The Glenn Highway runs between Glennallen and and Anchorage, Alaska, a distance of 189 miles. The highway is a beautiful and easy drive. It is an especially great route for those who don’t want to stray too far from Anchorage. Conditions are generally fairly good, although there are some rough patches. Be sure to be on the lookout for flags on the side of the road, which indicate a dip or bump. Between Eureka and Palmer are somewhat scary curves. No guardrail bars you from the cliff on the highway, so drive carefully.
Services are excellent. Quite a few gas stations and restaurants are along the way, so it’s not too big of a stretch for even families with children to travel. The section between Anchorage and Eureka Summit is a National Scenic Byway.
Opportunities for recreation abound along the Glenn Highway. Although I have not camped, there are camping areas. Fishing spots are easy to reach from the highway. Many people also enjoy four-wheeling and snow-machining from stop-offs on the highway. Try out the various hiking trails. Take note, though: not all of the trails are maintained or marked. Bring along maps and other equipment for finding your way on these trails.
Some of the highlights of the Glenn Highway are:
Lake Louise Road Lake Louise, which is highly regarded for its fishing and camping, is accessible from the Glenn Highway. The road is just a little over 19 miles long. Enjoy both winter and summer sports.
Eureka Summit This is the highest point on the Glenn Highway. The elevation is 3,322 feet.
Sheep Mountain Views of this mountain are excellent from the road. My husband always makes me scan the mountainside for sheep. We have managed to spot quite a few from our car. However, I urge that you make certain your driver keeps his or her eyes on the road. It is very curvy through this section.
Matanuska Glacier Matanuska Glacier is absolutely breathtaking. It is about 27 miles long and four miles at its widest point. A state recreation site hosts camping and views of the glacier. Take a rest stop here and stretch your legs on the Edge Nature trail. The cold blue of the glacier ice is striking on both cloudy and sunny days.
Alaska State Fair One of Alaska’s many state fairs, it is by far the largest. Palmer hosts this fun and quirky event. In late summer, stop and see the humongous vegetables, animals, and booths. The fair offers concerts, unique events, and the usual carnival rides. Even if you choose to just drive on by, be prepared for major traffic on the Glenn Highway. Oftentimes flaggers are on the road directing the traffic headed for the fair.
References and Other Reading:
“Glenn Highway-Tok Cutoff.” The Milepost. N. Pag. Web. 30 Aug. 2010. http://milepost.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=316&Itemid=306