Length: 127 miles / 204.4 km
Time to Allow: At posted speeds with minimal stops, allow 2.5 hours (one way). As a leisure driver with one or two stops at visitor sites, allow 5-8 hours (one way).
The Seward Highway offers 127 miles of byway through the Chugach National Forest. Take at least five hours to drive the byway or a few days to fully enjoy the surrounding nature. The route showcases the nature between south-central Alaska from Anchorage to Seward with jagged peaks and beautiful meadows. With crystal lakes and diverse landscapes, you can enjoy the best Alaska has to offer for an incredible adventure.
Starting in Anchorage, you have access to Chugach State Park. First, explore the city with a trolley tour, train, or take a bus tour around the wilderness, wildlife, and glaciers. If you prefer to visit on your own, make sure to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Portage Glaciers, Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, and the Byron Glacier Trail. The city offers several more trails and even some museums. Stay at the Alyeska Ski area resort for winter sports.
Anchorage even has a zoo and a bird sanctuary for animal lovers. With trail sled dog races, you can enjoy more animal fun or even visit Lake Hood Harbor for water adventures. With several waterfalls and lakes nearby, you can easily spend a few weeks in the town without getting bored. At the Chugach State Park, you can rent a cabin or enjoy one of four campgrounds, three of which allow RV’s and all offer extra amenities.
Now head to Turnagain Arm at the base of the Chugach Mountain and the Turnagain shoreline. It’s 15 miles outside of Anchorage, with abundant wildlife and coastline. Potter Marsh is next, and it’s a haven for birdwatchers with thousands of acres of wetland. Check out McHugh Creek Falls next, with an incredible recreational area close to the 20-foot waterfall nestled into the mountainside. At Beluga Point, you can whale watch in the spring and the summer.
Next, visit the Indian Valley Mine National Historic Site, where you can pan for gold and enjoy a small museum with themed items. Head to Bird Creek for stunning views and a campground. Enjoy walking trails and bird watching or even go fishing. Virgin Creek Falls sits nearby, ready to transport you to a mystical world with out-of-this-world views, and it’s located just behind a residential area! You can even wade into the fall but wear water shoes as it’s filled with slippery rocks.
From there, visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and Portage Lake for incredible views. Stay at the Turnagain Pass Recreation Area in the summer for beautiful flower-filled meadows. Stop in the adorable town of Hope, a short detour away for interesting historic buildings, before heading to Tenderfoot Creek and Summit Lake. The water is crystal clear with views of snow-capped mountains. Moose Pass and Kenai Lake are a must for adventurers before visiting the Kenai Fjords National Park.
End in Seward for a fun end to your trip. The town offers cruises, parks, dog sled rides, kayaking, and much more. With tons of glaciers and outdoor activities, you could stay here for days or weeks, enjoying the outdoors any time of year. Visit the Alaska Sealife Center Aquarium and the Resurrection Bay before leaving, along with the mountains and so much more in this fun town ready to impress everyone in the family.
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.