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The Top 5 Can’t-Miss Scenic Drives in Alaska

Here's what you need to know...
  • It’s wise to check on the insurance requirements before traveling to another state
  • Alaska has some specific car insurance requirements that are mandated
  • Preparing before you travel will save you a lot of time and money by doing your homework before you go

If you are thinking about taking a vacation to Alaska, there are some things you may want to know when planning your trip.

Alaska is a vast land of discovery and adventure that you will not want to miss. With high-rise mountains, scenic valleys, wildlife, natural preserves, and snow-covered peaks, you are sure to find something you love.

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What should you expect in Alaska?

Alaska is an interesting place for anyone wanting to take a road trip to a vast, untouched territory. Though there are lots of tourists who visit this state each year, it is still widely unexplored in many ways. One thing that stands out in Alaska is the unique climate and conditions.

People who are tired of hot weather or predictable weather patterns often find a pleasant relief when visiting Alaska with the much cooler temperatures.

The weather is also more predictable than most states, with an average temperature of around 55-78 degrees during the summer and 5-30 degrees during the Winter.

Daylight is also longer in Alaska during the Summer — averaging close to 24 hours per day of sunlight — and much shorter during the Fall and Winter months.

When you travel the scenic highways of Alaska, you will see plenty of snow-capped mountains, spruce forests, tundra, and wildlife such as bears, caribou, moose, and bison that graze happily along the roadways. The Alaska Highway is a scenic drive that features many different attractions.

Preparing for Your Scenic Drive

It’s important to be prepared for any road trip, but Alaska is unique because of the harsh weather conditions, so you need to be ready for anything.

  • Blankets and extra clothing When preparing for such a long trip in cool weather, you should always prepare for the worst conditions. If you are stranded by a car breakdown along the way, you would need to have extra clothing and blankets so that you would not risk hypothermia or frostbite. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Flashlights and extra batteriesFlashlights with extra batteries will ensure that you are not stranded in the dark if you have an emergency situation at night. You can also use the flashlight as a beacon to draw attention to yourself on the road if you become stranded.
  • Cell phones and communication devices Even though there are places that you may not be able to get cell phone service, you should make sure your cell phone or another communication device is charged up so that you could call for help when you are within a service area.
  • Maps and survival tools You should carry a physical map of the area with you in the car in case the GPS in your smart device goes out.
  • Food and medication Make sure and take extra food with you so that you don’t get hungry if you are in a desolate area in Alaska.

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Vehicle Inspection Tips

Alaska has many miles of sparse territory that hold surprises like scenic highways and wildlife sightings. To make sure you are safe before traveling the byways of Alaska, Traveltips.com recommends you follow these rules of thumb:

  • Have your vehicle inspected and make sure everything is working well before departing.
  • Make sure your GPS in your car or smart device is working and highlight a physical map or print out a paper copy of a Google map before leaving in case your GPS doesn’t have service everywhere.
  • Be flexible in your travel plans. There is so much territory to cover in Alaska, that you will want to stay flexible in your travel plans so that you can stay open to change as needed. There may be traffic delays at places or detours due to sometimes inclement weather or road conditions.
  • Stock your vehicle with emergency supplies, as we mentioned earlier, in the event of an emergency or if your car breaks down.

What kind of car insurance do you need in Alaska?

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It is important to understand the insurance requirements for driving in Alaska before you go.

The Mandatory Insurance Statutes of Alaska require that you have a registration for $50,000/$100,000 in liability for bodily injury or death and $25,000 for property damage.

These amounts will cover damage to another person and his/her belongings to a certain extent. The mandatory coverage in Alaska will do nothing to cover your own vehicle, so it is wise to consider additional coverage options.

Additional coverage options in Alaska

There are three basic optional insurance types you can carry in Alaska.

  • Underinsured coverage Underinsured coverage gives you insurance coverage when someone who is involved in an accident with you does not have enough insurance to cover the damages, even if it is their fault.
  • Uninsured coverage Uninsured coverage covers accidents that the other motorist cannot cover when they are not carrying insurance.
  • Physical damage Physical damage coverage is the same as comprehensive and collision coverage and covers all of the damages your normal policy does not.
  • Medical payments Medical payments cover the medical costs and funeral expenses of anyone involved in an accident, no matter whose fault it is.

The Top 5 Scenic Drives in Alaska

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The following are five of the most scenic drives in Alaska. Read through the descriptions and then be sure to add these drives to your list of things to see and do in The Last Frontier.

#1 – Seward Highway

Seward Highway scenic drive starts from Anchorage, Alaska and meandering down the 127 miles to the Kenai Penninsula.

You will see coastal seascapes as well as mountainous wonders as you travel this route. It is an area of extremes and is laden with both rising cliffs and low-lying marshes. Chugach State Park and Bird Creek are two area attractions to look for along the way.

#2 – Denali Highway

Denali Highway route is a scenic route through Alaska that stretches for 135 miles from Paxson to Cantwell. You will see the Parks Highway and Richardson Highway along the way, which were recently completed.

You’ll see the Denali National Park along the way and visit some of the best vistas of Alaska there.

#3 – Richardson Highway

Richardson Highway route takes you from Valdez to Fairbanks with beautiful views and scenic opportunities such as glacier views, towering mountain ranges, and more.

Some of the attractions you will want to see include the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive. You will enjoy the many exhibits that you see along the way.

#4 – Dalton Highway

The Dalton Highway scenic route goes through northern Alaska from Livengood to Prudhoe Bay. It borders the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. There are steep grades and occasional avalanches, so caution should be used if traveling this road. But it includes some of the best scenery.

#5 – Nome Alaska Scenic Route

The Nome Alaska scenic route holds many surprises for you that you’ll enjoy. Nome’s roadways are highly populated by gravel highways that wind through a tundra of mountains, coastline, and rivers that you will never forget.

Insurance Comparison Shopping in Alaska

adobestock_117112869-1600x1600When you are shopping for insurance in Alaska, ponder the following points when comparing policies.

  • Get the minimum coverage
  • Consider what optional coverage you need
  • Think about how much you plan to travel
  • See if there are any discounts for visitors to Alaska

Get your information together before you go to Alaska and make sure you have the minimum required coverage. You can shop online to compare rates and find the best coverage for your unique needs.

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