Denali Highway to Willow Lake
Trip Start Jan 12, 2006
299Trip End Ongoing
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1) The road is good condition for an unsealed road, small potholes and loose gravel;
2) There is a fuel stop at 53 miles but I wouldn't risk it, fill up at the gas station at the entrance of the highway, probably cheaper too;
3) Get the mile by mile guide that tells you what to look out for at www.explorenorth.com;
4) We drove the highway in 5 hours with many photo stops.
We left Denali to take the Denali highway to Valdez, 135 miles of gravel road. We were advised it was a bad road, as far as I am concerned it is a great road, we averaged 35-40 miles per hour
We had a low cloud and rainy day but still got great scenery of stunted spruce trees and great views of MacLaren glacier. I highly recommend taking this highway, no-one else does so you'll be the only person on it!! We had less than 15 oncoming cars and were overtaken twice for the whole 135 miles. The highway ends near Paxson with spectacular views of Gulkana and Gakona glaciers and Alaskan ranges. This was out dinner stop, a BBQ with both in view, awesome. We didn't see much wildlife apart from a bald eagle, squirrels and ducks but our guidebook advised the wildlife is there, we just didn't see it.
The view of Mt Drum from Glenallen is amazing (see picture).
We overnighted at a stop on Willow Lake, a beautiful lake where we took some great photos (see picture).