Select Page

Richardson Highway

Valdez to Fairbanks – 362 miles 

The Richardson Highway is paved and offers scenic views of mountain ranges, canyons, glaciers, and waterfalls. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which runs from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, can be seen from the highway.

Originally called the Valdez to Eagle Trail, the Richardson Highway was the first major road built in Alaska, in 1910.

Near Valdez, the Richardson Highway is surrounded by sheer canyon walls containing waterfalls and interesting rock formations where it passes through Keystone Canyon.

The Wrangell St. Elias National Park can be accessed by the Richardson Highway.

Over the course of the summer there will be road construction at mile point 358 and you can expect lane restrictions. For more information visit www.AlaskaNavigator.org

Mile 0 

Old Valdez Town site. The new City of Valdez was built four miles from here after the 1964 Good Friday earthquake destroyed the original site of Valdez. The mileage markers were in place before the earthquake and continue to measure the distance from the original town site. There are information signs in the old town site area commemorating those who perished in the earthquake. There are also signs commemorating the gold rush stampeders in 1897 who were the first residents of Valdez.

Across the highway from the Old Valdez Town site is the Valdez Airport Road. The Valdez Glacier Campground is two miles up the airport road. The Valdez Glacier is 3.5 miles from the highway at the end of this road. There is a small scenic lake at the foot of the glacier that is suitable for kayaking or canoeing.

 Mile 1.6 (km 25)
City of Valdez Gold Fields Softball Complex and historical cemetery with graves dating to 1987

Mile 2.4 (km 3.8)
Road to Valdez Memorial Cemetery

Mile 2.8 (km 4.5)
Dayville Road is popular with RVers wishing to camp along the shore of Prince William Sound. At the end of the public road (5.2 mile/8.3 km mark) there is a turn-around loop suitable for RVs. When salmon are spawning, be aware of bears in the area.

Mile 3.3 (km 5.3)
Robe Lake Recreation Area. Watch for bears

Mile 12.9 (km 20.7)
South end of Keystone Canyon

Mile 13.5 (km 21.7)
Horsetail Falls

Mile 13.9 (km 22.3)
Parking area at Bridal Veil Falls

Mile 15 (km 24.1)
Info sign at Old Railroad Tunnel, a feud and gunfight between two rival mining companies stopped construction on this hand-cut tunnel in 1907

Mile 15.8 (km 25.4)
North end of Keystone Canyon

Mile 18 (km 28.9)
Parking on both sides of highway with an emergency telephone

Mile 23.6 (km 37.9)
Road to Thompson Lake. The driveway is narrow with a hairpin curve

Mile 24.1 (km 38.7)
Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site and campground with paved access road

Mile 25.7 (km 41.3)
Parking area with view of Keystone Glacier

Mile 26 (km 41.8)
Thompson Pass – 2,678 ft. An information sign describes historical travel in this area

Mile 27.5 (km 44.2)
Parking area with view of 27 Mile Glacier

Mile 28.7 (km 46.1)
Road access to Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site and information center

Mile 30.1 (km 48.4)
Pull off area with good view of Worthington Glacier.

Mile 47.8 (km 76.9)
Paved rest area with picnic benches by Tiekel River

Mile 56 (km 90.1)
Tiekel River Lodge

Mile 64.6 (km 103.9)
Pump Station No. 12, the last of 12 pump stations on the Alyeska Pipeline. Parking and information sign about the pipeline but no public access to the pump station.

Mile 79.5 (km 127.9)
Squirrel Creek State Recreation Site and campground

Mile 82.5 (km 132.7)
Junction with the Edgerton Highway to Chitina and the McCarthy Road

Mile 100.2 (km 161.2)
South junction of Old Richardson Highway that leads to Copper Center

Mile 106.2 (km 170.9)
North junction of Old Richardson Highway loop road

Mile 110.4 (km 177.6)
Tazlina River RV Park.

Mile 110.6 (177.9)
Rest Area. Picnic tables and toilets beside the Tazlina River.

Mile 111 (km 178.6)
Tazlina River Trading Post.

Mile 112.5 (km 181)
Viewpoint to the east, with views of Mount Drum, Mount Sanford, Mount Wrangell and Mount Blackburn.

Mile 115 (km 185)
Copper Valley Visitor Center and junction with the Glenn Highway.

Mile 118 (km 189.9)
Dry Creek State Recreation Site and campground.

Gulkana

Mile 127 (km 204.3)
Population: 175

Mile 128.5 (km 206.8)
Gakona Junction, the north junction with the Glenn Highway, also called the Tok Cutoff as Toki as 125 miles eastward.

Mile 132 (km 212.4)
Gulkana River Fishing and Camping Park.

Mile 141.4 (km 221.5)
Scenic viewpoint of Mt. Sanford, Mt. Wrangell and Mt. Drum of the Wrangell Mountains

Mile 147.5 (km 237.3)
Sourdough Creek BLM Campground

Mile 147.7 (km 237.7)
Sourdough Roadhouse

Mile 170 (km 273.5)
Meier’s Lake Roadhouse.

Mile 175 (km 281.6)
Paxson Lake BLM Campground.

 Paxson

Mile 185.5 (km 298.5)
Population: 16

Junction with the Denali Highway, a 133-mile long gravel road to the Parks Highway.

Mile 188.3 (km 303)
Rest area with picnic tables, fire pits, and toilets.

Mile 190.5 (km 306.5)
Gulkana River Salmon Spawning viewpoint with views of Summit Lake and pipeline.

Mile 192.2 (km 309.3)
Gravel turnout by Summit Lake with public boat launch.

Mile 197.7 (km 318.1)
Isabel Pass, 3,280 ft.

Mile 200.5 (km 322.6)
Fielding Lake State Recreation Site with rustic campsites.

Mile 224 (km 360.4)
View to west of the Black Rapids glacier.

Mile 227 (km 365.3)
Black Rapids Roadhouse, one of the few remaining roadhouses from the early mining days.

Mile 238 (km 383)
Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site with campsites.

Mile 243.5 (km 391.8)
Viewpoint of pipeline.

Mile 243.9 (km 392.5)
Viewpoint of three of the highest peaks in the Alaska Range.

Mile 257.6 (km 414.5)
Meadows Road, Army permit required to access this area for fishing.

Mile 261 (km 420)
Fort Greely, U.S. Army restricted area.

Mile 262.6 (km 422.6)
Scenic view, handicapped accessible toilets.

Mile 265.8 (427.7)
Delta Junction Visitor Information. See the monument marking the end of the Alaska Highway here.

Mile 266 (km 428)
Junction of the Richardson Highway with the Alaska Highway.

Mile 266.3 (km 428.5)
Delta Junction Post Office.

Mile 267 (km 429.6)
Delta State Recreation Site and campground.

Mile 268 (km 431.3)
Smith’s Green Acres RV Park and Campground.

Mile 270.3 (km 435)
Alaska 7 Motel.

Mile 275 (km 442.5)
Big Delta State Historical Park and historical Rika’s Roadhouse.

Mile 275.4 (km 443.2)
Big Delta Bridge and Trans-Alaska Pipeline Bridge.

Mile 277.8 (km 447) 
Quartz Lake State Recreation Area and campground.

Mile 286.7 (km 461.3)
Shaw Creek has a large parking area and boat launch.

Mile 288 (km 463.4)
Scenic view to south of the Alaska Range.

Mile 305.2 (km 491.1)
Birch Lake State Recreation Site and campground.

Mile 306 (km 492.4)
Rest area beside Birch Lake.

Mile 315 (km 506.9)
“C” Lazy Moose RV Park.

Mile 321.5 (517.4)
Harding Lake St.ate Recreation Area and campground.

Salcha

Mile 322.2 (km 518.5) 
Population: 950

Mile 323.2 (km 520.1)
Salcha River State Recreation Site and campground.

Mile 332.3 (km 534.6)
The Knotty Shop.

Mile 341 (km 548.7)
Eielson Air Force Base.

Mile 346 (km 556.8)
Chena Flood Channel.

Mile 346.6 (km 557.7)
Chena Lakes Recreation Area and campground.

 

North Pole

Mile 348.6 (km 561) 
Population 2,200
Visitor information

Mile 356.6 (km 573.8)
Riverview RV Park

Fairbanks

Mile 362 (km 582.5) 
Population: 32,506 (98,660 in the North Star Borough)

Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitor’s Center is along the Chena River near downtown, at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center.

Most travelers will turn south on the Parks Highway to visit Denali National Park, then the Anchorage area further south. Some will want to head north on the Dalton Highway, made famous by the reality TV show, Ice Road Truckers. Check road conditions before heading up the 414 mile long Dalton Highway. It is mostly gravel and conditions can vary significantly. There is no cell phone service or public internet along the highway. There are no medical services, banks, or full-service grocery stores either. Be sure you have a good spare tire too.

© PR Services Ltd. | Publishing & Distribution since 1983