Road Trip on All-American Road: Alaska’s Seward Highway

When comes to a road trip in the US, Seward Highway (aka All-American Road) may not be the first place that comes to mind. The Grand Canyon Loop, Pacific Coast Highway, Utah Byway for sure, but I have discovered while traveling in Southeast Alaska, that Seward Highway, linking Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, and friendly mini-town, Seward, is an appealing road trip that all visitors are encouraged to undertake.

Seward Highway takes three hours to travel, and it is a fantastic drive along the coast with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other side. On this road trip, I have stopped many times just to sightsee and take pictures. The vistas are world-class and it is a total visual feast, especially in the summer, with jagged peaks, alpine meadows, tidal water glaciers, inlets, and crystal lakes on every corner.

Seward Highway
Seward Highway in winter, Alaska

If you plan a road trip on Seward Highway and look for some fantastic sights to explore, be sure to check out one of my favorite spots:

Turnagain Arm: About 2/3 of Seward Highway travels along the beautiful coastline of Turnagain Arm, where you can view dall sheep, beluga whales, and an eagle or two. You will also find the mountains of Chugach State Park on your left. Other than wildlife watching and stunning mountain views, Turnagain Arm experiences the biggest bore tide in the world, with a wall of water up to 10-feet high. Visit here for the schedule of the bore tide and plan your trip accordingly.

Seward Highway, Alaska Road trip

Alaska Zoo:  Located on the foothills of the Chugach Mountains, the 20-acre zoological park includes native and exotic flora with a wide array of orphaned, injured, and endangered creatures such as polar bears, brown bears, tigers, moose, eagles and so forth. The zoo is open daily year around and offers guided behind-the-scenes tours during the summer.

Alaska Zoo on Seward Highway, Alaska

Portage Glacier:  Portage Glacier is Seward Highway’s most visited place and it is inside the Chugach National Forest. As a result of the glacier retreat, Portage Glacier is not visible at the visitor center, but you can take a boat tour that gets you close to the face of the glaciers. For those flexible on time, take a few hours to hike on Portage Pass trail, where you can have a wonderful view of Portage Lake and Portage Glacier from the top.

Seward Highway, Alaska Road trip
Portage Glacier, Seward Highway, AK

Kenai Fjords National Park: Just located outside the town of Seward, Kenai Fjords National Park features coastal mountain range with more than 36 glaciers. Harding Ice-field, one of the four largest ice fields in the US, dominates the park. From Seward, you can take six hours cruise to view the abundant wildlife and tidal water glaciers inside the park. An alternative way to explore the Harding Ice Field is to hike one of the short trails from the Exit Glacier Natural Center and the parking lot, where it offers a panoramic view of the Exit Glacier. For thrill seekers, you can do an 8.2-mile hike through the Harding Icefield Trail, where it leads you right next to the icefield.

Seward Highway, Alaska Road trip

Overall, Seward Highway is a wonderful road trip and I enjoyed experiencing all the natural wonders and viewing the mammoth. My road trip ended in Seward, where I enjoyed a relaxing walk at the gorgeous waterfront under the sunset.

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Road trip on All -American Road - Alaska's Seward Highway

Read about other road trips in Alaska: 

Around Central Alaska by Rail 

From Anchorage to Valdez – Discover the Beauty of the Last Frontier 

 

Julie Cao

Julie Cao is a travel blogger, travel writer, and global citizen currently living in Toronto Ontario.

3 thoughts on “Road Trip on All-American Road: Alaska’s Seward Highway

  • April 6, 2017 at 10:26 pm
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    I used to live in Cooper Landing, just off the Seward Highway, and always loved my drive to Anchorage. It really is the most beautiful stretch of road. And there were always eagles on the Snow River. Loved it!

    Reply
    • April 9, 2017 at 5:49 pm
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      Cooper landing is a beautiful place, but too bad I did not have a chance to visit during my road trip. Hope to do this road trip again and visit more places. The landscape on the road is too beautiful.

      Reply
  • April 17, 2017 at 5:13 am
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    I can’t recall the last time I went on a road trip but this post is making me want to get a tune up on my car, hop in it, and just drive anywhere!! You got to see so much of Alaska and really explore beautiful areas that it’s giving me a bit of wanderlust. Thanks for instilling that in me!

    Reply

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