Seward Highway - Alaska

One of the World's Best Scenic Drives

Photo Courtesy of

The Seward Highway in Alaska is a 127 mile long, newly built highway, that offers an outstanding scenic drive from Anchorage to the the fishing port of Seward on Resurrection Bay.

This route takes you along the dramatic scenic glacier views of the Kenai Mountains. There are many scenic pullouts with excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.

Most of the terrain above the highway lies within the Chugach State Park and forest.

Taking the trip during the longer summer days provides much more daylight for exploration and side trips. This is great terrain for cliff climbing around the Turn again Arm and for seeing the more than fifty glaciers that dot the landscape.

The Recommended Route

Begin your journey by driving south from Anchorage along the Seward Highway (AK-1) with the Chugach Mountains on your left and running waterfalls and Dall sheep, and the cliff drop off on your right that descend into the waters of Turn again Arm where you are apt to see white beluga whales. The route ascends 1,000 feet above sea level to an alpine meadow that quickly descends again to sea level where you will fjords along coast.

Some of the highlights of this scenic drive are the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge at Potter Marsh, a 2,300-acre wetland with interpretive displays of animal and plant life make this a favorite spot for bird watching.

Continue south and head for Beluga Point where you are apt to see beluga whales with a backdrop beautiful mountains.

Continue on and take the Alyeska Highway to Girdwood and to Crow Creek Gold Mine, an 1888 gold mining camp listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Girdwood is also home to Alyeska Resort. There are plenty of activities to stop. Have lunch, take a walk along the boardwalk with shops, or for more activities such as flight seeing, dog sledding, paragliding, or take the tram up to the top of Mount Alyeska for dramatic views of Turn again Arm.

Back on the Seward Highway, continue south and stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, where you can drive-through and see wildlife such as bear, elk, moose, and buffalo.

The remaining route from Girdwood to Seward takes you through the Chugach National Forest, where you will experience an awesome display of diverse landscape and wildlife.

Places To Stay

SpringHill Suites Anchorage University Lake
Anchorage, AK
This 159 room modern hotel offers style and space with beautiful lake front lodging with mountain views, in town.

Embassy Suites
Anchorage, AK
This 169 room is an all-suite full-service hotel with breakfast included. Some rooms have a scenic mountain view.

Hotel Seward
Seward, AK
An 62 room hotel renovated and decorated in early1900's furniture with old Alaska charm. Located in the center of town away from touristy the boat harbor . The lobby is an attraction with stuffed/mounted Alaskan wildlife.

The Van Gilder Hotel
Seward, AK
This 23 room charming Victorian styled hotel offers some nice views of the Mountains.