Getting around Alaska


Airplanes are usually the fastest, most efficient way to get around Alaska, particularly if you plan to travel to remote Alaska Native communities in the far north. Jet service is available from Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan to communities in Adak, Barrow, Bethel, and Cordova. However, many tour operators offer flights or helicopter tours, combined with adventure activities.

Side of road
Road classification

Alaska's highways are modern and in good condition.

Alaska has six major highways: Alaska Highway, Glenn Highway, Parks Highway, Richardson Highway, Seward Highway and Sterling Highway. Alaskan highways are not part of the US federal interstate system and all have a 65mph speed limit, unless otherwise stated.

The state is home to Scenic Byways renowned for their scenic, natural, historical and cultural assets.

Alaska has two All-American Roads. The Seward Highway stretches from Anchorage to Seward and the Alaska Marine Highway. It is the only marine route in the National Scenic Byways program. The Glenn Highway, which runs from Anchorage to Glennallen, also in Southcentral Alaska, is a National Scenic Byway.

Car hire

You can rent a vehicle in Alaska through all major US car hire companies: Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Dollar, Budget, Enterprise, Alamo and National.

Although Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage, has the greatest selection of car hire firms, most are represented in smaller towns and cities, including Seward, Wasilla, Juneau, Fairbanks, and Homer.


The Alaska Railroad (tel: +1 800 544 0552; extends from Seward in the south to Fairbanks in central Alaska.

Built more than 100 years ago, the Alaska Railroad now operates five routes: Coastal Classic Train, Denali Star Train, Glacier Discovery Train, Hurricane Turn Train and Aurora Winter Train. There are daily passenger services between May and September, these drop to weekly services between October and April.

The White Pass and Yukon Route (tel: +1 800 343 7373; is the only railroad to link Alaska with Canada. The tourist route departs the Alaskan port town of Skagway and winds north for Fraser Meadows in BC and then onwards to Carcross, Yukon.

By water

Day cruises are available from major towns to popular tourist destinations such as Misty Fjords National Monument, Glacier Bay National Park, Prince William Sound, and Kenai Fjords National Park.

Ferries are also an important water-based transport option. Alaska's Marine Highway offers scheduled services to the Inside Passage, Prince William Sound, the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island and the Aleutian Islands. Book in advance during the summer, especially if you're traveling with a car or RV.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.