When it comes to getting around in the great state of Alaska, you will find many unconventional options depending on where you need to go. Appropriately nicknamed “The Last Frontier,” there are many places in Alaska that require an unconventional mode of transportation to connect to the rest of the state. While Whittier does have a direct land connection by highway and railroad, even then the options are unique in a way that makes them distinctively Alaskan.
Take The Tunnel
The most common way, and in fact the only way, to travel between Anchorage and Whittier via land is using the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, which all the locals will simply call the Whittier Tunnel. This is a one-way road that is shared by both road vehicles and trains. The biggest challenge with running it is the fact that the direction of the one way switches based on the time of day. All traffic flows to Whittier for about an hour before the direction is switched and all traffic then flows the other direction.
Taking the tunnels is often the easiest route, and aside from driving rental cars or trucks you also have the ability to go on one of the many tour buses that go to and from Whittier every day during the summer.
Drop In By Air
Another potential option if you need to make this trip is to drop in via air. There are potentially two main ways to do this. The first is by water plane. There are many bush pilots who are very comfortable taking off and landing small planes designed to be able to handle a water landing. This is certainly a very unique way to get to Whittier from Anchorage and allows you a gorgeous view of the glaciers, fjords, and incredibly untouched natural wilderness.
If coming in by sea plane makes you a little sea sick, then you can also look at coming in via a conventional bush pilot plane. Whittier has a small airport that generally runs two bush planes to and from the small town and gives people another option for getting between that small isolated town and Anchorage.
Cruise Ships Like It Here
One trend that seems to be increasing is the number of cruise ships that stop into port at Whittier. This is easy to understand when realizing the surrounding areas are teeming with wildlife and has some of the best glacier viewing in the entire state. Add in that the town of Whittier is extremely welcoming, and offers a great example of the “Alaska Experience” for tourists, while also having water deep enough to make for a natural port or anchor.
While this isn’t your most conventional, fast, or inexpensive option, it is technically there.
As you can see there are several options for making the travel between the city of Anchorage and the small town of Whittier. By doing a little bit of research you will quickly see which ones are the most viable for your specific needs.