“The best source of information”
— USA Today
“The best guidebook I’ve ever used!”
— D.C., Linville, NC
One of North America’s most famous roads sparked creation of one of publishing’s longest-running guides. The Alaska Highway was a rugged road when it opened for tourist traffic in 1948, and facilities were few and far between. On such a road, a reliable guidebook was essential, and in 1949, The MILEPOST® was born. The MILEPOST® has been guiding travelers to Alaska longer than Alaska has been a state. Alaska became the 49th state in 1959.
Today, visitors from around the world are drawn to the wildlife and fishing, mountains and meadows, grandeur and adventure of the highway. The two-lane road winds and rolls across the vast, varied and breathtaking wilderness of two countries — the United States and Canada. It’s enjoyed by everyone from bicyclists to RVers with expensive Class A rigs, according to MILEPOST Editor Kris Valencia. These days, surfacing on the highway ranges from fair to excellent; there are relatively few steep grades; and services are found an average of every 20 to 50 miles.
The highway was originally built to create an overland link between Alaska and the Lower 48 states during World War II because Alaska was considered vulnerable to Japanese invasion. The road is now a major attraction for those who want to experience the Last Frontier.
The first edition of The MILEPOST® was a mere 72 pages, a 5 1/4″ x 8 1/4″ saddle-stitched booklet containing “helpful information for motorists” and logs of the Alaska Highway and seven other highways. At that time, there were about 1,000 miles of connected road within Alaska. Today, The MILEPOST® is a large format, full-color, perfect-bound book of over 600 pages and includes logs of attractions, activities and services along 88 scenic highways and roads in Alaska, Yukon and other parts of Western Canada. Public road mileage in Alaska today-including all city streets-is about 15,000 miles. The MILEPOST® logs all major highways and most secondary roads, from the 1,488-mile Alaska Highway (the longest road logged) to the 1.6 mile Anchor River Road (the shortest road logged).
Today’s MILEPOST also has an extensive Inside Passage section for cruiseship and ferry travelers; detailed coverage of air access, cities and major attractions such as Denali and Glacier Bay national parks; and a general information section on everything from Alaska’s three types of bears (where to see them and how to avoid them), to when to go and what to wear.
The first edition of The MILEPOST® weighed less than 4 ounces and was sold primarily through the mail and at Northern newsstands. The current edition weighs in at close to three pounds is sold throughout the world by bookstores, travel clubs, warehouse clubs, outdoor stores and other outlets, as well as by direct mail and via the Internet. It’s the world’s best-selling guide to Alaska, according to statistics gathered by Publishers Weekly, and has become almost as famous as the highway, with endorsements by everyone from The Associated Press and the New York Times to National Geographic Traveler and Alaska magazine.
The handful of black-and-white photos and maps in the early editions have been replaced by more than 500 color photos; 56 city, vicinity and park maps; and 42 detailed highway strip maps. A popular feature of The MILEPOST® since it began has been the fold-out Plan-A-Trip Map bound into the book.
Field editors who live in Alaska and Canada drive the roads and visit the Inside Passage every year to provide up-to-date, comprehensive information to travelers. When you want to know where you’ll find turnouts, gas, food, lodgings or restrooms; where you’re likely to see wildlife; what day trips are available from Anchorage; what shore-excursion-length experiences can be found near Juneau; what Alaska glaciers are easy to reach by road; how to visit a Native fish camp; when salmon run on the Kenai River; or what the Talkeetna Moose Dropping Festival is, The MILEPOST® tells you.
We have selected the Edgerton Highway/McCarthy Road section in the 2013 edition of The MILEPOST to view as sample pages. The section has been saved as a PDF (portable document format) file to view online or offline.
2013 Edgerton Highway/McCarthy Road as PDF file (PDF, 1.3mb)
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