Paxson to Cantwell – 134 miles
The Denali Highway is a very scenic route, with limited services available along the way. Plan four to five hours of driving time for this 134-mile-long road, which includes 110 miles of gravel. Add more time for photographing wildlife and landscapes; maybe plan to overnight along the way.
The Denali Highway was constructed in 1957 as the only route to Denali National Park and Preserve. When the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Anchorage opened in 1972, the Denali Highway became a seasonal route that closes in winter. When the highway is open, conditions vary greatly depending on the weather. There are sections of rough washboard and places with sharp rocks.
Maclaren Summit, (4,086 feet) is the second highest highway pass in Alaska. Only Atigun Pass (4,800 feet) on the Dalton Highway is higher.
The Tangle Lakes area, 21 miles from Paxson, is popular with fishermen.