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Why Willow, Alaska Should be a Must-Visit Stop on Your Way to Denali

If you're planning a trip to Denali National Park in Alaska, you may want to consider making a stop in the small town of Willow on your way there. Here are some reasons why Willow is worth a visit:

1. Beautiful Scenery

Willow is located in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, which is known for its stunning scenery. As you drive through the area, you'll be treated to views of snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, and pristine lakes. There are also several hiking trails in the area that offer even more opportunities to take in the natural beauty of Alaska.

2. Iditarod Headquarters

Willow is the official starting point of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which takes place every year in March. If you're a fan of the race or just interested in learning more about it, you can visit the Iditarod Headquarters in Willow. The headquarters has a museum that showcases the history of the race, as well as a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs.

3. Outdoor Activities

If you're looking for outdoor activities, Willow has plenty to offer. You can go fishing in the nearby streams and lakes, or try your hand at hunting. There are also several ATV trails in the area, as well as opportunities for horseback riding, mountain biking, and even dog sledding. Even canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board rentals in Nancy Lake State Recreation Area at

4. Local Culture

Willow is a small town with a tight-knit community, and visitors can get a taste of local culture by stopping at one of the town's restaurants or bars. Many of these establishments feature live music and other entertainment, and the friendly locals are always happy to chat with visitors and share their knowledge of the area.

5. Convenient Location

Finally, one of the biggest advantages of stopping in Willow on your way to Denali is the town's convenient location. It's about halfway between Anchorage and Denali, which makes it a great place to take a break and stretch your legs during a long drive. Plus, you can avoid the crowds and high prices of the tourist areas by staying in Willow, which offers a more relaxed and authentic Alaskan experience. Camping or public use cabins available within Nancy Lake State Recreation Area here If Air B&B is more your style check out Howling Daog Farms at and learn about dog mushers.

In conclusion, there are plenty of reasons why tourists should consider stopping in Willow on their way to Denali. From its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities to its local culture and convenient location, Willow has something for everyone. So why not add it to your itinerary and discover what this charming town has to offer?

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