Anchorage to Denali
Stay: Hook up at the Denali Grizzly Bear Resort at mile-post 231.1 on the George Parks Highway.
Do: Head to Denali National Park for some hiking, cycling or a bus ride deep into the park. Don’t miss the Denali Visitor Center; built in 2005, the center’s rangers and exhibits will help you figure out how to tackle your first trip to the 6-million-acre park. On day 2, sign on with Denali Raft Adventures for a dry-suit-required white-water adventure on the Nenana River. Hold on tight when you hit the “Coffee Grinder” rapid.
Eat: During your Denali nights, pair RV-prepped meals with Alaska Brewing Co. suds and Alaska Chips.
Denali to Fairbanks
Stay: Set up home base at the River’s Edge RV Park. On the Chena River in Fairbanks, the RV park offers a wide range of services including free Wi-Fi and a Laundromat.
Do: Kayak an easy 1.5-hour route down the Chena River — and straight through Fairbanks — with Alaska Outdoor Rentals & Guides.
Eat: If your day of rafting and driving left you pooped, go no farther than the Chena Grill at the River’s Edge Resort — the hotel attached to the RV park. Or head to one of Fairbank’s excellent Thai restaurants, including Thai House Fairbanks or Lemongrass. For lunch on day 2 in Fairbanks, grab a seat on the Pump House’s deck for a burger or Alaska-caught seafood.
Fairbanks to Copper River Valley
Stay: The gateway to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve, Gakona Junction Village
Do: After spending the night in Gakona, drive to Chitina for a flight into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and the former copper-mining towns of McCarthy and Kennecott. Don’t even think about driving your RV into the park — that road is bumpy. After your flight out, drive 30 minutes back to Kenny Lake RV Park.
Eat: One of the last remaining Alaskan roadhouses, the Gakona Lodge’s current owners serve up tasty stick-to-your-ribs fare at their Carriage House Restaurant.
Kenny Lake to Valdez
Stay: With Prince William Sound in sight, Eagle’s Rest RV Park offers up one of the prettiest views you’ll see.
Do: It’s time to get out on the Sound. Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises have been introducing visitors to the area’s waters since 1971. Still family-owned, they know where to go to show you what you want to see (and that includes whales, puffins, seals, sea otters and more). Dress in layers — even mid-summer, it can get chilly out on the Sound.
Eat: Post-boat ride, warm back up with some chowder (or a burger) at The Harbor Café.
Valdez to Anchorage
Do and Eat: It’s a big driving day. Even if you lose your mind and decide to skip out on photo ops along the way, do not even think about rolling by the Sheep Mountain Lodge without stopping in for one of their delicious and bigger-than-your-head cinnamon rolls. The rest of the menu is pretty tasty, too.