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Mountains, Glaciers and Parks: Road Trippin' USA

If you're fantasising about escaping to one of the most beautiful and untouched destinations on the planet, strap yourself in, because this Alaskan virtual road trip will take you on a wilderness adventure like no other.

If you’re fantasising about escaping to one of the most beautiful and untouched destinations on the planet, strap yourself in, because this Alaskan virtual road trip will take you on a wilderness adventure like no other.

Alaska is a destination that many dream of, and it’s not too hard to see why. Boasting breathtaking scenery, stunning wildlife, and more glaciers than you can shake a stick at, the “Mountains, Glaciers and Parks” itinerary is a journey that you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Harnessing the magic of three wondrous locations; including one of the most talked-about national parks in the world; you’ll experience nature at its finest and may even contemplate a whole new way of living.

Did someone say “build a log cabin and disappear into the wilderness for a while?”

Yes please.

Explore all of Brand USA’s 31 Amazing Self Drive Road Trip itineraries here.

Mountains, Glaciers and Parks: Route Highlights

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1. Anchorage, Alaska

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Knik Glacier, Anchorage

Begin your journey in Anchorage, one the world’s most northern cities.

Take the opportunity to explore the many museums, restaurants and eclectic boutiques and stores this unique city has to offer.

For those who love to learn, a visit to the Alaska Aviation Museum is a must and for those who can’t turn down a good view, should head to Crow’s Nest atop The Hotel Captain Cook for dinner.

After you’ve had a good night’s sleep, spend your exploring the wildlife and glaciers of Alaska. Customise your day to include the Portage Glacier, Mount Alyeska or Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Most tours range from 2.5 to eight hours long.

Cruise across Portage Lake to marvel at glaciers and discover the plants and animals in Portage Valley. Then, ride a tram to the summit of Mount Alyeska to view the Turnagain Arm off Cook Inlet and many alpine glaciers.

Oh, and keep an eye out for the local wolves, elk and grizzly bears.

2. Anchorage > Kodiak Island, Alaska

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Kodiak Island

You can’t properly get to know a destination until you’ve learned about its traditional owners, so begin your day by visiting the Alaska Native Heritage Center to see dwellings and demonstrations that introduce the state’s 11 native cultural groups.

Those who fancy an adventure should make sure their cameras are charged before following a 2.4-kilometre trail and hiking to the summit of the 1,070-metre Flattop Mountain. We’ve heard the views are pretty sweet.

This afternoon, take a short 45-minute flight from Anchorage to Kodiak Island, Alaska’s largest fishing port, for an overnight stay.

  • FLIGHT TIME: 455kms: 45 mins flight time

3. Kodiak Island > Anchorage, Alaska

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Brown Bears, Kodiak Island

Kodiak island is the USA’s second largest island after Hawaii, and really is one of the country’s most adventurous destinations.

The Brown Bears totally got the memo about the amazing fishing spots of the island, so today take a guided sightseeing excursion or sea float tour to meet (at a safe distance) some of the 3,000 bears living on the island.

If you’re not an excursion kind of traveller, no worries – you could also rent a car and explore the island by yourself.

Once you’re done exploring, jump on an early evening flight back to Anchorage.

  • FLIGHT TIME: 455kms: 45 mins flight time

4. Anchorage > Denali National Park, Alaska

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Mt McKinley, Denali National Park

Rail lovers, get excited because today you’ll be departing Anchorage on a scenic journey aboard the Denali Star Train to Denali National Park. For something a little more special, consider upgrading to a dome car for incredible sightseeing.

Your rail journey will take you north through Talkeetna, with spectacular views of Mount McKinley and the Alaska wilderness en route.

If train travel isn’t your thing, the Park Connection Motorcoach runs daily and maybe a faster way to get to your destination.

If you’d like to experience both options, ride the train in one direction and the bus the other way to view Alaska’s scenery from a new and exciting perspective.

If saving time is more important to you, another option is air service, which also operates from Anchorage to Denali.

  • TRAVEL TIME: 222kms: 8 hours train time / 5 hours drive time / 1 hour and 30 mins flight time

5. Denali National Park, Alaska

Say hello to Denali and reconnect with the natural world. Spend the entire day exploring this raw and mystical national park.

Covering more than 2 million hectares, this remote wilderness features the tallest peak in North America as well as alpine forests, tundra, and glaciers.

Bus tours take you through the park via 148-kilometre Denali Park Road where you can spot wildlife and gaze at the impressive scenery that surrounds you.

Choose from nature and wildlife tours as well as the Kantishna Tour, which deposits you in a historic gold town.

If you’d like to get the adrenalin going, set off on a hike from the visitor’s centre or Savage River, go whitewater rafting on the Nenana River, try mountain biking or visit the Denali sled dog kennels to see a demonstration.

6. Denali National Park > Anchorage, Alaska

Portage Glacier, Anchorage
Portage Glacier, Anchorage

Today, complete your journey by returning to Anchorage by bus, train or airplane and enjoy an afternoon and evening immersing yourself in the city’s shopping, arts, and dining options.

You may be lost for words right now, but the massive smile on your face will retell stories of your adventures for years to come.

TRAVEL TIME: 222kms: 8 hours train time / 5 hours drive time / 1 hour and 30 mins flight time

Download the complete Mountains, Glaciers and Parks‘ itinerary here!

Get the Road Trip Playlist

Plug yourself in and become blissfully lost in the serene sounds of Maggie Rogers, Johnny Horton, John Denver, and more.

This playlist will give you a real taste of the stunning Alaskan wilderness and transport you to the peaceful log cabin of your dreams, as you sing along to tunes such as Alaska, To The Wild Country and American Child.

Agents: Download, Escape and Explore GoUSA TV

GoUSA TV is a free premier travel entertainment channel. Watch full episodes, documentaries and films, told from the diverse perspectives of real people across America. 

Discover the Queens area of New York City through the diversity of the Latinx diaspora in the series, Americanos, available on GoUSA TV. Explore how Latinx culture brings American cities to life through the stories of those who embrace their roots and shape the future.

With more than 400 authentic and short format videos featuring destinations from all 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia, there’s never been a better time to get online and enjoy some incredible travel entertainment!

Available for download in the App or Play store and on Apple TV.

More info here.

Agents: Join the USA Discovery Program

Caribou, Denali National Park
Caribou, Denali National Park

The USA Discovery Program is Brand USA’s official trade training platform for the USA.

Earn specialist badges as well as bespoke partner badges as well. Get clicking and complete badges and skill up in a fun and interactive way.

Click here to register and get all the knowledge for the USA.

PLUS! Design your own Road Trip with the USA TRIP PLANNER

The Visit USA Trip Planner is an amazing (and free!) tool that matches your personal travel preferences and style.

With over 230 million data points including the best places & times to visit, reviews and hidden gems, this is one smart piece of travel tech.

This little travel genius optimises your itinerary to minimise travel time, checks when attractions are open and even recommends how much time to spend at each stop off. Brilliant!

Finally, it lets you share & collaborate with your fellow road trippers and is easy to add or revise points of interest as you go.

Find out more: Trip-Planner.VisitTheUSA.com

Get all the tools on Brand USA’s TRAVEL TRADE SITE


From Trip Planners to Itineraries and the USA Discovery Program and Destination information, Brand USA’s Travel Trade Site for agents has you covered.

Hero image – Amtrak Empire Service train approaches the Anthony’s Nose tunnel near the Bear Mountain Bridge in Cortlandt, New York.

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