Top 10 Landmarks in Alaska

What is a Landmark?

Historical sites, one-of-a-kind natural land formations, and all sorts of other attractions can qualify as landmarks… and given its status as the largest state in the U.S., it’s no surprise that Alaska has a metric ton of them to check out. The following article will help you get familiar with some of the coolest famous buildings, monuments, and even mountains The Last Frontier has to offer.

What Are Some Famous Landmarks in Alaska?

1. Prudhoe Bay General Store

2. Salty Dawg Saloon

3. Chicken

4. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve

5. Denali

6. White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

7. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

8. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

9. North Pole

10. Japanese Occupation Site National Historic Landmark

Alaska Landmarks

Let’s dive deeper into some of these famous places and historical sites across the great state of Alaska!

1. Prudhoe Bay General Store

DEADHORSE, ALASKA - JULY 2006: Deadhorse is an unincorporated community in North Slope Borough, United States, along the North Slope near the Arctic Ocean. Pictured is General Store and US Post Office

Nestled at the far northern end of the Dalton Highway, a treacherous 414-mile pass that runs between fairbanks and this small town — whose basis is the huge oil field it lies adjacent to, the largest in the United States — Prudhoe Bay is the kind of place that not many people get to see in their lifetime. If you’re lucky enough to make the trek, a stop at the Prudhoe Bay General Store is a must. Don’t get us wrong; you likely won’t find the more exotic items on your shopping list here, and even the common goods might be costlier than you’d like. But getting a picture of yourself standing in front of this far-north bodega? Absolutely priceless.

Things to do near the Prudhoe Bay General Store: To be completely honest, the thing that makes Prudhoe Bay so interesting is how far it is from civilization… so there’s not a whole lot to do in town. That said, if you’re this far north, you’re within a stone’s throw of serious outdoor adventures spots like Gates of the Arctic National Park and Kobuk Valley National Park. Just do be aware that these destinations require serious outdoor survival skills! Here’s where you’ll find any RVshare rentals near Prudhoe Bay (though you may have to rent from elsewhere and drive in!).

2. Salty Dawg Saloon

Salty Dawg Saloon Homer Alaska

Located at the end of the Homer Spit in scenic Homer, Alaska, the Salty Dawg Saloon is more than your average watering hole — though you’ll certainly find something to cure what ails you behind their bar. But there’s more to it than that. Originally a cabin constructed all the way back in 1897, this structure has seen some serious community history, serving for a while as a post office, a railroad station, a grocery store, a coal mining office, and even a private residence. Although it’s been renovated and expanded since those days, today the Salty Dawg is the kind of place where everybody really does know your name… or will ask you for it if they don’t. Plus they also host live events and music.

Things to do near the Salty Dawg Saloon: Homer is considered one of the premier outdoor playgrounds in Alaska, offering easy access to Kenai Fjords National Park. Lake Clark National Park, and the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Alaska itself. Here are some of the best campgrounds in Homer, Alaska, and here are some nearby RVshare ads to browse.

3. Chicken

Chicken, AK/USA - June 7, 2019: Chicken statue and sign in gold mining town of Chicken, Alaska

Yes, this landmark is a whole town… a town with a population of 12 per the latest Census data. Chicken, Alaska is a destination in the Alaska interior as unique as its name would have you guess, and yes, it does have its very own website. Originally a gold rush town, today Chicken is mostly a place tourists pass through to take a picture, though as mentioned, a handful of people do call it home year round. It’s also home to the yearly Chickenstock Music Festival, a weekend-long event that considerably bloats the population on a temporary basis!

Things to do near Chicken: Located about five hours east of Fairbanks close to where the Alaskan and Canadian borders meet, we have to admit: Chicken is truly in the middle of nowhere. However, there are plentiful wildernesses around for outdoor lovers to explore, including the Tanana Valley State Forest, Chena River State Recreational Area, and the Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve.

4. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve

Hike in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Speaking of the Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve… at over 13.2 million acres, this whopper of a wilderness is certainly an Alaskan landmark, and also an American one. It’s the largest national park in our system, bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined… along with Switzerland. The present-day home of ancient indigenous cultures as well as natural features impossible to find elsewhere, from glaciers to volcanoes and beyond, visiting this national park is truly an out there kind of experience. Case in point: there are only two roads into the park, both of which are small and unpaved, and once you’re inside, there’s a lot of undeveloped forest to contend with. Be sure to bring your map and possibly even an experienced outdoor guide!

Things to do near Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve: Because of its massive size, this national park is surrounded by a variety of thriving Alaskan communities, perhaps most notably the city of Valdez. Small but inviting, Valdez offers a variety of museums, shops, and eateries, not to mention access to nearby Chugach State Park… just in case you needed even more outdoor living. Here are some RVshare rentals in the area.

5. Denali

Denali, also known as Mount McKinley, is the tallest in the United States at more than 20,000 feet above sea level

The tallest mountain in the United States, Denali towers more than 20,000 feet over sea level, making it a landmark in every feasible sense of the word. It’s surrounded by and preserved within Denali National Park and Preserve, which is named after it, and is also a highly sought-after mountaineering project for those brave — and perhaps shall we say foolish? — enough to attempt its summit. Fortunately, even just standing in its shadow is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Things to do near Denali: Denali National Park is chock-a-block full of outdoor adventure opportunities, including hikes suited to every fitness and interest level. Plus, the park is only two hours’ drive from Fairbanks, one of the most populated and well-appointed cities in Alaska. Here are some of the best campgrounds in the area and some RVshare rentals to choose from.

6. White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad

Skagway, Alaska. The scenic White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad.

A unique narrow-gauge railroad that connects Skagway, Alaska, with Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon territory, the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad is more than just something to see — it’s something to experience. Offering scenic railway trips to visitors, a trip to this landmark gives you the opportunity not only to take some absolutely epic photos of your journey, but also to participate in this railway’s longstanding history, which stretches all the way back to the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896.

Things to do near the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad: Skagway is tucked just inland from the city of Haines, which is known as a gateway town to nearby Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The cluster of islands in this area makes for an endless range of adventure opportunities, with stunning outdoor scenes dotted by tiny communities.

7. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Skagway, Alaska, a historical gold mining town.

The lust for gold in the late 1800s was a huge part of what made Alaska into the place it is today, and visitors can learn all about that history, and its continued Alaskan legacy, at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Visitor Center. Another Skagway destination, this park has an analogous location in Seattle, Washington, for those who can’t make it all the way up north. If you do, though, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to visit a variety of NPS-managed locations under its umbrella.

Things to do near Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park: Along with riding aboard the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad mentioned above, if you visit Skagway, be sure to hike along the Chilkoot Trail!

8. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

Bering Land Bridge, one of the most remote wilderness areas in the country. Image via the National Park Service
Image via the National Park Service

An otherworldly landscape that few will find themselves lucky enough to experience in person, the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve protects and exhibits the remains of the Bering Land Bridge, which connected North America with Asia tens of thousands of years ago. Alive with volcanic activity, including recent lava flows and hot springs, this is one of the most remote wilderness areas in America… but surely one of the most rewarding to visit. No roads lead here, however, so access is limited to those who can make it by snowmobile, charter plane, boat, or even on foot.

Things to do near the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve: If you’re in the Seward Peninsula, being in the great outdoors is probably your main angle. That said, if you need some time in civilization, check out the small town of Nome, which is home to a few museums and even offers some RVshare rentals.

9. North Pole

MAR 18, Fairbanks: The beautiful santa claus house on MAR 18, 2015 at Fairbanks

Yes, you can visit the North Pole in real life — North Pole, Alaska, that is! Located just southeast of the town of Fairbanks, North Pole celebrates its whimsical name with year-round Christmas decorations and the opportunity to walk by the Santa Claus House, a Christmas store that’s been papered over with children’s letters to Santa. Home to more than 2,700 residents, North Pole is much more than just a touristy photo opp… though we can’t deny it’s a great one at that.

Things to do near North Pole: Close to the city of Fairbanks as well as nearby Chena Lake Recreation Area, there’s no shortage of things to do in the area whether you’re looking for a lake beach day or a fine restaurant. Here are some of the best campgrounds in the area, as well as RVshare rentals to consider.

10. Japanese Occupation Site National Historic Landmark

Perhaps the most remote destination on this list, but certainly an important one, the Japanese Occupation Site National Historic Landmark lies one of the Aleutian Islands strung out to the west of Alaska between the U.S. and Russia. Although it’s not open to the public, this landmark commemorates the Japanese occupation of the islands of Attu and Kiska in World War II — an occupation which was, thankfully, peacefully resolved without loss of life.

Things to do near the Japanese Occupation Site National Historic Landmark: Although the islands themselves are remote and largely inaccessible to the public, Katmai National Park and Preserve is a feasible, though still difficult, adventure to plan. However, those who do might catch a glimpse of hunting grizzly bears, rushing waterfalls, and more — in short, it’ll be a completely once in a lifetime adventure.

Planning an RV Trip to Alaska

Alaska is one of the most sought-after destinations for RVers, and for good reason. No other state can compare when it comes to outdoor adventures!

Check out our guides to all of the U.S. National Parks, including the many that reside inside Alaska’s borders. We’ve also documented the best campgrounds in Alaska and 10 of the very best Alaskan RV trips to take!

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