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Planning Links for Alaska

General Information Links

The Alaska Travel Industry Association
Phone 800-862-5275 or 907-929-2200. They can mail you an Alaska travel planner., has basic information. Use it along with the sources below.

The State of Alaska Web site at has background information on Alaska geography and culture and links to travel-information sites.

Links to much good information from state newspapers, as well as (often)  special sections of visitor information, can be found on our Alaska News Sources page.


For a cheaper and quicker alternative to a cruise ship, you can travel from Bellingham to (and within) Southeast Alaska on the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries. For the 37-hour Bellingham to Ketchikan trip there are cabins with bunks — but they sell out fast. If you miss one, you can even pitch a tent on the deck!

There also is a once-a-month "cross-the-Gulf-of-Alaska" ferry trip in summer plus routes in Southwest Alaska. Travelers can also easily "ferry-hop" between Southeast Alaska towns like Juneau and Ketchikan.

An alternative, more complicated route uses the B.C. Ferries. Drive to Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island (an all-day trip from Seattle), take the all-day Inside Passage sailing to Prince Rupert on the northern B.C. mainland, then the next day board an Alaska ferry in Prince Rupert bound for Southeast Alaska. You can sightsee on Vancouver Island along the way (and there are long-term parking lots in Port Hardy if you're not taking your car).

You can reach B.C. Ferries at 250-386-3431, 604-444-2890 or

Driving to/within Alaska

Roads can be rough (only major and urban roads are paved) and distances are long (Seattle to Anchorage is more than 2,400 miles), so drivers to and within Alaska need to be well prepared.

If you want to drive to Alaska, and visit British Columbia and Canada's Yukon Territory along the way, the State of Alaska's Web site has useful information (see above). At their web site, click on "Getting to and around Alaska." It has information on route planning, distances, RV travel and more.

Other Guides will be found on our Visitor Guides page

Air Travel

Alaska Airlines dominates travel to and between the state's main cities, since Delta dropped out. For discount, last-minute air fares, watch for the airline's Web specials at For travel to more remote, backcountry areas (the "bush"), there are many small air services. Frontier Flying Service is one of the biggest, with scheduled flights to small communities from Anchorage and Fairbanks. 907-474-0014 or See also our Air Transportation page.

Rail Travel

The state-owned Alaska Railroad offers three scenic routes, including from Anchorage to Fairbanks (with a stop at Denali National Park) and south from Anchorage to Whittier and Seward. 800-544-0552.

The White Pass and Yukon Railroad offers scenic excursions, from three hours to a combination train/bus overnight tour on the historic, Gold Rush-era route. 800-343-7373 or

Wilderness Recreation

The Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association is devoted to smaller-scale, outdoors-oriented travel with a strong focus on ecotourism. Its Web site has links to tours ranging from bird-watching to mountaineering, and links to lodges, cultural/native tours and air-charter services. 907-258-3171 or.

The Alaska Public Lands Information Center unites various federal and state agencies to provide information on fishing, hiking, renting Forest Service backcountry cabins and other recreation on government-managed lands in Alaska. It has offices in Anchorage and three other locations. 907-271-2737.

You can reserve Forest Service cabins in Alaska through the National Recreation Reservation Service at 877-444-6777 or There are maps and descriptions of the remote (and primitive) cabins on their web site.


Links to the Web sites of small-scale outdoor- and adventure-tour operators can be found through the Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association at

For more conventional sightseeing tours, Gray Line/Holland America offers tours from half-day city sightseeing to weeklong railway/coach packages. 800-544-2206 or

Native tourism

The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage is a museum and cultural-research center: Its Web site ( gives information on Alaska's native peoples (about 16 percent of the population). Phone 907-330-8000. Local tourism offices (see below) also can give information on other native heritage sites and museums. Another really great resource is the University of Alaska Museum in Fairbanks. Or take a flight from Fairbanks to one of the outlying villages and meet them firsthand!


Need more? See the special page we made for you on visitor guides.

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