Skip to main content
Not editable in Design Mode. Switch to HTML mode

How to use the Forums as ListServ Emails

Click Here To Learn How
Welcome to the Club Photo Albums Page. By default only the most recently updated photos are shown in the list below. To see all photo albums click on the Search Looking Glass icon to the right and change your selection. 

Alaska Flying

Seattle to Anchorage route suggestions
Author Last Post
Have a look at my post "Routes to Yukon and Alaska" posted under Alaska Flying. This was some years back, but the terrain and weather hasn't changed.
Give me a call. I am currently in Oshkosh for the week.
This is Tony Turinsky the club Alaska director.

I have hosted several people this year with there trip up to Alaska.
I have helped many folks over the years.

I do a talk at sun and fun and Oshkosh on flying to Alaska.

My number is 907 229 2932 call.

I live on a private strip and have a place to base
I have flown the coast and the highway, and generally plan to follow the highway due to weather. I came back up from Spokane to Juneau a couple weeks ago through Prince George, Smithers, Ketchikan, and Juneau.

If the weather allows, following the coast from here up to Cordova and into Anchorage is great. As everyone says, have a couple routes planned out and choose one based on the weather. The weather can change fast along the coast.

There are fun USFS and Park Service cabins with tideland strips to camp in following the coast up to Yakutat and Cordova. If you are in Juneau call anytime (907) 321-6336.
I could not agree more with having a number of options on your routes. Weather is just unpredictable. The coast route is by far the choice but again weather is your beast! Plenty of places to land without the big water hazard that everyone discusses. Ideally, go inside and then hop over at Haines junction or Atlin and go the coast up from there. Get a few of the Alaskan Bushwheel gas cans and your set. If you have not seen them, you can put 5.2 g of fuel in and then they take up zero room when you empty them. Worth there weight in gold.
I agree... My best friend and I went up the highway and returned home the coastal route in a Maule and it was fantastic. We were very flexible and had no issues. We were two females flying home to Tennessee with a Caribou rack tied on the strut. We thought each route had its own character. We did the trench the next year... Neither year was preplanned.
Do not pre-plan a route. Look two to three days ahead on the weather forecasts every day and take the route with the best weather. You might go a little out of the way but you will get there quicker in the long run as compared to getting stuck somewhere.

Any of the main routes are good in a 180/185. 250 miles is about the max between fuel stops except in the Trench which is close to 400 miles between MacKenzie and Watson Lake.

Do not be afraid of the coast route if the weather is good. It is a beautiful route and between Seattle and Anchorage it is possible to minimize the over-water flying to less than one hour total by making the crossings at the narrowest spots. Most of the crossings can be made in gliding distance to land with a little altitude. Several good fuel stops are along the route in Canada and Alaska. It is about 450 miles between Bellingham and Ketchikan and it is possible to fly non-stop with favorable weather, eliminating the Customs hassle. Just make sure you can make it the whole way before you take off. Customs does not see any humor in landing without prior notice.

I usually try to take different routes each way. The weather may dictate otherwise but it's always interesting to see new country.
I agree with RocketRick about the overwater stuff...
Everyone I have talked to about the subject that has flown the Coastal Route says they will never do it again (on wheels).
I've done the stretch from Whittier to Cordova and wasn't very comfortable even though I had the appropriate survival gear.
September weather will be unpredictable, but doable.
You'll need to be flexible schedule-wise and be prepared for frost in the early morning.
Your choices of routes will be the Cassiar Highway, or the "Trench".
The Cassiar is the shorter and more scenic, but depending on weather, you might have to "Punt" and just go where the weather will allow.
Take plenty of extra $$ for fuel in Canada and don't assume it will be available everywhere you go.
I paid $8 a gallon in Watson Lake, YT a month ago.
Plan on the weather being a bit worse than the forecasts... because my limited experience says it always is.
Plan on "Scud Running" if your in a hurry and plan for the extra fuel burn at lower altitudes.
You won't regret making the trip.... but remember, it's a long damn ways to Alaska.... and back.

Fraser '80 A185F

Hey aught to be a good trip. I'd be a little wary of much over the water & the ocean weather and wind.

Nice looking plane. What year? Sportsman STOL?

Also, search here and everywhere for posts about this very subject. I think there's a whole thread here on flying up.

I got mine last June and the owner flew it up. He came up thru the Canada & the trench. I have his GPS coordinates and can email them to you if you want. Just send me an email address.

Have a safe trip.

Hello everyone

I am planning on returning to my homeland of Alaska in September, but instead of flying my local airline (Alaska) I am going to fly my 180 from Seattle.

My question is does anyone have a recommendation for routes for Seattle to Anchorage? I am looking at the coast as my first option while hugging the coast/hitting major airports along the way for fuel/food.

Anyone want to give me their two cents on stops/routes or any other info you think would be helpful. And of course, I have to fly home also... All of this will take place in September.

Thanks in advance for any input folks have.

Return to Forum