Alaska September 03, 2017
This Dreamy Road Trip Will Take You To The Best Fall Foliage In All Of Alaska
Head North from Fairbanks on the Steese Highway to see the beautiful colors of autumn in the north. The highway runs from the interior to the north across the White Mountains and up to the Arctic Circle. Watch caribou run across the tundra, stop and munch on some late season blueberries, and enjoy a lovely day out in the Alaskan country. It may feel like a dream, but Alaska is just that beautiful in the fall.
The Steese Highway runs to the Northeast from Fox to Circle for 161 miles. It cuts from the forest up through the tundra to the Arctic Circle.
The skies open up as you head to the higher elevations and some of the most amazing views in the state spread before you. You will wind from the forested Tanana Valley up to the high tundra and down to the Yukon River.
From mid-August through September the tundra erupts with autumn colors from gold to crimson while the small black spruce stay evergreen.
The highway is paved for about the first 81 miles (130 km) and around the town of Central it becomes gravel. Much of it is narrow and winding, making it perfect for a careful, leisurely drive.
At 3,624 feet, Eagle Summit is the highest of the three summits on the highway. Around the summer solstice, usually June 20, the peak basks in 24 hours of sunlight, although south of Arctic Circle.
Enjoy the highway May-August, when you can usually avoid the epic snowfalls and fierce winds.
This area is on the route of the Yukon Quest, a 1,000-mile sled dog race between Whitehorse (Canada) and Fairbanks. Eagle Summit is one of the longest, most grueling stretches of the race, but everyone remembers the incredible views.
In the fall, the Forty-mile Caribou Herd is migrating through this area. In fact, it is the access to Zone 1 of the caribou hunting area.
Head up to the Arctic Circle and the Yukon River near the town of Circle. There is lodging in Central if you need to stay the night.
Storms can move in any time of year and make the mountains impassable, but if you are prepared with cold weather gear and flexible with travel plans, you'll have a wonderful time.
The area is mostly populated by gold miners and people living a subsistance lifestyle, using the natural resources of the land by hunting, gathering and fishing for food.
Once you see the beauty of the tundra stretching out over the White Mountains, you'll understand the appeal of the simple life in the arctic.
Head up the Steese Highway this fall to see the incredible White Mountains covered in autumn colors. You'll never forget this journey in Alaska.
For more autumn drives, check out
13 Country Roads In Alaska That Are Pure Bliss In The Fall.
Have you driven the Steese Highway in the fall? Tell us about it in the comments below.