The towns and places of Alaska offer the same diversity as the people that call the State of Alaska home. Some towns are small fishing villages catering to tourism; others are native villages rarely seeing a strange face; a few exist only to serve visitors and literally close at the end of the tourist season; and many are the small rugged frontier towns they have always existed in Alaska and are truly a joy to visit. Some visitors to Alaska just pass through an airport town on the way to a wilderness vacation, missing a wonderful side of Alaska. It is the Alaskans that inhabit the remote villages, harsh environments, and beautiful places that help give the state the charm of the last frontier. With luck your travels will let you cross paths with some of the “sour dough’s” that make Alaska a place worth visiting. This is not a complete list of towns and places in Alaska, but it is a growing one, as we continue to travel and explore the last frontier.
Anchorage, Alaska – The largest town in Alaska is often the first and in some cases, only Alaska town visitors experience. As the primary air hub for south-central Alaska, visitors arrive to Ted Stevens International Airport and by leave by float plane from Lake Hood bush plane from Merrill Field. Being the largest town in Alaska, Anchorage often is the recipient of scorn and ridicule from locals and visitors alike. The town does have charm and offers a large population of photogenic “urban” moose, museums, and all the supplies you will ever need for your Alaskan vacation.
Boundary, Alaska – The first US town you encounter when traveling into the USA on the “Top of the World Highway” when traveling from Dawson City, Yukon. The town offers lodging, food, and fuel. A good place to check your supplies before continuing on to Chicken or Eagle.
Cantwell, Alaska – Located about 30 minutes south of Denali Park Headquarters, on the intersection of the Parks and Denali Highways. The town offers lodging and supplies. Great variety of adventure travel trips start from Cantwell.
Chicken, Alaska – In the heart of the gold country, Chicken offers visitors a unique perspective on Alaska life in the bush. A nice stop over if driving to or from Dawson City on the “Top of the World Highway”. Visitors can find lodging, supplies, and fuel.
Chitna, Alaska – At the end of the pavement and the beginning of the McCarthy Road on the Copper River. Where many travelers park their cars and either fly or take the shuttle to the McCarthy/Kennicott area.
Copper River, Alaska – Just a few moments off of the Richardson Highway, Copper Center offers a glimpse into rural Alaska. A scenic drive along the Copper River, it is worth the visit. It is a nice diversion if you are driving from Fairbanks to Valdez.
Dawson City, Yukon – In the heart of “Gold Country.” Dawson City is located on the banks of the Yukon River, about a days drive from White Horse. This Canadian town is at the start of the “Top of the World” highway and gives visitors a glimpse into the Klondike gold rush. It is a long drive off of the main route to Alaska but well worth the effort.
Denali National Park & Preserve – When the McKinley is out, know locally as Denali Peak, visitors come away from the park in awe, stunned by the majesty of North Americas tallest peak. When the peak is cloud covered or the visitor is confronted by rain it is the time to look for wildlife and view some 100 wolves, 2000 moose, 2100 caribou, 2000 dall sheep, or 300 grizzly bears that call the park home. Every trip offers a different view and experience for the visitor.
Eagle, Alaska – On the south bank of the Yukon river, Eagle is a true bush town, and is accessible by road during the summer months. At the end of the road and the start of the river, a jump off point for wilderness trips and ferry service to Dawson City.
Fairbanks, Alaska – The largest city in the interior of Alaska, Fairbanks is both a jump off and destination travel location. The city has museums, gold mining tours, river boat cruises, and day trips around town. Many people use Fairbanks as a jump off point for their trips to the arctic and Brooks Range in Northern Alaska.
Girdwood, Alaska – Winter ski town about 30 minutes south of Anchorage. In the summer it is a hiking and biking mecca. Paragliding becomes a dominant sport during the summer months.
Haines, Alaska – A small southeast Alaska town retaining its charm and character. It has fewer amenities and fewer visitors than Skagway, but it is just as scenic. If traveling by car and marine ferry, Haines is on the shorter route between Juneau and Anchorage.
Homer, Alaska – A small town at the end of the road on the Kenai. Home to artesian’s, writers, fisherman, and everyday folks. A fun town and great jump off point for remote areas of the Alaska Peninsula.
Hope, Alaska – Sitting on the north shore of the Kenai, Hope is a small but thriving town. A few restraints, gas stations, and gift shops make up the business district of the town. You might meet the mayor while walking around. A friendly town and a nice getaway.
Juneau, Alaska – The state capitol and the largest city in Southeast Alaska, Juneau is a favorite stop for cruise visitors. The town offers glaciers, whale watching, eagles, bears, and fantastic views, when the sun comes out. Frequently a jumping off point for Glacier Bay, Admiralty Island, and other wilderness adventures.
Kennicott, Alaska – The Kennicott mine and mill site makes up the town of Kennicott. Most of the town is now owned by the National Park Service, and is part of Wrangell St. Elias National Park.
Palmer, Alaska – Palmer is a nice town that doesn’t seem to fall into many visitors travel plans. Only an hour away from Anchorage visitors often overlook the town as they head north to Denali. A pleasant place to stop and enjoy the Matanuska Valley.
Talkeetna, Alaska – A favorite among locals and visitors alike. The friendly artistic atmosphere make for enjoyable visits and memories. It can get crowded during the summer so book ahead.