Photo Credit: Turnagain Arm, Potter Marsh

Anchorage Scenic Day Drives

Scenic Drives

The Seward High­way hugs the dra­mat­ic shore­lines of Tur­na­gain Arm. One of the most beau­ti­ful stretch­es of high­way in America

Portage Val­ley south­east of Anchor­age at the head of Tur­na­gain Arm offers so many poten­tial adven­tures that you might have to tow a trail­er loaded with gear to sam­ple them all. What will you find here? Bik­ing, hik­ing, pic­nick­ing, fish­ing, pad­dling, wildlife view­ing, poten­tial ice­berg sight­ings — plus a nat­ur­al his­to­ry vis­i­tor cen­ter packed with inter­ac­tive dis­plays about the ecosys­tem of the val­ley and Prince William Sound. It’s like an outdoor  ...more

To enjoy a scenic dri­ve just a few min­utes from down­town Anchor­age, head north to mile 6.1 on the Glenn High­way. From here, you can head up the steep and wind­ing, Arc­tic Val­ley Road. The dri­ve itself is only 45 min­utes, but once you get there, you’ll want to spend more time pho­tograph­ing and exploring.

Under an hour from Anchor­age, this 22-mile dri­ve takes you away from Alaska’s towns and cities, and into Chugach State Park. The road is smooth with twists and turns, and runs along­side Eklut­na Riv­er, and the beau­ti­ful and glacial Eklut­na Lake. You can also see Twin Peaks over the trees.

The dri­ve from Anchor­age to the sea­side com­mu­ni­ty of Seward begins with two hours of spec­tac­u­lar views as you pass between the dra­mat­ic shore­lines of Tur­na­gain Arm and the jut­ting peaks of the Chugach Mountains.

Dri­ving north from Anchor­age isn’t as instant­ly dra­mat­ic as going south, but with­in an hour you’re immersed in stop-and-shoot scenery. The Glenn High­way runs north­east to agri­cul­tur­al Palmer, then twists east along the Matanus­ka Riv­er Val­ley, sand­wiched between coastal and inte­ri­or mountains.

To explore the road less trav­eled, take the Old Glenn High­way to Palmer, a back road that feels like old Alas­ka. This 19-mile coun­try road cuts through the heart of Alaska’s farm­land and is a scenic, qui­et alter­na­tive between Anchor­age and Palmer. The road access­es state parks and recre­ation areas, pet­ting zoos, and hik­ing trails and pass­es through pic­turesque ter­rain: pas­toral coun­try­side beneath the Chugach Moun­tains and Pio­neer Peak. The…  ...more

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