With a state the size of Alaska, it can be hard to plan a trip when there are so many options. The Parks Highway in Alaska has many incredible destinations, and we highlighted seven ones that you should absolutely stop for. In fact, each destination is so incredible that you could make a trip out of visiting just that one place!
1 Hatcher Pass, Willow, Alaska
Hatcher Pass Road, or Fishhook Road, can be accessed from Palmer or off the Parks Highway in Willow. This stunning little gravel road meanders through almost 50 miles of valley in the Talkeetna Mountains. A worthy day trip of its own, if you only want to do a quick visit, the first 15 miles are still beyond impressive. Pack a picnic and your sturdy hiking boots and explore this hidden treasure.
2. Downtown Talkeetna, Talkeetna, Alaska
Take the turnoff for downtown Talkeetna and explore this vibrant small town. Filled with incredible food and amazing history, there's a museum, countless delicious restaurants, a coffee shop, and historical roadhouse. Park the car and get out and walk around in this fun Alaskan town.
3. Hurricane Gulch Bridge, Cantwell, Alaska
As you drive down the Parks Highway you will cross the impressive Hurricane Gulch Bridge. The second largest bridge in Alaska, it was built in 1971. It crosses over the beautiful Hurricane Gulch and offers stunning views of the countryside around it. There's a small pull off on each end of the bridge so you can take a look safely. Please don't stop on the bridge, as it is a narrow bridge and accidents can occur!
4. Broad Pass, Cantwell, Alaska
Broad Pass is the highest elevation on this highway, sitting at 2,300 feet. Situated right outside Denali National Park, this beauty has excellent hiking and plenty of gorgeous scenery. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the park, put this stop on your list to visit as one of the most gorgeous places on the entire highway.
5. Denali National Park, Alaska
Editor's Note: Portions of Denali Park Road are closed. It is not expected to reopen until 2026.
Denali National Park is home to the highest mountain in North America at 20,310ft. A trip to this park is on everyone's bucket list, and is one incredible experience. Undoubtedly the most famous attraction on the Parks Highway, this amazing national spot is filled with unbelievable geography, interesting wildlife, and a wide array of activities including camping, hiking, and more.
6. Nenana River Canyon, Healy, Alaska
You'll pass by the Nenana River Canyon on your drive past Denali National Park. A stunning gorge cut into the volcanic rocks of the Alaska Range, this beautiful spot is home to some of the wildest rapids floated in Alaska. Raft down the Class IV Rapids, or just enjoy the view from the road!
7. Pioneer Park, Fairbanks, Alaska
Pioneer Park is located off the highway when it ends in Fairbanks, Alaska. Originally called "Alaskaland," this 44 acre park houses several museums and historical buildings on the property. Take the day to stroll around and learn about the history of our wonderful state!
Have you ever stopped at any of these destinations on the Parks Highway? Which was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
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