An Anchorage to Seattle road trip is a fascinating journey that allows you to see and do many things. Think carefully about what time of year is best to make this trip as Anchorage gets an average of 79 inches of snow in the winter months, but don't let a little powder prevent you from taking in the many fantastic national parks in Alaska, including Denali, Glacier Bay, and Katmai. There are also outstanding state parks to add to your road trip itinerary from Anchorage to Seattle. Don't forget that you may need a passport to get through Canada.
Katmai National Park
Katmai National Park near King Salmon, Alaska, is only accessible by plane or boat, which you can easily arrange in Anchorage. Once you arrive at this national park covering over 4 million acres in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, base your stay at Brooks Camp as much of this park is remote wilderness. Consider taking the bus tour to see where one of North America's largest volcanoes erupted during the 20th century. You can also find outstanding fishing near this point. Bring your camera along as you will want to capture photos of brown bears at this national park. They are especially plentiful during the annual salmon run that occurs from mid-May to the end of June.
Kenai Fjords National Park
Include a stop at Kenai Fjords National Park on your Anchorage to Seattle RV road trip. This national park near Seward, Alaska, offers daily boat tours of the fjords, and you may see a variety of marine life on these tours. Kayakers often love exploring the waters protected by this park, and they may be lucky enough to see a fjord calf. You may also want to head to Fox Island to hear the ranger's daily presentations. The 6.2-mile Harding Icefield Trail is a great place to go hiking, even if you do not complete the entire trail. This trail that takes approximately seven hours to hike will reward you with stunning views of the entire area. Be forewarned, however, that it is a strenuous hike as it gains about 1,000 feet in elevation every mile. Exit Glacier on this park’s east side and Tustemena and Chemot glaciers on the park’s west side make fantastic places to go mountaineering. Many people head to this park from November to May to take part in winter sports, like dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and fat-tire biking. The area around Exit Glacier becomes popular during the winter.
Denali National Park
Denali National Park covers over 6 million acres near Denali Park, Alaska. You can go hiking on the trails that are usually shorter than 2 miles near the visitors center. You can also make your own trails through the wilderness. One trail that you might hike is the Triple Lakes Trail that crosses over two bridges and has stunning views of three rivers. The park’s shuttle makes it easy to reach most trailheads. You can also go cycling on the 92 miles of roads running through this park. About 1,100 people annually try to climb Mount Denali, which is the highest peak in North America, while others love to climb at Ruth Gorge. Whatever you do, be sure to bring your camera along to capture wildlife and landscape images.
Wrangell - St. Elias National Park
Wrangell - St. Elias National Park near Copper Center, Alaska, is the largest national park in America. Perhaps the best way to make the most of your time at this park covering over 13.2 million acres is to divide it into various sections. Start your visit at the Copper Creek Visitor Center complex by watching the film about the park at the theater, visiting the heritage complex to learn more about this area’s culture, and attending short ranger hikes. Then, head to the McCarthy Road and Kennecott Area to go hiking along McCarthy Creek and the former Jumbo and Bonanza mines' sites. Especially in the spring and fall, the creek can be a fantastic place to spot moose at sunrise and sunset. Next, head to the Nabesna Road Area to go snowmobiling and off-roading, depending on the weather. This national park contains the largest number of Dall mountain sheep in the world. End your visit in the Yakutat Coastal area where you can hike on beaches, float on the rivers, go fishing, and view glaciers.
Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park on the Inside Passageway is near Gustavus, Alaska. UNESCO protects its 3.3 million acres as a World Heritage Site and as a biosphere reserve. You can find many things to do in this park. Consider going on hikes where moose, coyotes, loons, and river otters may be your closest companions. Stop to visit the Huna Tribal House, where you can learn about the Huna Tlingit's culture. You may also want to go rafting, kayaking, or fishing at Bartlett Cove. Make the most of your time at this national park by going on short hikes with a park ranger.
Chugach State Park
The western edge of Chugach State Park is located only 7 miles from downtown Anchorage. This park covers over 495,000 acres, including the communities of Palmer, Eagle River, Chugiak, Indian, Bird, Girdwood, and Eklutna. Many areas of this state park are available for riding off-road vehicles. You will find a variety of trails for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. The 11-mile Flattop Mountain Trail is the most hiked in the state. Ski touring is popular on the Arctic to Indian Transverse in Ship Creek Valley.
Saint Edward State Park
Originally home to Saint Edward’s Seminary, Saint Edward State Park near Kenmore, Washington, offers over 3,000 feet of freshwater fishing on Lake Washington. Use this state park as a launching point for water skiing, swimming, and boating fun. You can also find many great hikes starting at this park. The Grotto makes a beautiful setting for intimate group gatherings.
Bridle Trails State Park
If you love horses, then Bridle Trails State Park in Kirkland, Washington, is for you. Find four arenas where organizers often host horse shows. You will also find 28 miles of forested trails to follow.
Blake Island Marine State Park
Blake Island Marine State Park is the perfect island getaway spot. You can have a paddling adventure in Puget Sound at this location that is just west of Seattle. You can also hop on board a cruise leaving from Seattle to arrive at this location or take the ferry as this park is inaccessible by road. Once you arrive, bike or hike on miles of trails to explore the island. This location is a popular spot with scuba divers, and you can go clamming and crabbing.
Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site
Hike the short trail through the forest at the Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Site near Chickaloon, Alaska, to see stunning views of the glacier.
Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area
If you want to try your hand at panning for gold, stop at Caribou Creek Recreational Mining Area near Lynn Canal, Alaska. Look for a spot where the water is tranquil, perhaps near a big boulder, and start digging with a shovel. Even if you do not get lucky and find any gold, you will love the tranquility of this stop that is often visited by bighorn sheep, bears, and other wildlife.
Mount Baker Ski Area
Skiers will want to visit Mount Baker Ski Area about 52 miles west of Bellingham, Washington. This resort gets on average 641 inches of snow annually, and there are over 1,000 skiable acres. You can access these acres by riding on the eight chairlifts or using the two rope tows.
The Center for Wooden Boats
Do not end your Anchorage to Seattle road trip without stopping at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle. See volunteers restoring various wooden boats or ones that they have restored. This facility also often hosts artwork with a maritime theme by local artists. You may also take part in wooden boat-building classes.
Juneau is Alaska’s capital city, and you can find a variety of Juneau campgrounds, including Mendenhall Campgrounds and Glacier Nalu Campground Resort. Most are near the Mendenhall Glacier and Glacier Gardens. You can use the Juneau RV dump stations at these campgrounds.
On a road trip from Anchorage to Seattle, you can find many delightful campgrounds in Bellingham. This part of Washington offers many great options, including Hidden Village RV Park and Campground and Bellingham RV Park. Bellingham RV dump stations are available at Pacific Border RV Park, Washington Park, and other nearby Washington locations.
You can find great campgrounds in Everett, including Maple Grove RV Resort and Lakeside RV Park. Alternatively, you might spend your last night in a Seattle campground. RV dump stations in Everett include Pioneer Trails RV Resort & Campground and Lake McMurray Recreational Resort.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Anchorage to Seattle, 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 Seattle.