Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2002)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesScenic
  • LocationAK
  • Length135 miles
Byway Visitor Information
Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway Association
Statewide Byway Partners
Alaska Department of Transportation
Downloadable Alaska Byway Map
Fall colors abound at Long Lake State Park at Mile 84 of the Glenn Highway.
HDR Alaska, Inc. Photo

Overview

The Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway follows a path carved by ancient glaciers. Following the Matanuska River for over half its length, this Byway winds through some of the most impressive terrain on earth. The route follows Highway 1 from Glennallen to Anchorage.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

Alaska’s Glenn Highway boasts the largest collection of glaciers of any US National Park, in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Winters present you with a splendid sky show when the Northern Lights dance among the snow-capped mountains, while summers bring you endless days to roam in fields of wildflowers and ancient forests.The route on Highway 1 begins near Glennallen and the Tazlina River at the north end and culminates in Anchorage to the southwest. Anchorage is located within Dena’ina Etnena, on the traditional homelands of the Deena’ina Athabascan people and the Native Village of Eklutna. The city combines the beauty of the Alaska wilderness with urban comforts and outdoor spaces. Native American Culture is a big part of the Glenn Highway story, as well as the Alaska story. Some of these groups are unique to Alaska, making their story nationally significant.

Driving Directions

The route follows Highway 1 from Anchorage northeasterly to just west of Glennallen.

Points of Interest

  • Alaska's Matanuska Glacier

    This is the river of ice that made it all

  • Downtown Anchorage

    Views of the beginning of the Glenn Highway Corridor with the Chugach Mountains in the background.

  • Eklutna Village Cemetery

    Refects the effect of the Russian Orthodox religion on the native culture.

  • Palmer Hay Flats

    View as you travel toward Anchorage from Palmer. Pioneer Peak, to the left, with Twin Peaks to the right. The "Ghost Forest" is comprised of trees from the subsidence that occurred in the area as a result of the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 that registered greater than 9.0 on the Richter Scale.

  • Palmer Depot with a Narrow Gauge Locomotive

    In the heart of agriculture in Alaska, Palmer is the home of the Alaska State Fair, giant vegetables, and beautiful gardens

  • Long Lake State Park

    Fall colors abound at Long Lake State Park at Mile 84 of the Glenn Highway.

  • Knik River Valley

    The Chugach Mountains and Pioneer Peak are close to the Glenn Highway as you enter the Matanuska Susitna Borough at Mile 30 of the Glenn Highway. The Old Glenn Highway or Palmer Alternate, a 19-mile scenic drive, is at the base of the mountains.

Itinerary

  • Glaciers, Glaciers, and Glaciers

    Begin on Highway 1 at Lake Louise Rd, just northeast of Mendeltna, a census-designated placed with a population of just 39. Take Highway 1 southwesterly to Anchorage. The first part of the byway you will see the largest collection of glaciers anywhere in the world. Stop to see Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier. If you’re brave enough, take a helicopter ride to see it up close. Or stop in the Matanuska Glacier Recreation Site and try an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) tour.

    Long Lake Park and Kepler Park offer boating, camping, picnicking, and trout fishing. Further down the byway, you will find the Knik River. The Palmer Flats are on an island in the Knik River. See the “Ghost Forest”, a result of the 1964 earthquake. Check out the Palmer Depot. The Chugach Mountains and pioneer Peak are visible along the way.

    Further down the byway is the Eklutna Village Cemetery and Eklutna Historical Park. Learn more about the native culture and the influence of the Russian Orthodox religion. You will then arrive at Anchorage, finding your choice of lodging options and places to dine.

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