We always joke that in Alaska, summer turns to winter and includes roughly 47 minutes of autumn. But a trip up the Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway last weekend proved that wrong - and proved that in Alaska, fall colors can put on quite a show.
Our trip started in Palmer and headed up to Matanuska Glacier State Recreation Area. Along the way, we had to pull over at the many stops to snap pictures. With yellows and reds dominating the trees and the deep blue of the sky on a perfectly sunny day, the photos were simply outstanding. The Glenn Highway is one of the most scenic drives you can take in Alaska, with breathtaking views of the Chugach and Talkeetna mountains, Matanuska River and the glacier. I was with someone who had never been to Alaska before, and all he could do was marvel at the scenery. "This is all right here, in your back yard," he told me at one point. "You are lucky."
Drives like the Glenn Highway really do make me feel lucky to live in Alaska. Where else can a two-hour road trip include views of two mountain ranges, a major river and one of the state's largest glaciers? To many, that's the vacation of a lifetime. For people who live here, that's just an afternoon!
As we got closer to the glacier at Mile 102, the colors got deeper and deeper as fall settled into the northern end of the Matanuska Valley. It won't be long until these areas are covered under a blanket of snow, but for now, the colors are like a painting. It won't last long, though, so make sure you grab your camera and head out.
With great weather forecasted for this Saturday, take a drive up the Glenn Highway. Along the way, roadhouses offer great places to have lunch or even overnight, and the views are nothing short of spectacular. Fall is a time when everything slows down in Alaska after a busy summer season, but it's also a chance to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Alaska.