Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city. There are flights between major cities in the US, Canada and several international destinations. If you’re coming from a little closer, you could drive via Canada or take a cruise to Anchorage.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) sees more than 240 flights arrive daily with direct flights between major US cities and Canada. You can fly direct to Portland, Chicago, Seattle, New York and Los Angeles to name a few. If you’re travelling overseas, there are seasonal flights to several destinations in Europe and Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Frankfurt and Reykjavik. Airlines that fly to Anchorage include Alaska Airlines, Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines. Generally, there are more flight options in the summer months.
From Anchorage Airport, you can get to downtown Anchorage by taking the People Mover Bus, jumping in a taxi or rideshare, or using the shuttle service provided by your accommodation if this is available. The journey takes about 15 minutes.
Anchorage isn't a ferry point, but you can travel to Whittier (60 miles south of Anchorage) and drive from there. You can take a ferry to Whittier via the Alaska Marine Highway. There are crossings from Prince Rupert, BC and Bellingham, Washington. The mainline routes are:
- Bellingham > Ketchikan > Wrangell > Petersburg > Juneau > Haines > Skagway > Sitka
- Prince Rupert > Ketchikan > Wrangell > Petersburg > Kake > Sitka > Haines > Skagway
- Bellingham > Ketchikan > Juneau > Yakutat > Whittier > Chenega Bay > Kodiak > Homer
Smaller ferries connect communities in Prince William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula to the Aleutian Archipelago and Kodiak Island. You can travel either as a foot passenger, with a bicycle or with your motor vehicle. Bunk bed-style cabins are available to book if your journey takes a few days. Or you can pitch your tent and set up camp out on the deck or sleep on one of the deck chairs inside.
There are no trains that run direct to Alaska, but you can get pretty close. You can take an Amtrak’s Cascades train along the west coast of the US to Bellingham, Washington. From Washington, you can take the ferry to Alaska.
You can access Alaska from the lower 48 states by road. The Alaska-Canada Highway (AICan) runs 1300 miles between Dawson Creek, British Colombia and Delta Junction in Fairbanks, Alaska. If you’re travelling from the Eastern or middle half of the lower 48, drive west before heading north to get onto the AICan. The good thing about this route is that there are several resting stops and amenities to refuel.
The AICan is the most popular route, but if you want a more scenic drive you can also take the Stewart-Cassiar Highway which starts at Junction 37 just west of Watson Lake, Yukon and ends at Kitimat, BC. The road forks off from the Dease Lake Highway in BC and offers a more wild and rugged drive into Alaska. Just bear in mind that gas, food and toilets are scarce compared to the AICan and you could be driving for hours before you reach any amenities. Whichever route you take, ensure you stock up on supplies and check road conditions prior to and during your trip.
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