A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Fairbanks: -23°/1°/Mostly cloudy
The Alaska Highway, despite its reputation, is not terrible. It's a fast, scenic and wildlife-filled adventure with plenty of businesses along the way to make travel easier.
The highway surface is almost all asphalt. The exceptions are some construction zones, and these are gravel.
The 1,422-mile Alaska Highway starts in Dawson Creek, small city in northeastern British Columbia. It runs about 1,220 miles through British Columbia and Yukon Territory to the Alaska Border and for another 200 miles from the border to Delta Junction, Alaska. (Sometimes the 95 miles of the Richardson Highway between Delta Junction and Fairbanks are considered part of the Alaska Highway.)
The Alaska Highway is only part of the trip between the Lower 48 and Alaska. To reach Dawson Creek, drivers from the United States generally motor up from Washington state through British Columbia, or from Montana through Alberta.
Including the Alaska Highway, the distance to the Yukon-Alaska border is 1,950 miles from the Montana-Alberta border and 1,900 miles from the Washington-British Columbia border.
Speed: The Alaska Highway in the 1940s and 1950s was a nightmare of mud and potholes. Now it's possible to drive everything from a four-wheel-drive pickup to an RV to a low-slung sedan up and down the asphalt road at 55 or 65 mph, depending on the local limit. A steady driver can expect to average 50 miles an hour over the course of a day.
Construction: Some places are under construction, as might be expected on a road 1,600 miles long, and some places are packed gravel instead of asphalt. Chipped and cracked windshields are possible. Check the road conditions in Alaska, British Columbia and Yukon Territory.
Weather: The Alaska Highway is a lot friendlier in the summer than in the winter, when temperatures fall below -50 and blowing snow can make the road hazardous. Summertime temperatures may reach the 70s, but late summer rains can also make the road seem pretty long.
Wildlife: Drivers can reasonably expect to see black and brown bears, bison, caribou, sheep and moose, plus many species of migratory and resident birds.
Gas: Drivers shouldn't worry about running out of gasoline or diesel fuel; the longest stretch without a gas station is about 100 miles between Whitehorse and Haines Junction in Yukon Territory.
Sleep: Accommodations, from frequent campgrounds to nice lodges, are open during the warm months and sometimes in the winter.