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Overview

Nicknamed the Alcan, the Alaska Highway is one of North America's most famous roads. The highway begins in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and traverses 1,390 miles of wilderness to the end point at Delta Junction, Alaska. Built at the start of World War II over a period of just eight months, the highway was constructed to prepare for an expected Japanese invasion of Alaska. For many years it remained a rough and muddy route north, but the highway was upgraded and entirely paved in the 1970s and '80s. Today, the Alcan is quite well-maintained, but expect to encounter frost heaves and road construction along the route. Gas stations, lodging, ...

Nicknamed the Alcan, the Alaska Highway is one of North America's most famous roads. The highway begins in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and traverses 1,390 miles of wilderness to the end point at Delta Junction, Alaska. Built at the start of World War II over a period of just eight months, the highway was constructed to prepare for an expected Japanese invasion of Alaska. For many years it remained a rough and muddy route north, but the highway was upgraded and entirely paved in the 1970s and '80s. Today, the Alcan is quite well-maintained, but expect to encounter frost heaves and road construction along the route. Gas stations, lodging, and restaurants are typically every 50 to 100 miles. Most travelers drive the highway in the summer when all the services are open and the weather is mild. Winter drivers should come prepared with emergency supplies since help may be hours away. The Milepost is a very useful book for travelers on the Alcan (and elsewhere in Alaska), with mile-by-mile descriptions of the highway and attractions. Highlights along the Alcan include the Watson Lake sign forest, Carcross sternwheeler, Yukon Transportation Museum in Whitehorse, Takhini Hot Springs, and Kluane National Park (all in Canada). The Alaska Highway officially ends in Delta Junction, and from there you can head north to Fairbanks or south and west to Anchorage. Find current highway conditions at 511.alaska.gov or www.511yukon.ca.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Alaska Highway is the road connecting Alaska with the rest of North America.
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May through October