitors Center 907-852-TOUR.
- Cordova - (45 min) Fishing, Shorebird Festival, King Salmon Derby, Iceworm Festival. 907-424-6665.
- Dillingham - (1 hr 30 min ) Tikchik State Park; 1.6 million acres-Largest state park in U.S., fishing.
- Juneau - (2 hr ) (State capital, inaccessible by road) - Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest (17 million acres-nations largest national forest). Major stop for cruise ships. Visitors Center -907-586-2201. Museums, historical sites, hiking, kayaking.
- Ketchikan - (2.5 hr )4th largest city in Alaska. Misty Fiords National Monument (2.3 million acres Reserve). One of wettest cities in U.S., receiving over 13.5 FEET of precipitation each year. Several totem parks. Major stop for cruise ships. Visitor information 907-228-6214.
- Kodiak - (55 min) (Second largest island in U.S.) - Famous for its' 3,000+ bears. State Capital until 1804. Visitor information 907-486-4782. Crab Festival, State Fair and Rodeo, fishing. Visitor information 907-486-4782.
- Kotzebue - (1 hr 30 min) (Largest native village in Alaska-Population 4,000) - Above the Arctic Circle. 907-442-3890.
- Nome - (1 hr 30 min) Gold panning, finish line for Iditarod Dogsled race. Visitor call 907-443-5535.
- Sitka - (2.5 hr ) State capital until 1906. 907-747-5940. Forests, historic sites, museums, churches, raptor center.
- Petersburg - (4.5 hours from Anchorage) Little Norway; Viking and Valkyries, Mayfest Festival in a rural fishing community. Best whale watching in the state. Visitor information (907) 772-4636.
- Unalaska and Dutch Harbor -(Aleutian communities) (2 hr 45 min) - Site of atomic bomb detonation. Invasion of U.S. by Japan during WW II. 907-581-2612. WWII ruins. Hiking, fishing, birdwatching.
Not all activities on the list may be available subject to weather conditions, your own health status and physical condition.
Some activities, such as renting an airplane to fly yourself, or fishing require specific licenses or other credentials.
Downtown Anchorage (4th Avenue) on live camera
Still More Alaskana
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Last reviewed/updated by webmaster: December 6, 2002.