Top Ten Scenic Drives in the United States

West: Traffic Jams in the Last Frontier: Seward Highway, Alaska

Driving south from Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, to the fishing community of Seward, it's hard not to slow down traffic: Down the cliffs to your right, the chilly waters of Turnagain Arm stretch out before you, harboring white beluga whales and hardy wind surfers. The Chugach Mountains rise up from the road on your left, dotted with trickling waterfalls, clusters of Dall sheep, and enterprising rock climbers. After curving back and forth between this rock and a hard place, the road cuts through the heart of Chugach National Forest until it reaches Seward and Resurrection Bay. To get the most out of your trip, pull over frequently: Take a better look, snap some pictures, and let all the cars behind you get by.

Just the Facts

Route: Anchorage to Seward—down Turnagain Arm and into the Kenai Peninsula

Length: 127 miles (half a day)

Season: June to mid-September

Features and activities: Birding at Potter Marsh, picnicking at McHugh Creek, riding the ski tram up Mount Alyeska, sightseeing at Portage Glacier, hiking and camping in Chugach National Forest, and silver-salmon fishing in Seward.

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