Things to Do in Alaska
Denali Highway
4.5
About
Located midway between Anchorage and Fairbanks, this highway leads to some interesting tundra hikes.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
119 reviews
Excellent
92
Very good
19
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
1

pbcurtiss
Nashville, TN102 contributions
Aug 2022
We drove the Denali Hwy in our rental Corolla and mostly enjoyed the experience. It was the clearest day we had on our trip and the views were excellent with the added bonus of not worrying about traffic and being able to stop easily for pictures. There were sections with a lot of potholes but for the most part smooth. This appeared to be the shortest route from Denali to Chitinia where we were catching a flight to McCarthy. We were happy with our decision until we reached a point where the road was closed. A culvert was being replaced, and for those in the know to check such things, it was scheduled. We had to sit for several hours, but enjoyed chatting with the locals also waiting. Fortunately our flight was the next night and we were to spend the night in Maclaren River Lodge, so it did not spoil any plans. I am glad we included this as part of our Alaska adventure.
Written September 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NorthShoreGal826
Highland Park, IL72 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
We don’t understand people that said it was one of the best drives ever. It didn’t come close. Extremely tedious 134 mile ride on gravel roads and not much to see. Go the paved way to Fairbanks!
Written August 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alaskantravelnut
Anchorage644 contributions
Aug 2020
This is a fantastic drive. While the road is mostly unpaved, it is in pretty decent shape. You do not need a four-wheel drive car. An RV should have no problem. This is an exceptionally scenic drive. There are no trees to obscure the view, which includes panoramas of the Alaska Range. It is a step back in time to the old Alaska, when you could get 360 degree views of nothing but wilderness. There are many places along the road where you can camp with an RV or walk in and set up a tent. There is a nice campground at Tangle Lakes. There is good grayling fishing in nearly every stream, using flies or spinners. There is a hike at Maclaren Summit, the highest point along the route, that is flat and easy, and offers terrific vistas. You are likely to see wildlife, unless you go in late summer during hunting season. Even then, it is a great drive, with beautiful fall colors.
Written September 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sully_ak907
Cooper Landing, AK76 contributions
Jun 2020 • Family
This was an awesome trip. We rented an RV with the stipulations that as long as the highway was named and had an official state highway number assigned to it the Rv could be driven down it. Looking back on this trip I would have turned it into a 3 day trip spending more time hiking around, fishing, and checking out different ridgelines. Saw 4 or 5 Moose and got the flat tire many seem to talk about. The flat tire was mostly my fault as I drove too close to a fire pit ring and we ran over a nail that had at one time been in a board that was burnt I'm assuming.
Written August 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Terry S
32 contributions
Jul 2022
We drove about an hour of the highway (at low speeds) and saw a few nice views, watched a few fly fishermen, and dodged a ton of potholes. Otherwise, we saw other areas that were prettier. We entered from Cartwell.
Written July 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michaela D
Bronxville, NY101 contributions
May 2019
The physical road itself isn't great but there will be no shortage of views throughout your trip. Because the road is mostly gravel you can't drive too fast but this allows you to get glimpses of some amazing wildlife. During our trip we saw moose, porcupines, and a bear off in the distance. There are also little turnoffs throughout that are great for camping or short hikes. A good highway guide can help you find exactly what you are looking for!
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mdsails
mdsails10 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
I can't believe that everyone visiting Alaska doesn't drive the Denali Highway. In terms of scenery, it is amazing - it dwarfs Denali herself in overall beautiful scenic views. Mountains, glaciers, lakes, moose - our eyes hurt from looking at everything by the end - i think we stopped blinking just so we wouldn't miss anything. The road wasn't nearly as bad as we'd been led to believe. We rented a jeep but would have felt just as comfortable in a regular rental (although that goes against most AK rental companies policies.) Definitely bring along the Milepost and a copy of the book: Rocks, Ridges & Glaciers, so you know what you are looking at as you drive. There is no cell service, or radio, along most of the highway, so download any info you need in advance. We went Cantwell to Paxson then down the Richardson and Glenn to the matanuska in one day but in retrospect would stay at one of the lodges along the way or in Paxson, just so we could take more time. There is a new amazing view at every turn and photographers will want to hop out of the car every 20 feet. we stopped at alpine Creek for a drink and a grilled cheese, and a bathroom stop, and had a bonus of free internet to check in with the family. Super friendly people. Tangle lakes offered another bathroom break, a view of a moose and her calf, and an expensive but yummy pizza. If you want to see wild alaska, this is a great way to do it, no flightseeing required - just a car and your eyes. The Richardson and Glenn Highways are also gorgeous and loop you back to Anchorage.
Written July 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cmasonwhf
Charles Town WV27 contributions
On July 22, 2007, we took the looooooooooong way back from Denali Park to Anchorage, turning left at Cantwell to cross the 135 mile long Denali Highway, unpaved for about 115 of those miles.
What a joy it was!! Spectacular vistas, even though it was heavily cloud covered and at times raining, which gave us a great sense of the "real Alaska" promised in the ads of widely separated business establishments along the road. The worst part of the gravel road was the westernmost 30 miles or so, with many small rocks and washboard surface, but the farther east we got the better the roadbed was, eventually being able to drive 50mph or so along very smooth gravel. Did not see much in the way of wildlife but saw plenty of signs of moose and/or bear along the road. Should have stopped at Gracious House for lunch, but only stayed long enough to buy a t-shirt and a coke before continuing eastbound to cross the Susitna Bridge, drive along the top of an esker, and cross McLaren summit before descending into the Tangle River valley. Can only imagine how much more spectacular it would have been if not for the low clouds. Enjoyed the drive down the Richardson Highway to Palmer also. It's much more interesting than Parks Highway, with great views of the Matanuska Glacier and River and many other things to see and do along the way. Highly recommend taking a day to go the long way around.
Written July 24, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

madgardner
Prince George, VA19 contributions
Many guidebooks will warn against traveling the 135 mile UNPAVED Denali Highway in Alaska, which runs from Cantwell on the Parks Hwy. to Paxson on the Richardson. Quite truthfully we were apprehensive. Turns out we had nothing to fear. I can understand that the road could be difficult if it is very dry and therefore dusty or God forbid, rainy. Under those circumstances I would not recommend this road. If you are fortunate as we were and the weather is freindly, this is a road not to be missed. It is basically used by grayling fishermen. We did, however, see a Princess Tour Bus. The scenery is unbelievable and we felt like we had Alaska all to ourselves. We stopped many times along the road to look at wildlife and take pictures, also stopped and had lunch at the Gracious House. Altogether the trip took us seven and a half hours. Be forewarned that there are no services along the way, so be sure to gas up before you begin the road. The Gracious House (about halfway) is the only restaurant on the highway.
Written July 16, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Micki G
Blairsville, GA71 contributions
Sep 2018
This road features some of the most amazing views of nature and wildlife in Alaska, but it is long, remote and mostly unpaved. The speed limit is S-L-O-W due to the road conditions. The gravel road can do damage to cat windows, doors and tires, so don't even think of taking a rental car (most Alaska rental car companies forbid you driving their cars on this road.) Take a spare tire!!! However, if you are prepared for it, this trip will stir your soul.
Written November 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Denali Highway - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Denali Highway Information

Excellent Reviews

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Very Good Reviews

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Denali Highway Photos

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