If you've driven to Interior Alaska, and are looking for different views on the way back home, the ferry provides excellent opportunities to access the coastal communities of the Inside Passage. Traveling on the ferry from Skagway to Prince Rupert will save you nearly 1,000 miles of driving as you relax and enjoy the scenery. On this two-week tour, drive along the Glenn Highway, a National Scenic Byway, and the Taylor & Top of the World Highway, an Alaska Scenic Byway, before continuing through Southeast Alaska on the only marine route designated as a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road. This itinerary can also be completed in reverse, board the ferry in Prince Rupert and head north on your Alaska adventure.
Drive from Anchorage to Tok and Dawson City (+)
Drive from Anchorage to Tok and Dawson City (-)
Drive from Anchorage to Tok . Follow the braided Matanuska River for over half its length through some of the most impressive terrain on earth. Continue on past Glennallen until you reach Tok, once an Alaska Road Commission camp for the construction of the Alcan and Glenn Highways in the 1940s. Activities in the area include, camping, fishing, bird watching, photography, overland excursions, float trips, river boat trips and flightseeing. From Tok, travel south on the Alaska Highway to the intersection of the Taylor Highway. Keep your camera ready for spectacular views of the Alaska Range and the Mentasta Mountains. Pass through Fortymile goldfields, made famous in Jack London novels. The Fortymile River system is a National Wild & Scenic River with miles of exciting whitewater. Visit Chicken, a town on the "National Register of Historical Places." Continue on to the U.S. and Canadian border at Boundary, then to Dawson City. Look for old mine workings along the way.
Explore Dawson City and drive to Whitehorse (+)
Explore Dawson City and drive to Whitehorse (-)
Relax and spend the day exploring Dawson City, a well-preserved, living and breathing cultural and historic oasis tucked away in the middle of the Yukon wilderness. Once referred to as the "Paris of the North," its name is synonymous with the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush. Diamond Tooth Gerties, Jack London and Dawson City Museums, Robert Service Cabin and Danoja Zho Cultural Center compliment the Yukon and Klondike rivers, the Klondike Goldfields and the Tombstone Territorial Park. Then, drive to Whitehorse. The river town of Carmacks is named for George Washington Carmack, credited with the Bonanza Creek strike that triggered the famous Klondike Gold Rush. A 1.2-mile boardwalk runs along the river from here to a park, complete with a gazebo, benches, viewing platforms and interpretive signs. Also pass Lake Lebarge, the famous site of the burning of the corpse in Robert Service's poem, "Cremation of Sam McGee." Arrive in Whitehorse and relax after the long drive.
Explore Whitehorse and drive to Skagway (+)
Explore Whitehorse and drive to Skagway (-)
Spend some time exploring Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, and home to some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada. Named by some the Wilderness City, Whitehorse nestles on the banks of the famous Yukon River surrounded by mountains and clear lakes. Whitehorse has activities for all ages and abilities. Take the two-hour cruise through historic Miles Canyon and follow the famous gold-rush trail. Go hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, flightseeing, horseback riding or shopping. Try your hand gold panning at the MacBride Museum as part of their summer interpretative program. Whitehorse offers great rock climbing options with both man-made and natural-rock walls. Two excellent golf courses offer 9 and 18 holes, rentals, and great views. Continue your journey on one of the most scenic drives in the world. Your first stop should be at Emerald Lake; true to its name, it's colored with gorgeous hues of emerald green. Next, reach the world's smallest dessert and the tiny lake community of Carcross. After Carcross, view stunning mountain scenery the rest of the way through the US and Canadian border crossings. Drive over the summit, and arrive in Skagway, Gateway to the Klondike.
Explore Skagway and Ferry to Juneau (+)
Explore Skagway and Ferry to Juneau (-)
Spend some time exploring Skagway, a place where the past lives on, where the cries of "gold in the Yukon" still echo from steep canyon walls, where the sounds of barroom pianos and boomtown crowds ring out, and the romance and excitement of yesteryear linger around every street corner. Visit one of the local attractions that focus on gold rush history to pan for gold. The Skagway Museum & Archives and the Gold Rush Cemetery will take you back to the gold rush era. Take a hike along one of the local trail systems. Go dog sledding, horseback riding, glacier flightseeing, rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, zip-lining, fishing, or enjoy a train ride on a historic narrow-gauge railway. The National Park Service offers free walking tours daily in the summer. Then, board the ferry for a six-and-a-half-hour cruise to Juneau. Let the Alaska Marine Highway do the driving for you as you cruise along the Lynn Canal with towering cliffs and beautiful waterfalls. The forward observation deck and the heated solarium offer stunning views of the passing landscape.
Juneau — Alaska's Capital City (+)
Juneau — Alaska's Capital City (-)
Spend two days exploring Juneau, Alaska's capital city. Juneau's most popular attraction is the mighty Mendenhall Glacier, the only glacier accessible by road in Southeast Alaska. Go to the Visitor Center for interactive displays and hike one of the many trails in the area for different views of the glacier. Several helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft companies offer unique opportunities to see and experience the Juneau Icefield from the air. Whale watching is something you won't want to miss in Juneau. Humpback and orca whales congregate in the calm waters around Juneau and put on quite a show in the summer. Also, try hiking, rafting, kayaking and even zip-lining. Or stay closer to downtown and visit one of the local museums, the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery, or go shopping.
Ferry from Juneau and Explore Sitka (+)
Ferry from Juneau and Explore Sitka (-)
Board the fast ferry for a four-and-a-half-hour cruise to Sitka and spend some time exploring the area. Visit Sitka's most popular places: St. Michael's Cathedral, Sitka National Historical Park, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka Historical Museum, Alaska Raptor Center, Fortress of the Bear, Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Community House, and the Russian Bishop's House. Let the music begin with either the energetic and brightly costumed New Archangel Dancers all-women troupe or the rhythm of the hand-made drums and regalia costumes of the Shee'tka Kwaan Naa Kahidi Dancers. Try an exciting wildlife boating adventure to see whales, sea lions, sea otters and more. Grab a paddle, and kayak the pristine bays and waterways surrounded by a myriad of islands in some of Alaska's finest natural surroundings. Scuba dive, dry suit snorkel, or consider a semi-submersible boat excursion - all showing the amazing and vibrant underwater ecosystem of Sitka Sound. Explore the Tongass National Forest by taking a hike on one of the many trails suitable for all skill levels.
Ferry from Sitka to Prince Rupert (+)
Ferry from Sitka to Prince Rupert (-)
Board the ferry for a day-and-a-half cruise to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Be sure to make vehicle and cabin reservations in advance as space fills up quickly in the summer. During your cruise, watch the passing scenery from the forward observation lounge or go on the top deck and relax in the heated solarium. Dining is available as well as a movie theater.
If time allows, explore Denali before departing Anchorage. Adventures of varying levels and physical activity can be found during your visit to Denali. The historic village of Talkeetna is nestled at the base of Mt. McKinley offers spectacular views of the mountain on clear days.