Earth > Americas > North America > United States of America > Alaska
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Hitchhiking in Alaska in winter is very dangerous as there are not many major cities, nor many passing vehicles during the winter. For these reasons, most vehicles that do pass will most likely stop for hitchhikers, but trying to travel to precise locations and/or long distances is not recommended.
There are few roads in Alaska that cover any real distance that are not highways. Fortunately, most of the time, the highways are much more friendly than the interstates of the Lower 48. The epic and beautiful scenery calls for a huge number of turnoffs, giving the hitchhiker ample opportunity to walk down the road a bit and still have a decent spot. Many drivers are willing to stop, even from full speed, if they have a place to pull over, and they often do.
By far the busiest stretch of road in Alaska is the Glenn Highway from Anchorage north to Wasilla and Palmer (in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley). It is illegal for pedestrians to be on the highway itself, so normal freeway rules apply here. (But I have never waited more than fifteen or twenty minutes for a ride, even while standing on a full speed stretch of that road).
The farther one travels from Anchorage, the less traffic there is, particularly during winter. However, the Kenai Peninsula and the Parks Highway (up through Denali, to Fairbanks) are populated roadways all year long. The good thing about this is that you're likely to find a ride that is going where you are, or maybe even farther. That being said, one trip from Wasilla to Kenai (less than three hundred miles) took me a day and a half and ten rides.
In summer, it's not such a big deal to be caught out at some late hour. You may not even realize that it's midnight! Twenty hours of daylight is the norm, and at 'night' it still does not get dark enough even to see the stars. However, be particularly careful during the colder months, because getting stuck at the Seward Y at 10 p.m. can be very scary. Drivers are usually careful during the winter and may not drive so much at night, but it is likely that the first car that passes will stop for you.
Whatever the weather, always have an extra layer or two with you. The weather here can and will change violently in a matter of minutes, and the temperature can drop very, very quickly.
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