The Roads Less Traveled

We’ve consulted with Kris Valencia, editor of our sister publication, The Milepost; dug up Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) statistics from the Alaska Department of Transportation; and chosen three roads from across the state that are, to borrow from “The Road Not Taken,” less traveled by. Over the course of a year, these highways, or at least significant stretches of them, average 150 cars a day or less. Locals may call these roads by other names, but we are using the names stated in The Milepost. Bear in mind, if you’ve never traveled the Nome-Teller, Taylor, or Haines Highways, you’re not alone—and you’re also missing out.

PATRICK J ENDRES; INSET: CINDY HOPKINS / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

  • Runs from Nome to Teller on the Seward Peninsula.
  • AADT: 30 cars a day (from mile 7.1 to 70.91)
  • What The Milepost has to say: Information about the Nome-Teller Road last appeared in The Milepost in 1981. Here’s what the Bible of North Country Travel said back then: “While the elevated roadway provides good driving, the ground to the sides of the road is boggy. If you accidently put a wheel into the soft shoulder, you might be stuck a long while before another car that can help you comes along…”

DESIGN PICS INC / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

  • Runs from Haines to the Alaska Highway near Haines Junction, Yukon.
  • AADT: 132 cars a day (from Milepost 31.07 to Milepost 39.72)
  • What The Milepost has to say: “Noted for its grand views of glaciated mountains and the variety of its scenery—from coastal forests to alpine tundra—the Haines Highway was awarded National Scenic Byway in 2009.”

BOTH IMAGES: DESIGN PICS INC / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

  • Runs from Tetlin Junction east of Tok to Chicken and on up to Eagle.
  • AADT: 150 cars a day (from Milepost 0.00 to Milepost 41.81)
  • What The Milepost has to say: “Northbound, the Taylor Highway winds along ridges and over hills overlooking several streams that eventually converge to form the Fortymile River.”