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There room a many of great factors to move to Alaska, including affordable actual estate, a lack of income and sales tax, and truly breathtaking organic beauty. But you’ve gained to obtain there first, and for plenty of movers, that method hitting the roads. Driving come Alaska no necessarily all that difficult, yet it is important to recognize what you’re getting into. Below, we’ll cover whatever you have to know about driving come Alaska, including just how long it will certainly take, exactly how you should obtain there, and what you need to expect along the way.

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Driving to Alaska: The Basics

There space some unique things to keep in mind as soon as you’re driving to Alaska.

For starters, if you’re coming from the U.S. Climate you’re walk to cross international borders twice—once once traveling indigenous the U.S. Right into Canada and also then again when you overcome from Canada ago into the U.S. You’ll need your passport, and international currency and/or a credit transaction card the works internationally (though it’s a great idea to constantly have some cash v you once you’re positiveeast.org through car).

Another vital thing come note prior to getting into an ext specifics is that you’re going come come up versus some potentially hard terrain. When driving come Alaska isn’t quite the scary endeavor that many anticipate it will be, it’s essential that you go in prepared. Have actually a spare tire and also tools prepared to go simply in case, and have your vehicle checked before you walk to ensure that in good condition for the trip.

How lengthy Does it require to Drive to Alaska?

The length of your expedition depends on where you’re beginning from and also how plenty of stops you’re walk to be making along the way, v it taking about 37 hours to gain from the Canadian border up right into Alaska by car.

Assuming you go directly through, here’s exactly how long it will take friend from major U.S. Cities.

Seattle come Alaska: 2,233 miles, about a 42 hour driveNew York City to Alaska: 4,345 miles, about a 72 hour drive.Boston to Alaska: 4,539 miles, about a 74 hour drive.Chicago to Alaska: 3,548 miles, around a 60 hour drive.Miami to Alaska: 4,932 miles, about a 78 hour drive.Dallas to Alaska: 3,865 miles, about a 65 hour drive.Los Angeles to Alaska: 3,357 miles, around a 59 hour drive.

Popular Routes as soon as Driving come Alaska

You have actually a pair of different alternatives when it involves your route. Right here are several of the most usual that civilization take as soon as driving come Alaska from the U.S.

The Alaska-Canada Highway

one of the most well-known routes to obtain to Alaska from the mainland United states is follow me the Alaska-Canada Highway, additionally referred to together the Alaska Highway or the Alcan Highway, i m sorry starts in Dawson Creek, brothers Columbia and also ends in Delta Junction, Alaska. You’ll have to number out your finest route as much as the highway’s beginning point, but once you acquire there, you’ll be relieved to find smooth, led roads and the occasional rest, food, or gas stop.

In total, the Alaska-Canada Highway is around 2,000 miles long and also utilizes a couple of different roads. Note that if the highway is well maintained, you’re tho going to it is in up versus some windy mountain roads, so setup your time accordingly.

Stewart-Cassiar Highway

The Alaska-Canada Highway is what most U.S. Travelers take it driving come Alaska, but if you want a much more scenic path then take into consideration taking the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, also referred to together Highway 37 BC or just the Cassiar. The Cassiar Highway travels through north British Columbia, forking turn off from the Dease Lake Highway in brother Columbia, and also it’s a lot more secluded 보다 the an ext popular Alcan (as well together 130 mile shorter).

The Cassiar Highway is right for sight-seeing, v a good chance that spotting some impressive wildlife. That being said, food, gas, and hotel options are thin along the route, and also you’ll likely go many miles in in between amenities. Once you watch a gas station, it’s most likely a an excellent idea to stop and fill up—even if you’re not nearing empty on her tank. Bring plenty of food along with you also so that you’re not dependent top top running right into a restaurant.

Driving the Cassiar is a good choice if you want a an ext rugged, wild journey up right into Alaska. And if your setup is to integrate your travels with a appropriate road trip, climate it can be your ideal bet. The highway meets back up with the Alcan in ~ the upper Liard.

Which Is Better: Alaska Highway or Cassiar Highway?

That depends! The Alaska Highway is the an ext popular route, so you will do it find much more along the means in terms of remainder stops and conveniences. And also what the Stewart-Cassiar Highway lacks in amenities it makes up for it in gorgeous sights (though the Alaska Highway surely no disappoint either). It’s approximately you which girlfriend prefer, with either route a an excellent choice for driving to Alaska indigenous the U.S. As successfully as friend can.

Driving to Alaska indigenous Seattle

Seattle is the closest significant U.S. City to Alaska, so numerous travelers setup their drive from their own city to Seattle and also then from over there up phibìc to Alaska. However while it’s absolutely closer than cities favor L.A. Or brand-new York, Seattle is no hop, skip, and also jump from the Alaskan border. You’ll must traverse an ext than 2,000 miles to get to Alaska from Seattle—a expedition that takes around 42 hrs in total along the Alaska-Canada Highway

If you’re avoiding to see the sights along the way then a road pilgrimage from Seattle to Alaska can quickly take a couple of weeks. And also even if you not avoiding along the means except for rest, food, and also gas you’ll still must allot almost a week for the trip, which factors in about eight hrs of steering a day.

Road conditions When Driving come Alaska

You’ll view lots of different vehicles driving come Alaska, including whatever from substantial RVs come sedans and also other small cars. Both the Alcan Highway and also the Cassiar Highway are paved, which way you don’t have to worry around traversing complicated terrains. Execute note yet that the roadways are narrower on the Cassiar than they are on the Alcan, which can slow you under in web traffic (though traffic is pretty unlikely once you’re driving deep in Canadian wilderness).

It’s important to reiterate that you should have your car checked out by a professional before you leave. They’ll be able to make certain that whatever is in great condition because that the trip, and can likewise make additional recommendations, such as if your car would advantage from snow tires.

Planning on steering a positiveeast.org van to Alaska? There are special considerations you’ll want to remember over there too. Take it a look in ~ our guide to driving a positiveeast.org truck across country because that advice on everything from driving a positiveeast.org truck v the mountains to control a positiveeast.org van in rain and also snow.

Best Time that Year to journey to Alaska

The roads that you’ll confront when you’re driving to Alaska greatly depend on the time of year the you’re making her move. If you worried about conditions, schedule your move for late spring or summer, once the roads are most most likely to be free from ice and snow.

Major roads in between the mainland united States, consisting of the Alaska Highway, are maintained throughout the winter. As such, if you do decide to head out throughout the loss or winter (or if you don’t have a choice due come the timing of your move), you will do it certainly have the ability to make it—though you’ll need to keep in mind the unique determinants related to positiveeast.org in impending weather. One more thing to store in psychic is the many company stops, consisting of hotels, restaurants, and even gas stations, close because that the winter when tourism is down. If you driving in winter, do some research into what’s open and schedule your travels around those stops.

Sights To check out Along the Way

It’s difficult to prevent the heart-stopping beauty of nature when you’re driving native the U.S. To Alaska—and why would you want to! whether you protect against to see just one or detour to watch them all, below are few of the finest sights to watch on your drive.

If you driving the Alaska-Canada Highway…

Dawson Creek

Located ideal at the starting point of brother Columbia, Dawson Creek, well-known as the “Capital that the Peace” in referral to its place along the peace River, is a tiny town through a lot of history. Head ~ above a self-guided wade tour, or sign up for a guided tourism of one of Dawson Creek’s many heritage sites. It’s a good place to prevent for a bite or one overnight stay, and also you’re guarantee to have actually some fun touring this previous boom town.

Liard hot Springs

It’s absolutely worth a detour to Liard warm Spring Provincial Park, whereby thermal waters in the park’s eight windy pools simmer between 108 degrees and also 126 levels Fahrenheit. The park is open up year round, yet you’ll uncover it many secluded and peaceful in the winter, once the banks of the warm springs space coated in snow and summer’s ubiquitous mosquitos room nowhere to be seen.

Yukon Wildlife Preserve

More than 12 impressive varieties can be uncovered in the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, i m sorry spans 350 acres and also can be discover by foot or on a guided bus tour (though bus tours are only available at 12pm and 2pm every day, for this reason you’ll have to setup accordingly). If you haven’t gotten your to fill of thermal pools at Liard, you can then take trip a touch additional from the Yukon Wildlife maintain to the Takhini hot Springs, both of i beg your pardon are situated off the the very same detour.

If you driving the Stewart-Cassiar Highway…

be afflicted with Glacier Provincial Park

Don’t miss Bear Glacier Park, wherein a retreating glacier has actually left distinctive ice formations and also a quiet lake. There’s not too much to do here in terms of hiking, however it’s worth a stop simply to view the superior Bear Glacier itself.

mount Edziza Provincial Park

Travel the Cassiar as much as northwest brothers Columbia and also stop off at mount Edziza Provincial Park. While Canadian wilderness is overwhelmingly green, mount Edziza is noþeles but. In fact, that not also a mountain at all, yet a volcano the erupted more than 10,000 years ago. The volcanic landscape is a sight to behold, with trails come explore and also a an excellent chance that wildlife spotting.

Boya Lake Provincial Park

One of the last significant sights before connecting earlier to the Alcan Highway is Boya Lake Provincial Park, where you can kayak in the picture-perfect Boya or hike its bordering trails. Together a bonus: Boya Lake is just one of the couple of northern lakes it is warm sufficient to swim in, therefore it’s good for a refresh before continuing on your travels.

Other necessary stops if castle on your route…

Glacier nationwide Park

If you driving with Montana climate you should absolutely stop in ~ Glacier national Park, one of the most stunning nationwide parks in the Rocky Mountains.

Banff national Park and Icefields Parkway

Beauty to know no limit in Banff national Park, located in Alberta, Canada. June to August and also December to March space the ideal times come visit, but you’ll check out sweeping vistas nevertheless of as soon as you make her trip. And while you’re there, do a drive through the Icefields Parkway, a stretch of roadway through the park that features more than a hundreds glaciers.

Jaspar nationwide Park

Another Alberta must-see is Jaspar nationwide Park, the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. Jaspar is what Instagram pics are made of, through waterfalls, glaciers, and the jaw-dropping blue of the kettle lakes.

Common Questions about Driving come Alaska

It constantly helps to go into any type of long drive through as much information as you deserve to gather. To help you out, below are answer to some of the most frequently asked questions about making the trek to Alaska, v plenty of advice for ensuring you have the finest trip possible.

Do you need a passport to journey to Alaska?

Yes. You will certainly cross the border twice when you go from the U.S. Come Canada and then earlier from Canada into the U.S. Have actually a valid, up-to-date passport through you because that border crossings, even if you have a actual I.D., because those do not change passports for international travel.

Is driving come Alaska dangerous?

Nope! You’ll uncover paved, fine cared for roads the entire method (unless you make part detours), which renders this pilgrimage pretty standard—at least so far as the security of roadway conditions. The best safety consideration to keep in psychic comes down to accessibility to amenities, since there are long stretches without all over to fuel up, rest, or acquire a bite come eat, allow alone gain your auto serviced. So long as you setup ahead for this—including packing plenty of food in the car and having your vehicle serviced before heading out—and lug along cabinet phones and also maps the absence of amenities do not do it be a huge deal.

Is the journey difficult?

That relies on what you consider difficult. The drive to Alaska from the U.S. Is an extremely long and also often secluded, which method long stretches of steering with little relief. This deserve to make the trek difficult, particularly if you space driving alone. Weather could also make the drive a little tougher 보다 normal. If you’re looking to do the journey as basic as possible, try to plan your trip for spring or summer, once roads are clearer and also tourist stops room open.

What sort of auto is finest for driving to Alaska?

Any car that you have actually should it is in perfectly qualified of do the trip so lengthy as that in an excellent condition (all the much more reason to have a mechanic offer your car a once-over prior to you head out). If you concerned around your car in the winter, now may be the moment to invest in eye tires due to the fact that you’ll most likely want them increase in Alaska anyway.

Should you bring a preventive tire?

Yes. Both the Alaska-Canada Highway and also the Stewart-Cassiar Highway function long swaths of road without any type of service centers. If you obtain a level tire, you’ll want to have actually a preventive on hand, add to the tools to swap that in.

Do you require to bring extra cans of gas?

No. ~ above average, you have the right to get about 400 miles the end of a complete tank that gas as soon as you’re control on non-city roads, and also the longest distance between fuel stations when you’re driving up to Alaska is about 200 miles. You can certainly bring along extra gas if you want it for peace of mind, yet a much better plan is just to optimal off as soon as you can—even if you’re no nearing an north tank. Plenty of of the fuel stations follow me the means close in the evenings, so as soon as you watch an open station during the work you’re best off taking advantage.

What supplies have to you bring?

Like any kind of road trip, the food and supplies the you carry with you once making the journey to Alaska count on your very own preferences, though it’s definitely great to have some points on hand. If she positiveeast.org, friend should currently have her essentials bag easily easily accessible in the car. This bag contains every one of the item you can need prior to you’re able come unpack in ~ your new home, consisting of medications, essential documents, basic toiletries, alters of clothes, and also snacks and also water. The much longer it will certainly be before you’re stable in in ~ your brand-new home, the much more that you’ll need, so arrangement ahead and also factor in the quantity of time that you’ve allotted for your drive.

What snacks have to you bring?

The best road pilgrimage snacks room those the fill you increase while likewise being practically to eat. If you’re driving alone, this will more than likely be things favor protein bars, jerky, peanut butter packets, granola, and handheld fruit the doesn’t need to be refrigerated, choose apples and also bananas. Bringing along a cooler is a good way to boost your food options on the road, however you’ll need to be able to stop and replace the ice as you go. And also while food alternatives are doing not have along the drive, they’re not non-existent. You’ll have the ability to stop and also grab an ext items, and you won’t have to be relegated specifically to protein bars because that the extent of your drive.

Is there cell phone coverage once driving come Alaska?

Usually, though it’s not 100% reliable. Once you’re passing through towns friend should have actually no trouble acquiring cell and also data service, but things can get spotty the further up you walk (and the an ext spread the end the towns get). Before you head out, take it a look at a dead ar map to view what locations might be guarantee to absence service, though note that this zones are self-reported so when you obtain into the much less population-dense areas of the Canadian provinces the info can not be entirely up come date. And also check v your cell phone provider to view if your plan extends into Canada, due to the fact that otherwise you’ll end up facing some steep roaming fees.

As a backup for your cell phone, to buy or rental a portable WiFi router for her car, which at the very least ensures you’ll have the ability to communicate once you don’t have actually a signal. You can also bring follow me a satellite phone.

Can you rent a U-Haul to journey one-way to Alaska?

You’ll must call specific locations and also ask, however U-Haul does have actually Alaska places so girlfriend should be able to rent a positiveeast.org truck because that a one-way drive. If you have to ship a most items, your far better option through U-Haul might be renting a U-Box, which is a portable positiveeast.org container that permits you to pack up your items in the U.S. And have castle shipped and also waiting because that you once you come in Alaska. You can find answers to common U-Box inquiries here.

Tips because that Driving to Alaska

Read ~ above for some of our ideal tips because that driving come Alaska—some of i beg your pardon we’ve currently covered however are worth stating again.

Take your time. With such a lengthy stretch of road ahead of friend it provides sense that you desire to get in as many driving hours as possible every single day. As a general preeminence of ignorance though, you shouldn’t drive more than eight to nine hours in any type of one day, with a remainder scheduled about hour four or five. And since you’re going to be driving for a mainly or more when girlfriend head up to Alaska, you should err on the lower end of the recommendation. Driving fatigued is very dangerous, especially when rest stops room sparse.Plan because that stops. Rest stops, fuel stops, and food stops along the Alaska Highway only pop up about once every 100 to 150 miles. A complete tank that gas will certainly take you more than that, but if friend come as much as a fuel stop and you’ve just got half a tank or so, fill up then rather of advertise it until the next stop. The same goes for rest: if you’re feeling exhausted on the road, stop and rest rather of trying to do it an additional 100 miles. Together for food, keep snacks and also water in the automobile so that if you acquire hungry between stops you’ll be able to get what you need right away.Bring a GPS and a map. The markers along the Alaska Highway can gain a bit confusing, because they’re in kilometers, not miles, and are outdated in part places. To make certain you constantly know where you’re at, wherein you’re going, and how much you have to go, you’ll desire to rely on more than simply markers, so bring along a GPS and a map. (That way, if you lose signal and the gps isn’t working you’ll still have actually a backup.)

More details on Driving come Alaska

There room some an excellent additional sources to read before making your drive. Many civilization who journey from the U.S. To Alaska swear by The Milepost, the so-called “Bible of North country Travel,” which has been in publication (with continuous updates) because 1949. Another great pick is Ron Dalby’s Guide to the Alaska Highway.

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Driving come Alaska—like life in Alaska itself—is a full adventure. Reap the trip, and also don’t forget to stop and enjoy the scenery every when in a while! that a long drive, however well precious it.