Often trips along America's Byways are defined as adventures, but for a journey down Alaska's Marine Highway, the modern definition of adventure is insufficient. Just like everything in Alaska, this byway's dimensions are difficult to comprehend and the variety of activities along it is limitless. Most byways can be completed in a couple of hours, while others require days. When planning a trip along the Alaska Marine Highway, it might help to expand your reckoning of time to weeks or even months. The byway's 3500 miles are traversed by ferry, where you can stay in a cabin or sleep right out on the deck in a tent or under the stars. You're free to stay at each stop for as long as you'd like, and with thousands of miles of wild terrain to explore, you'll want to pack a big lunch.
One of the benefits of traveling Alaska's Marine Highway is being able to take your favorite recreational activities with you. Whether you love mountain biking, kayaking, or hiking, the ferries can accommodate anything you want to take with you to the coast of Alaska. At each community, you'll find opportunities to get out and explore countless miles of hiking and biking trials, as well as massive amounts of backcountry for the more adventurous traveler. Rolling whitewater rivers test the mettle of kayakers and rafters, or take a sea kayak out into the open sea among glaciers and humpback whales. If self-propelled travel isn't your thing, tackle the rugged terrain with a snowmobile or four-wheeler.
The outdoor activities go beyond the traditional mountain fare, however. Try dogsledding, for example, or sport fishing. Halibut weighing up to 400 pounds have been caught by Alaskan fishermen, and all five species of salmon live in these waters. Wildlife enthusiasts find more than 150 species of bird and the most spectacular and elusive of mountain animals. Bears, Bald Eagles, river otters, and moose are only a sampling of the wildlife that calls Alaska home. If all this isn't enough, try gold-panning, mushroom picking, skydiving, and more during your trip on the nation's most unique and extensive byway.
- Copyright © January 2002 Alaska Div. of Community and Business Dev, DOT&PF.
- Copyright © 2004 Alaska's Marine Highway, Peter Metcalfe.
- Copyright © 2000 Art Sutch.