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Alaska Highway

Traveling the Alaska Highway

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Originally built as a supply route during World War II, the Alaska Highway traverses 1,422 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska, where it joins the Richardson Highway going to Fairbanks, 98 miles further north.

Once a gravel-covered, pothole-filled route best suited for vehicles with extra gasoline and armor plating, today's two-lane, paved Alaska Highway winds and rolls across some of the continent's most spectacular scenery. You'll find gas, food and lodging every 20 to 50 miles, with the longest stretch between services being 100 miles. However, some service are close during winter and at night.

The first 613 miles of the Alaska Highway pass through Canada, where it is known as British Columbia Highway 97. At mile 1221, it crosses the international border amd becomes Alaska Route 2. The Alaska Highway ends at Delta Junction, Alaska, at mile 1442. To fully enjoy the trip, allow a week to ten days to drive the Alaska Highway one-way from Seattle to Fairbanks.

Traveling the Alaska Highway

The busiest time on the Alaska Highway runs from late May or early June through early September. If you travel early late during this season, you'll find most attraction open, but they'll be less crowded.

If you're planning to drive the Alaska Highway, get a copy of The Milepost, the quintessential guide to the Alaska Highway, published and updated annually since 1949. Some of the major sights along the Alaska Highway include:

  • Dawson Creek, Mile 0: The beginning of the journey. Ask the visitors bureau for a walking tour map that takes you to the original Mile 0 marker for an "I was there" photo.

  • Muncho Lake, Mile 437: This seven-mile-long lake is known for its green and blue waters.

  • Watson Lake, Mile 613: The attraction here is the Alaska Highway signpost forest. Started by a U. S. Army soldier in 1942, it now contains over 30,000 signs from all over the planet. Bring one from home to post there, or support the local economy and have one made on the spot.

  • Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Mile 887: Headquarters of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

  • International Border, Mile 1221: Be sure to have proper ID with you when crossing the border

  • Tok, Mile 1314: A busy highway crossroad and a trade center for several Athabascan Native villages, Tok is also known as the Sled Dog Capital of Alaska.

  • Delta Junction, Mile 1422: The end of the Alaska Highway and the place to collect a second "I was there" picture.

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