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
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.
City of Valdez Gold Fields Softball Complex and historical cemetery with graves dating to 1987
Road to Valdez Memorial Cemetery
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 mark) there is a turn-around loop suitable for RVs. When salmon are spawning, be aware of bears in the area.
Robe Lake Recreation Area. Watch for bears
South end of Keystone Canyon
Parking area at Bridal Veil Falls
Info sign at Old Railroad Tunnel, a feud and gunfight between two rival mining companies stopped construction on this hand-cut tunnel in 1907
North end of Keystone Canyon
Parking on both sides of highway with an emergency telephone
Road to Thompson Lake. The driveway is narrow with a hairpin curve
Blueberry Lake State Recreation Site and campground with paved access road
Parking area with view of Keystone Glacier
Thompson Pass – 2,678 ft. An information sign describes historical travel in this area
Parking area with view of 27 Mile Glacier
Road access to Worthington Glacier State Recreation Site and information center
Pull off area with good view of Worthington Glacier.
Paved rest area with picnic benches by Tiekel River
Tiekel River Lodge
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.
Squirrel Creek State Recreation Site and campground
Junction with the Edgerton Highway to Chitina and the McCarthy Road
South junction of Old Richardson Highway that leads to Copper Center
North junction of Old Richardson Highway loop road
Tazlina River RV Park.
Rest Area. Picnic tables and toilets beside the Tazlina River.
Tazlina River Trading Post.
Viewpoint to the east, with views of Mount Drum, Mount Sanford, Mount Wrangell and Mount Blackburn.
Copper Valley Visitor Center and junction with the Glenn Highway.
Dry Creek State Recreation Site and campground
Gakona Junction, the north junction with the Glenn Highway, also called the Tok Cutoff as Toki as 125 miles eastward.
Gulkana River Fishing and Camping Park.
Scenic viewpoint of Mt. Sanford, Mt. Wrangell and Mt. Drum of the Wrangell Mountains
Sourdough Creek BLM Campground
Meier’s Lake Roadhouse.
Paxson Lake BLM Campground
Junction with the Denali Highway, a 133-mile long gravel road to the Parks Highway
Rest area with picnic tables, firepits, and toilets
Gulkana River Salmon Spawning viewpoint with views of Summit Lake and pipeline.
Gravel turnout by Summit Lake with public boat launch
Isabel Pass, 3,280 ft.
Fielding Lake State Recreation Site with rustic campsites
View to west of the Black Rapids glacier
Black Rapids Roadhouse, one of the few remaining roadhouses from the early mining days
Donnelly Creek State Recreation Site with campsites
Viewpoint of pipeline
Viewpoint of three of the highest peaks in the Alaska Range.
Meadows Road, Army permit required to access this area for fishing
Fort Greely, U.S. Army restricted area
Scenic view, handicapped accessible toilets.
Delta Junction Visitor Information. See the monument marking the end of the Alaska Highway here.
Junction of the Richardson Highway with the Alaska Highway
Delta Junction Post Office
Delta State Recreation Site and campground
Smith’s Green Acres RV Park and Campground
Alaska 7 Motel
Big Delta State Historical Park and historical Rika’s Roadhouse
Big Delta Bridge and Trans-Alaska Pipeline Bridge
Quartz Lake State Recreation Area and campground
Shaw Creek has a large parking area and boat launch
Scenic view to south of the Alaska Range
Birch Lake State Recreation Site and campground
Rest area beside Birch Lake
“C” Lazy Moose RV Park
Harding Lake State Recreation Area and campground
Salcha River State Recreation Site and campground
The Knotty Shop
Eielson Air Force Base
Chena Flood Channel
Chena Lakes Recreation Area and campground
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 travellers 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 not any medical services, banks or full-service grocery stores either. Be sure you have a good spare tire too.