Taking the Long Way Home From Alaska

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Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination, and when traveling from Alaska, taking the long way home can transform an ordinary trip into an extraordinary adventure. The Last Frontier, renowned for its rugged beauty and untamed wilderness, is a launching pad for a road trip like no other.

Starting in Fairbanks, the gateway to Alaska’s interior, you can begin your homeward journey with a detour to Denali National Park. Here, North America’s highest peak, Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, towers above the wild landscapes. Wildlife sightings of grizzlies, moose, and caribou are common as you trek through the park’s trails or drive along its solitary roads.

Venturing southward toward Anchorage offers a shift in scenery as you transition from interior forests to coastal views. The city serves as a cultural oasis where you can enjoy fresh seafood and visit museums that provide a deeper understanding of Alaska’s history and indigenous peoples.

Continuing along the Seward Highway will guide you towards the Kenai Peninsula. This area is rich with opportunities for fishing in pristine rivers and hiking among scenic trails leading to glaciers like Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. As you further explore this region, consider taking a ferry ride across to Kodiak Island or travel by small plane for a unique perspective of Alaska’s diverse landscape.

From the southern reaches of Alaska, you embark on a ferry journey via the Alaska Marine Highway System which allows travelers to experience Southeast Alaska’s archipelago. The Inside Passage is a stunning voyage through fjords and alongside islands that teem with wildlife such as whales and sea lions.

After reaching Bellingham, Washington, via ferry, continue your road trip by venturing through the Pacific Northwest. Cascading forests, volcanic mountains such as Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, and fertile valleys unfold before you. You could divert eastward through Spokane towards Montana’s Glacier National Park or meander down the Oregon coast for breathtaking cliffside views before cutting back to your final destination.

No matter which path you take, ‘taking the long way home’ from Alaska isn’t simply about adding miles; it’s about making memories on roads less traveled—immersing yourself in nature’s grandeur one mile at a time until you reach home with stories that resonate long after your return.

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