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Traveling to Alaska

by David M. Johnson

If you travel to Alaska, you’ll be coming by air, overland routes, or by sea via the Inside Passage. Alaska travel information is well covered elsewhere, so I will provide only a brief description and some information leads.

Alaska’s larger communities are served by regular jet service from various locations throughout North America, and due to its unique location, even some cities on other continents. Even some smaller Alaska communities are served by jet service. Virtually all of the state’s smaller communities are served by commuter-type aircraft on a scheduled basis. Your travel agent can provide you with information about traveling to specific communities.

Here is a list of most of the major domestic and international airlines serving Alaska:

Alaska Airlines Delta Airlines Northwest Airlines
Air Canada Hawaiian Airlines  
Continental Airlines Japan Airlines United Airlines

Here are two commuter airlines that may serve some of your needs. In Southeast Alaska, Wings of Alaska (1890 Renshaw Way, Juneau, AK 99801 Tel. (907) 789-7890 FAX (907) 789-2021 e-mail wings@ptialaska.net provides "quality year-round scheduled and charter service throughout Southeast in wheel and float-equipped aircraft." SouthCentral Air (135 Granite Point Ct, Kenai, AK 99611-7709, Tel. (907) 283-3926 Toll free number (800) 478-2550 FAX (907) 283-3678) offers "scheduled commuter flights between Anchorage, Kenai, Homer - connecting service to Kachemak Bay. Charter service is available."

Major roads are generally good...Overland routes into Alaska come through Canada. For at least part of your trip you will be on the Alaska Highway. The Alaska Highway has been gradually improved in the 50 some years of its existence. It is now almost completely hard-surfaced. Road service is still widely spaced, however. Click here for more information about the MilepostThe Milepost has provided good Alaska travel information for decades.  I have routinely used it for almost three decades -- and I live here.  Here is more information about The Milepost.

(Alaska's major highways are now paved. The Alaska highway is now also largely paved, although some sections are rough by US and Canada standards. This picture was taken on the Parks Highway north of Anchorage. David Johnson photo.)

The Inside Passage is a more expensive and time-consuming route, but its scenic nature make it a good choice if your schedule permits. The Alaska Marine Highway operates a fleet of sea-going ferries that operate in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska. For reservations contact them at PO Box 25535, Juneau, AK 99802-5535. Their toll free numbers are: US -- (800) 642-0066; Canada – (800) 665-6414. You can travel from the Seattle area directly to Haines, Alaska or to any of a number of ports in between. From Haines, it is a short trip over the coast mountains to the last stretch of the Alaska Highway. Be sure to reserve space on the ferry as far in advance as you can.

Overland travelers should be aware of Canada’s firearms laws. Generally, rifles and shotguns designed for hunting use are admitted without difficulty. Handguns and some other firearms are prohibited. For more complete information on this subject, you can contact Revenue Canada, Customs, Excise, and Taxation, Transportation Division, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. US citizens may find it helpful to register firearms with US Customs in order to prove ownership before traveling through Canada.

Delta Junction is at the historic end of the Alaska Highway -- 1422 miles (originally) from Dawson Creek in Canada.  Our sister websites, Alaska-Highway.org and the Delta Junction Alaska newsweb have lots of information about this area.

You can obtain additional information on visiting Alaska from the Division of Tourism, PO Box 110801, Juneau, AK 99811-0801. Tel. (907) 456-2012 FAX (907) 456-2287.

You can obtain Alaska hunting and fishing information from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and from private sources. ADF&G information tends more to regulations and general information. Private sources, such as those you will find under in our bookstore are usually more specific. I suggest you obtain information from both sources. 

If you have not narrowed down your plans for where in Alaska you want to fish or hunt, you may want to contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s headquarters office in Juneau for statewide information. Their address is PO Box 25526, Juneau, AK 99802-5526. Telephone numbers for fishing information are voice (907) 465-4180 and FAX (907) 465-2772; and for hunting information voice (907) 465-4190 and FAX (907) 465-6142.

 

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