Getting to Denali
Alaska is located northwest of Washington State, and west of Canada’s Yukon. At its southernmost, Alaska is just an hour and a half by jet from Seattle, the closest major airport outside the state. Other towns farther north take from three-and-a-half to four hours by jet from Seattle. The Anchorage and Fairbanks airports are your best bets when flying into Alaska.
Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States combined. Seeing it – and Alaska’s abundant marine life and tidewater glaciers – is one of the most popular travel options in the state. There are two ways to reach Alaska by sea: cruise ship or ferry.
Cruising is the single most popular way to see Alaska, and for good reason. Cruise companies have operated in Alaska since the early 20th century, and have perfected the art of the Alaska cruise. Cruise visitors travel in all-inclusive comfort on ships of all sizes and on itineraries of varying length, with abundant tour options in established ports of call.
Cruises fall into two basic categories: large ship and small ship cruises. Itineraries to Alaska range from seven days to several weeks, depending on route. Small ships tend to offer more individualized service and custom or specialty itineraries (for instance, cruises focused on photography, whale watching or archaeology). Large ships offer lavish entertainment, shopping and extensive tour networks in major ports to create a seamless travel experience
Driving to Alaska is high on the list of many adventurers. The trip is legendary for its beauty. Once a bumpy dirt road, the Alaska Highway is now a modern, well maintained highway. Construction occurs seasonally and may cause delays in small sections, but otherwise, it’s smooth driving! Particularly in summer, visitor amenities, including gasoline, food and motels, are abundant along the entire 1,500-mile Alaska Highway.
The Alaska Highway officially begins in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. You can reach “Mile Zero” by heading north up the B.C.’s Cassiar Highway. Or, you can roll through Alberta’s high prairie and head west to Dawson Creek. Driving to Alaska in a private car or RV offers the opportunity to linger along the way. Some of the world’s wildest and most beautiful national and state parks are along this route. Cultural attractions, adventure tours, incredible scenery and unforgettable experiences make this option popular with independent travelers