As you leave Anchorage behind, you will be driving north on the Glenn Highway. After passing through the Palmer Hay Flats, you will turn on the Parker Highway. The scenery is exceptionally breathtaking as you pass through Broad Pass at an elevation of 2,409 feet. On a clear day, you will see Mt. Denali rising in front of you as you travel along on your road trip from Anchorage to Denali National Park. There is lots of fun to be had along this route, so be sure to take your time exploring this area on an Anchorage to Denali National Park road trip.
Denali National Park
There are more than 6 million acres in Denali National Park, so it is essential to go in with a plan. One of the best ways to explore this park is to join the Tundra Wilderness Tour, which takes you on a seven- to eight-hour bus tour. From short hikes, like the 1.7-mile-long Savage River Loop, to longer treks, like the 9.5-mile Triple Lakes Trail, you can find many outstanding hiking trails. If you want to get away from the crowds, consider those farthest away from the visitor center. Consider going on the 11-mile Nenana River as it includes Class III and Class IV rapids. If you go late in the fall or the winter, leave time for a dog mushing experience leaving from the park's kennels. You will find many opportunities to go on a cycling adventure lasting from one day to several days. Be sure to attend the campfire programs given by park rangers at the outdoor amphitheater or the science center. Shuttle buses make it easy to get from the campgrounds to park destinations if you decide to stay in this area on your Anchorage to Denali National Park RV road trip.
Chugach State Park
Chugach State Park is the third-largest state park in the United States, and it covers more than 495,204 acres. This park consists of several different areas with many recreational opportunities. You will be passing near several of those locations when you embark on a road trip from Anchorage to Denali National Park. Go on a family-friendly off-roading adventure in the Bird Valley or along the Eklutna Lakeside Trail. Enjoy stunning views of upper Cook Inlet and Eagle River by going on a biking adventure on the Peters Creek Trail, or ride the downhill trail from Glen Alps that connects with multiple Anchorage city trails. There are over 280 miles of hiking trails to explore. A great option is the Flattop Mountain Trail, which is the most hiked trail in the state. The wooded areas of the Indian Valley are fantastic places for a horseback ride. Eagle River is an excellent place for a kayaking trip.
Montana Creek State Recreation Area
Montana Creek State Recreation Area is in the Susitna Valley along Montana Creek. The creek is a fantastic place to go fishing for rainbow trout and king, silver, pink, and chum salmon. This is a terrific place to go hiking along the creek to see raptor birds.
Denali State Park
The Glenn Highway splits Denali State Park roughly in half, and you can find many unique activities to enjoy in its 325,240 acres. You can find many opportunities for a multi-day hiking adventure. If you are looking for a shorter option, consider the three-mile-long Little Coal Creek Trail, which offers stunning views of Denali. More than 130 species of birds have been spotted in this park, so bring your binoculars along as you hike over the gently rolling hills of the Kesugi and neighboring Curry ridges. The Susitna and Chulitna rivers on the park's east side make for fantastic places to go fishing for Dolly Varden, Arctic grayling, and rainbow trout, or you can try fishing for lake trout at Byers, Spink, and Lucy lakes.
Eagle River Nature Center
The Eagle River Nature Center is a terrific place to go on a hike through a glacier valley. Established trails nearby extend from three to five miles long. Numerous programs are held regularly at this location, with many of them including insect and hiking programs geared toward children.
Stop and see the oldest continuously inhabited Athabaskan Indian settlement. During your visit, see the unique Spirit Houses built on top of areas where ancestors were buried. View St. Nicholas Church, which is the oldest standing building in the Greater Anchorage area.
Dorothy Page Museum & Historic Village
Learn about the Hatcher Pass mining area by stopping at the Dorothy Page Museum & Historic Village. The mining display is in the basement, and you will feel like you are passing into an actual mine as you walk down the stairs. After touring the mining display, stroll through an early dentist's office and other historical buildings. Imagine life in a one-room schoolhouse as you sit at the student desks.
William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery
See how more than 6 million sport fish are raised annually by stopping at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery. View over 100 tanks at this location. Learn how the fish are pumped from one tank to another as they grow before they are finally released in Alaska's lakes and streams. Talk to the staff to learn more about Alaska fishing opportunities, and see how the chinook salmon are raised at this location.
Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers Museum
Learn the history of Alaska's police by stopping at the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers Museum. See many police artifacts from before the time Alaska became a state. Learn the story of some of the brave men and women who enforced law and order in the Last Frontier. This is a very open museum where you can see the exhibits clearly as most are not hidden behind glass.
The Iditarod dog race is in Wasilla. Consider visiting the Alaska Museum of Transportation and Industry to learn about the different forms of transportation used throughout history in Alaska. The Nancy Lakes Recreation Area and other nearby locations are excellent places to go on a hike. Big Lake Recreation Area and Rocky Lake Campgrounds are great places to camp near Wasilla. Consider using the Wasillia dump station at Big Bear RV Park before moving on.
Healy is the nearest community to Denali National Park, and you can find terrific things to do there. The Stampede Trail, a fantastic place to go cross-country skiing in the winter, runs through this community. Take a tour of the Usibelli Coal Mine. There are several nearby ATV tours, and you can find great tour operators. Healy campground options include the Denali RV Park & Motel, which is just seven miles from the park’s entrance. You may also want to check out Denali Rainbow Village RV Park, where each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table. Dump stations near Healy include those at the Denali Rainbow Village RV Park, Tatlanika Trading Co & RV Park, and Denali Grizzly Bear Resort.
Just a little north of Denali National Park, you will find Nenana. Visit the Alfred Starr Nenana Culture Center to learn more about the Athabaskan Alaska Native peoples and see some of their beautiful beadwork and study more about dog mushing and riverboat racing. This community is also home to the Alaska State Railroad Museum. Campground options in Nenana include Nenana Campground and RV Park, where you can play miniature golf and rent bicycles. You will also want to consider Riverside Park City Campground, where you can find campsites that are very large and secluded. Dump station options near Nenana include the Nenana Information Center, which is a great place to find out more information about this area while emptying your tanks. Nenana Campground and RV Park also offers a dump station for RVers.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Anchorage to Denali National Park, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Anchorage or Denali National Park.