Photo Credit: Dan Logan

One of the best ways to see the beauty of Alaska is by crossing the Seward Highway, a 127-mile link between Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula and Turnagain Arm that runs to the port town of Seward, Alaska. Enormous glaciers, boreal forests and stunning fjords make up the landscape of this short journey. This scenic drive winds through saltwater bays, glaciers, knife-edged ridges and alpine valleys and can take anywhere from five hours to two days.

Seward Highway Route

Start in Seward, the tiny port town on Resurrection Bay. Nearby you can access Kenai Fjords National Park, a 1,760-square-mile park with 38 glaciers including the largest, Bear Glacier. The park contains Harding Icefield, one of the largest in the United States, and a number of fjords carved by glaciers moving down the mountains.

You can also find Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, Alaska’s most popular wildlife haven, with Potter Marsh and Mount Susitna nearby. Potter Marsh features a boardwalk where you can walk to the edge of the marsh created by the construction of the Alaska Railroad in 1917. You can find more than 130 varieties of birds here.

The Seward Highway then hugs the Kenai Peninsula at the base of the Chugach Mountains. Here you can find the Chugach National Forest where you can discover Prince William Sound and the eastern shores of the Copper River Delta. You can also visit Portage Valley, a 14-mile isthmus that connects the Kenai Peninsula to mainland Alaska. Portage Glacier and Whittier are also accessible via Portage Glacier Road. You may spot grazing Dall sheep on the cliffs, beluga whales in the waters below and eagles and seabirds flying above.

Next you can reach Girdwood, a year-round in the valley of the Chugach Mountains near the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. Seven glaciers surround the resort known for hiking, fishing and rafting in the summer and skiing and snowboarding at Alyeska Resort in the winter. You've arrived in Anchorage, where black bears, grizzlies and moose are regular town residents.