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Steese Highway

Fairbanks to Circle 155 miles (249.4 km)

The Steese Highway connects Fairbanks and Circle AK. This 155 mile scenic route follows parts of the Chatanika River. 

Though the highway is not fully paved, it is open all year round. The first length of road beginning in Fairbanks is paved for 80 miles (128.7 km), then is gravel and patchy paved areas.

Mile 0.0


Population 31,644. The largest city in Alaska. Full amenities.

Mile 11.0 (km 17.7)

Steese Highway and Elliott Highway junction.

Mile 26.8 (km 43.1)

The Chatanika Gold Camp. This historic gold mining camp is a unique destination for travellers who are seeking historic landmarks in Alaska.

Mile 81.6 (km 131.3)

The Twelvemile Summit Wayside, part of the Pinnell Mountain National Recreation Trail. This 3.1 mile trail is often used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching.

Mile 155 (km 249.4)


Population 96.

One of the checkpoints for the annual Yukon Quest dogsled race, Circle Alaska is located along the mighty Yukon River.

This small town has an airport, museum, and The Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, where there are some free, public-use cabins are available.

There is also a Pioneer Cemetery. In it there are headstones that date back to the 1800’s.  Gas, diesel, groceries, snacks, and odds and ends are available at the H.C. Company Store. This store is the only place in town with food for sale.

There are no restaurants or coffee shops in Circle. There is free camping available at a non-maintained parking area alongside the Yukon River.