Glenn Highway

State: Alaska
Length: 135 mi / 217.3 km
Time to Allow: 2.5 hours to drive the highway, 8 hours if looking to visit each stop

Sometimes, the charm of a scenic byway is that it takes you off of the beaten path. However, this byway is unique in that it allows you to visit many of the hubs of interest throughout Alaska while also enjoying scenic views. Glenn Highway travels along the bottom portion of Alaska, taking you through mountains and along coasts to help you reach your destination. This highway begins near anchorage and takes you along Eagle River, where you can see Bashful Peak rising into the sky (quite unlike its demure name). Beautiful river views and coastal sites await you as you make your way through this scenic byway. While this road can be traveled as a single stretch, many would agree that it’s best taken in batches so you can stop at the various towns and recreation areas along the way.

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is one such area near anchorage that is slightly off the beaten trail but is well worth a visit due to the high amount of lakes in the area. For those not looking to stop along the way, there are plenty of drive-by waterfalls, gorgeous rivers, and amazing mountain views along the way. Those looking for a short hike can visit a real glacier up close if they stop near mile 102. If you find yourself enjoying your trek through Alaska, you can follow this highway for a total of 328 miles (527.9 kilometers) by detouring along the Tok Cut-Off. After all, if you’ve made your way to Alaska, it’s worth taking in every bit of wild scenery the state has to offer.

As to be expected, Alaska is home to plenty of hiking and walking trails along the various mountains that make up this state. While you may not want to dive directly into the ocean due to the colder temperatures, there’s plenty of coastlines to be explored and enjoyed, allowing you to see a portion of America that not many people get to visit. Following this road, all the way to its conclusion will take you to Mount Sanford, part of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. If you want to explore all of this national preserve, you’ll have to make sure you have your passport ready, as this preserve makes its way into Canada. Still, there’s plenty of this incredible national wonder within Alaska for you to explore, making this scenic byway an incredible destination for those looking to truly experience the natural wildlife and wonders that Alaska has to offer.

No matter what brings you along the Glenn Highway, you’re sure to find yourself captivated by the views, and in awe of the pure wilderness that has become an iconic portion of Alaska. With close access to Anchorage, as well as several National Parks and recreation areas, you’re sure to find plenty to do along the way, and may even find yourself traipsing down this byway several times during your stay in the area.

More Alaska Byways

You can check out additional Byways in Alaska by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Alaska Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.