Extending 125 miles (201 kilometers) from Seward to Anchorage, the Seward Highway runs through scenic areas like the Kenai Peninsula, Chugach National Forest, Turnagain Arm and Kenai Mountains. In fact, in 1989 the Seward Highway was declared a National Scenic Byway by the U.S. Forest Service, meaning it’s a destination all on its own.
What’s really fascinating about the drive is that as you continue along the road the landscape completely changes. While at one point you might be immersed in rugged peaks and alpine meadows at another you may find yourself enjoying views of majestic fjords, retreating glaciers and mirror lakes. One could easily do the drive in a few hours; however, it’s recommended to spend at least three days exploring the route as there are a range of experiences to have along the way.
From Anchorage to Girdwood you can learn about the state’s railroad history at the Potter Section House Railroad Museum; enjoy 180-degree views of Turnagain Arm from Beluga Point Lookout; or partake in outdoor recreation at Bird Point Park. Between Girdwood and Hope Cutoff experiences like seeing Siberian boar, moose, caribou and bison at the Alaska Wildlife Conversation Center; taking a side trip down Portage Glacier Road to hike the nature trails and see the many icebergs on Portage Lake; and exploring one of Alaska’s original gold mining towns at Hope Junction are worthwhile options. From Hope Cutoff to Sterling Highway Cutoff you can overnight at the cozy Summit Lake Lodge or hike the scenic Devil’s Creek Trail where fishing and wildlife spotting are popular activities. And from Sterling Highway Cutoff to Seward salmon viewing at Moose Creek; taking photos at the Kenai Lake viewpoint; and touring the Trail Lakes Fish Hatchery are just a few of the many quintessential Alaskan experiences to stop for.