Trans-Alaska Pipeline Viewpoint Copper Center

For one of the best opportunities in Alaska to stand beside (and beneath) an elevated stretch of the insulated, eight-foot-diameter Trans-Alaska Pipeline, check out the Alyeska Pipeline Interpretive Area about 12 miles south of Copper Center, across from Willow Lake. A loop gravel road at Mile 88.2 leads west from the Richardson Highway to a parking area with interpretive signs.

This unique access to one the state’s major industrial assets—the 800-mile-long pipeline that carries crude oil from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean to a tanker port on Prince William Sound in Valdez—is something that you might find only in rural Alaska hundreds of miles from a large town. Oil will be surging through the pipe right above your head in real time.

Getting There

Coordinates
Latitude: 61.7898807
Longitude: -145.1918949

About 200 miles east of Anchorage in the Copper River Basin. Drive northeast on the Glenn Highway about 180 miles to Glennallen, then continue south on the Richardson Highway about 26.5 miles (passing Copper Center) until about Mile 88.5. Watch for the brown-and-white sign that says “17 APL5 / MP 709.7.” It’s pretty much right across the highway from the entrance to a bed-and-breakfast overlooking Willow Lake.