Great Land of Alaska

Alaska Highway System Communities

Anchorage and Fairbanks are Alaska's two largest communities, both reachable by Alaska's highway system. Along the highway system are many smaller towns and communities. Some of these towns cater to tourists and travelers whereas others may just be a simple gas station, general store, and a few houses.



Cantwell is a small town located at the junction of the Parks Highway and the 150 mile long gravel Denali Highway.



Chickaloon is located along the Glenn Highway, about an hour drive up the highway from Anchorage. It is little more than a gas station & grocery store and several homes.


Bridge over the Nenana River Highway through Nenana Highway through Nenana Downtown Nenana Downtown Nenana

Nenana is a Parks Highway town located on the Nenana River, about an hour's drive south of Fairbanks. It is the home of the famous Nenana Ice Classic, a contest in which people guess the exact date and time that the river ice will go out in the spring, the person with the closest guess winning the jackpot.

Train station

The Nenana train station. Nenana is an inportant transportation hub due to its river, highway, and railroad access.

Nenana Ice Classic tripod

Nenana is home to the Nenana Ice Classic, held every spring. The black & white tripod, shown here, is placed on the Tanana River with a rope connecting the tripod to a trigger on land. People pay an entry fee to guess the date and time that the ice will break up and move the tripod. The person or people who come closest win the jackpot.


Petersville Old house Petersville road Trees around houses Two old houses House on hill Old house

Petersville is not a very easily reachable townsite. It's along the rough and bumpy (and sometimes muddy) Petersville Road, at least an hour's drive off of the main highway. Once populated, Petersville is now an uninhabited ghost town, although squatters may occasionally move in before the state evicts them.

Placer Mines area

Road near mines

Beyond Petersville is a small "town" around the Placer Mine area. It's a long, bumpy drive, but those who make it are greeted with a few small lodges and bed & breakfasts, as well as areas for recreational gold panning.


Downtown Sutton

Sutton is a small Glenn Highway town not too far east of Palmer. It's not very big, but it does have a grocery store, a couple restaurants, and a small historical gold mining museum.


Downtown Talkeetna Downtown Talkeetna Talkeetna park Talkeetna park

Located at the confluence of the Susitna and Chulitna Rivers, Talkeetna is often a very busy town during the summer. Museums, hotels, gift shops, and historical sites attract tourists, and good salmon fishing attracts anglers from both within and without Alaska. Many expeditions to climb Denali assemble in Talkeetna before setting out for the mountain.


Valdez Pipeline terminal

Valdez, about a 6-hour drive east of Anchorage, is a somewhat popular tourist destination. Several deep-sea fishing charters are based in Valdez, and the town's history also attracts visitors. The port of Valdez is Alaska's northern-most ice free port, so Valdez was chosen to be the end of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Oil tankers are continuously filling up with oil for transport to refining facilities.

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