Locations in Kenai Peninsula
Whittier | Kenai Peninsula
Whittier, Alaska the gateway to beautiful Prince William Sound, is only 63 miles from Anchorage on the Seward Highway. It is accessible by car, bus or via the Alaska Railroad. The Alaska Railroad’s Glacier Discovery Train departs Anchorage at 10am and takes around 2.5 hours to arrive in Whittier. This gives visitors time for a glacier & wildlife day cruise in Prince William Sound before returning to Anchorage the same day.
Surrounded by three magnificent glaciers Whittier is an ice-free port. In November 1941, a port and railroad terminus project was undertaken by the U.S. Army for transport of fuel and other supplies into Alaska. On November 20, 1942, the “holing through” ceremonies were held on the Whittier-cutoff and the first train was run through the tunnels on March 10, 1943. The Portage tunnel is 0.9 miles long and Whittier tunnel is 2.5 miles long.
Change came in 2000 when, for the first time ever, residents were able to reach Whittier by road. The State of Alaska transformed the existing railroad tunnel into a one-lane, combination highway and railway tunnel, which allows cars and trains to take turns passing through. This effort is the longest combined rail and highway tunnel in North America.
Whittier is known for its access to Prince William Sound and the many outdoor activities in the area. These activities include fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, boating, and photography. Visitors can hike the Portage Pass Trail, go fishing on one of several area charter operations or explore Prince William Sound with some of the best Glacier Tour operators in the State.
What is Whittier Alaska Known for?
Whittier is famous for being a town that almost all of it’s residents reside in a single building. The population of Whittier is around 200 people, and almost all residents live in the Begich Towers, a former Army Barracks built in 1974. Whittier is also know for only being accessible by boat or a single lane tunnel that is shared by cars and railroads on an alternating schedule. Finally, Whittier is know as a gateway to Prince William Sound, which is teeming with stunning scenery, glaciers and marine wildlife.
How long is the drive from Whittier to Anchorage?
Whittier is 58 miles from Anchorage. 47 miles on the Seward Highway plus an 11 mile spur road at Portage Recreation Area.
How Long is the Whittier Tunnel?
The Whittier tunnel is 2.5 miles long, making it the 2nd longest tunnel in North America. What make the tunnel unique is that is shared by cars and railroad on an alternating schedule. There is a toll to pass through the tunnel to Whittier, Alaska.