Public transportation in Alaska is quite limited – most towns don’t get train or bus service, and the services that do exist are few and far between. In search of maximum flexibility, many outside visitors tend to choose rental cars as their main mode of transportation.
Alaska enjoys a wide selection of rental companies; this includes all the familiar big-name brands, as well as some smaller, locally owned operations. The big brands will often offer better rates, but their vehicles won’t be allowed on unpaved roads. If you plan on driving one of Alaska’s famous gravel roads (the Denali Hwy, the Mccarthy Road or the Dalton Hwy, to name a few), your best solution is to rent locally.
Yes, Alaska is as big as advertised. However, the road system covers only about a quarter of it. With some planning, it’s fairly easy to plan driving days of no more than 4-5 hours max. These are still lengthy drives and you should definitely be prepared (get those Spotify playlists ready), but if you plan correctly you’ll be fine.
Of course, most Alaskan roads offer fantastic views, with plenty of opportunities to stop and explore along the way. To top things off, sunlight in Alaska during the summer months is almost endless. Unless you come in September or later, darkness is not an issue.
Alaskan highways are good! Well, most of the time. The vast majority of roads is well maintained. Summer is construction season in this area of the world, so occasional delays should be expected. A few of the highways are unpaved, but even these remote roads get consistent government TLC and are being worked on consistently.
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