4 Tips for Visiting Alaska

Here are 4 tips for visiting Alaska that we find important that aren’t talked about a lot.

Spare Tires and Fuel

First on my list is the debate as to whether you should carry spare tires and additional fuel. I cringe every time I read something on the internet (or in-person) that advises people not to have a spare tire, or extra fuel when visiting here.

(If you are going to the city, and not going to leave the city, skip on past this.) 

We carry a spare tire and a repair kit, and we live here! We also keep our tanks topped off as well. We do not live in the city, or near the city, so there is not a fuel stop on every corner out here. For that matter, there are not many corners at all out in our neck of the woods, ha-ha. 

visiting Alaska
Tire change on McCarthy Road

Now don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to stock up like the apocalypse is coming, but at least play it safe.

I have heard it said by a few non-locals, “there are plenty of tanker trucks that run these roads, so there is plenty of fuel.”

Meeting Daryl at a pullout to give him a home-cooked meal.

Tanker trucks, like what Daryl drives, have fuel tanks for their fuel consumption that hold 150 gallons each to get them from point A to point B. They can get a lot further on a tank of fuel than we can because their tanks are much larger than that on an average-sized vehicle.

As far as the fuel they are hauling; they can’t share that with you.

Roadside Assistance

Call your insurance company beforehand and make sure you have roadside assistance coverage. Also, make sure you are covered in the areas of Alaska or Canada that you will be traveling, just in case.

AAA is also a good option that covers you regardless of what vehicle you are in.

If you run out of fuel, have a flat, or go off the road, you will have to call for roadside assistance. Our first recommendation is Glennallen Towing if you find yourself in need of fuel or a tow.

Depending on many things, it could take the company a while to get to you. Keep extra snacks and water in your vehicle just in case of an emergency. 

Traffic Laws You May Not Have Thought About

I am not going to go into a lot of detail with a bunch of laws here, but there are a couple of things that you should know.

Driving with your headlights on many of our roads is required by law. (Using a blinker is nice too if you are pulling off) 

You can find more information on this here.

You cannot depend on the automatic lights to come on, especially during the summer because of the Midnight Sun.

Blocking traffic is just, well — rude. And a pain in the ass for the convoy that you have caused to get stuck behind you. 

Image Credit: Tundra Comics

Because so many of our roads are narrow or curvy, they do not allow a lot of opportunities to pass. Using a pullout, or pulling into the shoulder (when there is one) is required by law when you have five vehicles or more behind you. 

Simply moving over allows others to pass safely.

Even if this was not a law, it is a good rule of thumb to be mindful of others that you are sharing the road with. 

Not everyone is here on vacation. 

We want you to be able to enjoy the scenery because it is AWESOME, but we also want to get home or get to work as well.

When everyone works together, great things happen!

Offline Maps & Cell coverage

Phone coverage can vary depending on who you speak to. I have read from people who have said they had no service unless they were in the city, while others (like myself) can at least bounce between 1x and extended network half the time on the road(s) we travel the most.

If this is your first time here, download the offline map of where you are going, or go completely old school and grab a paper map when you fill your fuel tank up!

Enjoy Alaska

Welp! There you have it. I hope you found this helpful! You may also find our 6 tips while visiting Alaska helpful as well!

We welcome you to our great state, and when you get here (or come back), we hope you have a fantastic time making memories along the way!

Do you have questions that you would like us to answer? We would love to, and if we don’t know the answer, we will find it! Feel free to ask!

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