Scenic Drives

Road Conditions & Weather Report

Current road conditions and weather reports are available through the State of Alaska Department of Transportation - (800) 478-7675.

Parks Highway, Alaska Highway 3

There are several day excursions worth considering. Drive an hour and a half north along the Parks Highway (Hwy 3) to Talkeetna to tour the historical mining town. The town has a lot of local color. It is the jumping off point for the climbers on their way to or from Mt. McKinley. The Talkeetna Museum of Northern Adventure is worth a visit, and the Denali National Park Climbing Headquarters is also located in downtown Talkeetna.

There are also sled dog tour operators along the Parks Highway that offer summer sled dog rides. Plettner Kennels (907-892-6944) provides sled dog rides in the Big Lake area.

On a clear day, the best views of Mt. McKinley are along the Parks Highway on the way to Talkeetna and to mile 140 on the Parks highway or along the Petersville Road just north of Talkeetna at Trapper's Creek. In Petersville there are a number of trails plus active gold mines and gold panning areas.

Along the Parks highway you have the opportunity to visit Big Lake, mile 51, a good place to trout fish, with all water sports and many good restaurants. Houston, mile 57, is a good salmon fishing area. Nancy Lake, mile 64, has fishing and water sports, Willow, mile 69 is the northern intersection for the Hatcher Pass road which loops back to Palmer. Willow has a number of good fishing streams and lakes, along with Air services that fly out to remote lodges and camps and float trips. Miners Last Stand museum and jail is also located in Willow.

Glenn Highway, Alaska Highway 1

National Scenic Byway

Another nice drive follows the Glenn Highway (Hwy 1) east about an hour to the Matanuska Glacier. Lodges along the highway can be a nice place for lunch.

For a small fee, Matanuska Glacier Park Resort (907-745-2534) allows visitors to drive to the foot of the Glacier. MICAguides and NOVA offer glacier trekking tours.

On the way to Matanuska Glacier you will pass NOVA Alaska's Adventure Co. (907-745-5754). Nova has been offering raft trips since 1975. They offer several nice day trips and half day float trips.

More information on local glaciers is available here.

There are also fossil beds and great rock hounding areas along the Glenn Highway. You can make a long day trip by going up the Glenn Highway to the Richardson Highway across the Denali Highway (original entrance to Denali Park) and back down the Parks Highway.

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