Fall on the Glenn Highway

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Fall colors on the Glenn Highway in Alaska
Fall colors on the Glenn Highway

When Alan and I planned our Alaska Highway road trip, we weren’t thinking about fall color. But that’s exactly what we found in the first week of September while driving the Glenn Highway, also known as the Tok Cutoff. The paved road travels 328 scenic miles between Tok and Anchorage. And the portion of the highway between Anchorage and Eureka Summit has been designated a National Scenic Byway as well as one of Alaska’s Scenic Byways.

We recommend The Milepost as your guide for driving in Alaska. That’s how we knew about all of the scenic turnouts on the Glenn Highway.

At Eureka Summit, Alan and I grabbed our cameras and wandered the large parking area to photograph the vibrant fall color even though the mid-day sun made it difficult. On such a beautiful day, we practically had the scenic spot to ourselves.

Although you can’t see it in this photo, the turnout at the summit also has views of Nelchina Glacier as it flows majestically out of the Chugach Mountains. The 360 degree view of mountain ranges—Alaska Range, Chugach Mountains, Talkeetna Mountains and Wrangell-St. Elias Mountains—are nothing short of spectacular.

One day on the Glenn Highway is simply not enough for the kind of exploring that we’d like to do. The journey whetted our appetites to plan a return visit to drive a few of the side roads. And it definitely inspired a future trip to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Did you know that Wrangell-St. Elias is America’s largest national park with a land mass that’s larger than Switzerland?

According to Alaska’s Scenic Byways site, winter on the Glenn Highway offers visitors the opportunity to witness “Northern Lights dance among the snow-capped mountains.” Now wouldn’t that be a sight to see? It makes our boomer travel feet itchy just thinking about it.

Planning a trip to Alaska? Start with our Alaska Travel Resources page.


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