Glenn Highway ~ Alaska

Thursday Trek ~ The Glenn Highway

The 135-mile long Glenn Highway is one of the Scenic Byways of Alaska.  Following a path cut by ancient glaciers, it takes you from the hustle and bustle of Anchorage north into the heart of Alaska.  The Chugach Mountains will guide you out of Anchorage and will stay with you for this entire byway.  Don’t be drawn to them too quickly and miss your first stop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center only four miles up the highway.  This is a must stop for me to gather an understanding of the native culture that is Alaska.  Check for their hours before planning.


glenn highway

Chugach State Park (photo credit Frank K.)

Chugach State Park, at 500,000 acres, is the third largest state park in the United States.  A great place for camping, and hiking, or fishing along the Eagle River.  A little further up the byway are more great hiking opportunities at Bear Mountain and Eklutna Lake.  You may be able to arrange a guided tour of Eklutna Village and learn about some of the native life in the area. The Matanuska River follows much of the northern part of Glenn Highway and if you are looking for an up close and personal visit with a glacier, how about some hikes and glacier walking at the Matanuska Glacier.

Are you tired yet?  You could spend a night or two at Sheep Mountain Lodge at mile marker 113.5.  This great place for you to lay your head and then after a hearty meal, they will send you on your way with more ideas for hiking, fishing, white water rafting or stay a night or two and just enjoy the views from their decks and gardens.  They also have limited spots for RV’s and camping.

glenn highway

Sheep Mountain Cabins (Photo credit

Continue up the Glenn Highway to Knob Lake and in the spring watch an abundance of migratory birds here.  On a clear day, Eureka Summit at mile marker 129.5 boasts views of Chugach Range, the Talkeetnas, the Wrangell Mountains, and the Alaska Range.

The Scenic Byway designation for the Glenn Highway ends beyond Eureka Summit.  Just past Glennallen, you will come to the intersection where the Glenn Highway and Richardson Highway share space for a bit and where you’ll have to decide which way to venture first.  South to Wrangell-St Elias National Park (Americas largest National Park) and the Port of Valdez or north to Tok and the Alaska Highway.  I suggest both!

glenn highway

Nabesna Glacier within Wrangell-St Elias National Park (Photo NPS)

Forgot to link to the other two Scenic Roads posts. Here they are. Sterling Highway and Seward Highway

Thanks for reading!


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