This trip is tailor-made for the bold, brave, and adventurous spirits out there. While many prefer to fly into Alaska and observe its untamed wilderness from the air, others question whether or not they can drive straight through it. In short? The answer is yes - and those who have the chance should absolutely consider it.

Getting there, though, takes a bit of planning, including when it comes to crossing the border in order to do so. With that being said, the trip is one for the books and would make a truly breathtaking addition to anyone's travel bucket list.

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Driving To Alaska: What To Consider

The road trip to Alaska is one that requires effort, endurance, and patience. It's not a short road trip by any means and may take travelers up to three weeks to complete in full, depending on where they're starting from. Most people consider the trip in the first place due to its unique scenery and undeniably beautiful landscape - and for some, these, alone, are reasons enough to commit.

For others, the payoff might be worth the effort, especially when the driving is split between multiple people. Still interested? Start here...

Planning The Trip

There are two main points of descent when it comes to driving to Alaska. Basic geography tells us that Alaska borders Canada's Yukon territory; travelers can surmise from this that international travel will be part of their journey. Therefore, this is what one requires to be prepared for border crossings:

  • A valid enhanced driver's license (EDL) or valid passport for those living in the U.S.
  • A copy of the itinerary, including any proof of hotel bookings, paid excursions, or tours to prove the reason behind traveling.
  • Health certificates and other vaccine documents for pets, if traveling with any.
  • A negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination for current restrictions at the time of writing.

Travelers should be aware that a majority of the drive consists of a Canadian landscape. With that being said, crossing the border is unavoidable, but there are two ways to travel through it.

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Start From Seattle, Washington, And Drive Through British Columbia

This is a longer trip and those who opt for proper sightseeing might want to plan a full month on the road. The payoff in doing so, however, will make for a scenic and utterly stunning road trip. Starting from the major Washington city of Seattle, drivers will traverse the entirety of British Columbia before reaching the border of Yukon Territory, from which the Alaska Highway will bring them to the East coast of Alaska. From that point, the closest major city is Anchorage.

From Within Canada's Borders

To shorten the trip, many might consider starting their trip from Canada. The only way to do this and save time is to book a flight into Canada, preferably into British Columbia. This, too, will require a passport since it still involves crossing an international border (an EDL does not suit the travel requirements for air travel).

How Long Will It Take?

On average, depending on the time of the year, the time it takes to travel on the road from Seattle to Alaska is about one week. However, this does not include stops for sightseeing or days in between with no road travel.

  • Distance: 2,315 miles
  • Time: ~ 43 hours

This travel distance can be split however a traveler wants. For example, if six hours are spent driving each day, the time it will take to reach Anchorage from Seattle will be about 8 days, with the final day being a short day on the road.

Best Routes To Take From Seattle To Anchorage

There are several different route combinations that can be taken from Seattle to Anchorage. No matter which city or region one wishes to explore in Alaska, having the destination of Anchorage as a central starting point is beneficial.

Cassiar Highway: Remote But Beautiful

Those who don't mind a shorter, but much more remote drive, can take the Cassier Highway through Canada. Starting from Seattle, drivers will follow the Trans-Canada Highway through Vancouver until reaching Cache Creek. Here, they will stay due north on Highway 97 before reaching the Yellowhead Highway in Prince George. From there, Highway 37, AKA Cassiar Highway, will take them through British Columbia to the Alaska Highway in Yukon (where the route is the same no matter which way route one starts out on).

West Access Route: Straight-Forward And Simple

Whereas one would take Highway 37 in Prince George, the West Access Route requires that travelers continue on to Dawson Creek via Highway 97.

Optional: East Access Route

This route is strictly for those coming from anywhere but the West Coast. In order to take this route from a Pacific Coast state, one would need to go incredibly far out of their way to travel through Calgary or the Canadian Rockies. Those traveling this route will make their way to the Red Deer Expressway following Calgary, drive north of the Canadian Rockies, and make their way to Dawson Creek and the Alaska Highway in Yukon.

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