Anchorage serves as the gateway to most Wild Alpine adventures. Officially incorporated in 1920 (Alaska was granted statehood in 1959) this central hub is a relatively young community founded on the construction of the Alaska Railroad and North Slope oil revenues. All the comforts of major cities in the Lower 48 can be found here; necessities
for wilderness expeditions are easy to locate too.
We recommend including at least one night in Anchorage on either end of your trip as many flights arrive and depart late in the night. Complete your Alaskan experience with a visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, the Anchorage Museum, or the Alaska Museum of Natural History.
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Ted Steven’s International Airport (ANC) is served by several international carriers. Anchorage is the hub for flying within Alaska too. Lake Hood Seaplane Base and Merrill Field are home to independent airlines serving far-flung regions of this Last Frontier.
The Alaska Highway
According to the MILEPOST: The Alaska Highway was originally built to create an overland link between Alaska and the Lower 48 states during World War II because Alaska was considered vulnerable to Japanese invasion. The road is now a major attraction for those who want to experience the Last Frontier. Visitors from around the world are drawn to the wildlife and fishing, mountains and meadows, grandeur and adventure of the highway. The two-lane road winds and rolls across the vast, varied and breathtaking wilderness of two countries – the United States and Canada. It’s enjoyed by everyone from bicyclists to RVers with expensive Class A rigs. These days, surfacing on the highway ranges from fair to excellent; there are relatively few steep grades; and services are found an average of every 20 to 50 miles.
The Alaska Marine Highway System has been operating year-round since 1963 with regularly scheduled passenger and vehicle service to 31 communities in Alaska plus Bellingham, Washington and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. There are currently eleven vessels in the AMHS fleet.
The AMHS also operates numerous ferries sailing across the iconic Prince William Sound. Link up your Wrangell – St. Elias adventure with the Kenai Peninsula via Valdez in the east and Whittier in the west end of the Sound. Some ferries are high-speed, others are not. Some carry vehicles. Book in advance to ensure availability and proper coordination with your itinerary.