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Home  >  Digital Archives  >  Land Sea Air  >  Trails and Rails
Some of Alaska’s oldest roads were built on ancient transportation corridors used by coastal Natives who traded with Interior tribes. Railroad builders of the late 1800s and early 1900s were intent on making money by connecting the mines with the harbors, moving coal, gold, and copper to the shipping lines.
The Richardson Highway (Formerly the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail) (2 pages)
Alaska's first highway sprang from a frontier pack trail that served thousands of gold miners as the Valdez-Eagle Trail.

The Valdez-Fairbanks Trail (Constructed 1898-1906) (2 pages)
Like many other enterprises in Alaska, the beginnings of the 386-mile Valdez-Fairbanks Trail were steeped in gold mining.

Golden Age of Roadhouses (2 pages)
As a new century began, improvements to the trail resulted in increased traffic, and enterprising settlers saw the earning potential of offering room and board.

The Iditarod Trail (2 pages)
In 1908, hopeful miners throughout Alaska and the Yukon flooded the Iditarod region following the discovery of gold on Otter Creek. Within a year the main camp in the gold fields developed at Flat.

Alaska's Steese Highway
Recognizing Alaska's need for improved transportation infrastructure, in 1905 the federal government created the Alaska Road Commission.

The Parks Highway (2 pages)
Among Alaska's handful of highways, the Parks is perhaps the most traveled, as the shortest route connecting Anchorage and Fairbanks.

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