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Alaska Routes are both numbered and named. There have been only twelve numbers issued (1 through 11 and 98), and the numbering often has no obvious pattern. For example, Alaska Route 4 runs north and south, whereas Alaska Route 2 runs largely east and west, but runs north and south passing through and to the north of Fairbanks. The Klondike Highway, built in 1978, was unnumbered until 1998, when it was given its designation during the centennial of the Klondike Gold Rush. However, many Alaskan highways of greater length than the Klondike Highway remain unnumbered.

AK-1 shield AK-98 shield
Shields for Alaska Routes
Highway names
InterstatesInterstate A-n (A-n)
StateAlaska Route n (AK-n)
System links
The Sterling Highway is a typical example of what is considered a highway in Alaska; four lane restricted-access routes are not used outside of the largest cities.


Highways 7 and 10 consist of multiple separately named segments that do not physically approach each other, unless the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries as part of Alaska Route 7, and former Copper River and Northwestern Railway track bed as part of Alaska Route 10, are included.

Names versus numbersEdit

The Denali Highway has only 23 miles (37 km) of pavement, the remaining 123 miles (198 km) is gravel. The road is closed in the winter months

Numbers and names do not always coincide well. Alaska Route 1 can refer to any of the Glenn Highway, Seward Highway, Sterling Highway, or Tok Cut-Off; meanwhile, portions of the Seward Highway are numbered Alaska Route 1, 9 and Interstate A3. (Interstate highway shields are not posted along highways in Alaska; these designations occur only on paper.)

Within Alaska, roads are almost invariably referred to by name or general destination, and not by number(s). Many residents are unfamiliar with official highway numbers even for those highways that they use frequently. Visitors are usually advised to avoid using highway numbers in asking for directions.


Mileposts, frequently used for road markers and official addressing in rural areas, are also more commonly reckoned by landmark names.

Highways by numberEdit

Number Length (mi) Length (km) Southern or western terminus Northern or eastern terminus Local names Formed Removed Notes
  AK-1 545.92 878.57 Homer Tok Tok Cut-Off, Richardson Highway, Glenn Highway, Seward Highway, Sterling Highway
  AK-2 456.91 735.33 Canada–United States border Manley Hot Springs Alaska Highway, Richardson Highway, Steese Highway, Elliott Highway
  AK-3 323 520 Glenn Highway Fairbanks Parks Highway
  AK-4 266 428 Valdez Delta Junction Richardson Highway
  AK-5 160 257 Tetlin Junction (Alaska Highway east of Tok) Eagle Taylor Highway
  AK-6 150 241 Fox Circle Steese Highway
  AK-7 150.0 241.4 Haines Canada–United States border Haines Highway, Glacier Highway, Egan Drive, Mitkof Highway, Tongass Highway Segments in Juneau, Petersburg, and Ketchikan
  AK-8 135 217 Cantwell Paxson Denali Highway
  AK-9 36.49 58.72 Seward Tern Lake Junction (Sterling Highway) Seward Highway
  AK-10 33.5 53.9 Richardson Highway Chitina Edgerton Highway
  AK-10 49.5 79.7 Cordova Million Dollar Bridge Copper River Highway
  AK-11 414 666 Elliott Highway Deadhorse Dalton Highway
  AK-98 28.9 46.5 Skagway Canada–United States border Klondike Highway

Highways by nameEdit

Anchor Point claims the distinction of being the most westerly point on the contiguous highway system in North America.
Alaska Peninsula Highway approaching "downtown" Naknek.
North Tongass Highway passing through a neighborhood of Ketchikan.

Many roads in Alaska are not numbered at all; a few of these are listed below in addition to those above.

Name Number(s) Route
Alaska Highway Alaska Route 2, U.S. Route 97 Canada–United States border to Delta Junction
Alaska Marine Highway AMHS SouthEast: Bellingham, Washington to Prince Rupert, British Columbia Canada to Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, Haines to Skagway

Cross-Gulf: Ketchikan to Juneau to Yakutat to Whittier
Prince William Sound loop: Valdez to Cordova to Whittier
South-Central loop: Homer to Kodiak to Port Lions
SouthWest: Kodiak to Chignik, Sand Point, King Cove, Cold Bay, False Pass, Akutan to Unalaska

Alaska Peninsula Highway none Naknek to King Salmon
Chena Hot Springs Road none Old Steese Highway north of Fairbanks to Chena Hot Springs
Copper River Highway Alaska Route 10 Cordova to north of the Million Dollar Bridge
Dalton Highway Alaska Route 11 Mile 73 (km 118) Elliott Highway (near Livengood) to Deadhorse
Denali Highway Alaska Route 8 Paxson to Cantwell
Denali Park Road none Mile 237 (km 382) Parks Highway (in Denali National Park) to Kantishna
Douglas Highway none Traverses the eastern and northern shores of Douglas Island
Edgerton Highway Alaska Route 10 Mile 83 (km 133) Richardson Highway to Chitina
Egan Drive Alaska Route 7 Downtown Juneau waterfront to intersection with Glacier Highway near the Brotherhood Bridge
Elliott Highway Alaska Route 2 Fox to Manley Hot Springs
Glenn Highway Alaska Route 1 Anchorage to Glennallen
Haines Highway Alaska Route 7 Haines to Canada–United States border
Hope Highway none Mile 57 (km 70) Seward Highway to Hope
Kenai Spur Highway none Soldotna to Captain Cook State Recreation Area near Nikiski
Klondike Highway Alaska Route 98 Skagway to Canada–United States border
McCarthy Road none Chitina to near McCarthy
Minnesota Drive Expressway none Southern and western Anchorage, bisects Spenard
Johansen Expressway none Northern Fairbanks
Mitkof Highway Alaska Route 7 Petersburg to southern Mitkof Island
Nome-Council Highway none Nome to Council
Nome-Taylor Highway none Nome to Taylor
Nome-Teller Highway none Nome to Teller, also called the Bob Blodgett Highway
Palmer-Wasilla Highway none Palmer to Wasilla
Parks Highway Alaska Route 3 Mile 35 (km 56) Glenn Highway to Fairbanks
Portage Glacier Highway none Seward Highway to Whittier
Richardson Highway Alaska Route 2, Alaska Route 4 Valdez to Fairbanks
Salmon River Road none Canada–United States border at Stewart, British Columbia through Hyder and the Tongass National Forest, crosses border again at the abandoned town site of Premier, British Columbia, continues on as Granduc Road to the Salmon Glacier summit viewpoint ending at the Granduc Mine.
Seward Highway Alaska Route 1, Alaska Route 9 Seward to Anchorage
Steese Highway Alaska Route 2, Alaska Route 6 Fairbanks to Circle
Sterling Highway Alaska Route 1 Tern Lake Junction (Mile 37 (km 59) Seward Highway, northwest of Moose Pass) to Homer
Taylor Highway Alaska Route 5 Tetlin Junction (Mile 1301 (km 2093) Alaska Highway) to Eagle
Tok Cut-Off Alaska Route 1 Gakona Junction (Mile 129 (km 207) Richardson Highway) to Tok
Top of the World Highway none Jack Wade Junction (Mile 96 (km 154) Taylor Highway) to Canada–United States border
Tongass Highway Alaska Route 7 Ketchikan north to past Ward Cove and south to past Saxman
Zimovia Highway none Wrangell to McCormick Creek Road

List of U.S. Highways in AlaskaEdit

At one point, the Alaskan portion of the Alaska Highway was proposed to be designated part of U.S. Highway 97 (US-97), but this was never carried out. Certain prior editions of USGS topographic maps, mostly published during the 1950s, do bear the US-97 highway shield along or near portions of the current AK-2.

Alaska Marine HighwayEdit

The Alaska Marine Highway and several other Alaska highways or routes are recognized as "highways" eligible for federal funding by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).[4] The Marine Highway was declared a National Scenic Byway by the FHWA on June 13, 2002;[5] and later declared an All-American Road on September 22, 2005.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "AMHS Routes". Alaska Marine Highway System.
  2. ^ "AMHS Running Times". Alaska Marine Highway System.
  3. ^ "AMHS Schedules". Alaska Marine Highway System.
  4. ^ "Title 23 Section 218 United States Code" (PDF). U.S. Congress.
  5. ^ "New 2002 National Scenic Byways". Federal Highway Administration.
  6. ^ "New 2005 All-American Roads". Federal Highway Administration.

External linksEdit