The Coolest Underground Attractions in Alaska

Alaska is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, wildlife, and outdoor adventures. However, there are also fascinating underground attractions waiting to be explored in the Last Frontier. From caves and tunnels to mines and bunkers, here are some of Alaska’s coolest underground attractions that you shouldn’t miss.

El Capitan Cave

Situated on Prince of Wales Island in the Tongass National Forest, El Capitan Cave is Alaska’s largest and longest cave. Stretching over 2 miles, it boasts 13 chambers adorned with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and other cave formations. Home to bats, bears, and diverse wildlife, visiting the cave requires a reservation with the Forest Service. A guided tour, lasting approximately 3 hours, involves a mile-long hike to the cave entrance. Proper clothing and footwear are essential for this underground adventure.

Whittier Tunnel

Known as the Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, the Whittier Tunnel holds the title of North America’s longest highway tunnel, spanning 2.5 miles through the Chugach Mountains. Connecting the town of Whittier to the road system, this unique tunnel accommodates both cars and trains, alternating directions. Equipped with safety features like jet fans, ventilation systems, and emergency shelters, the tunnel operates year-round with toll fees of $13 for cars and $28 for RVs.

Kennecott Mines

Nestled in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Kennecott Mines is a historic mining town designated as a National Historic Landmark. Established in 1903, it was once the world’s wealthiest copper mine, producing over $200 million worth of copper. Abandoned in 1938, the town’s remnants include the mill, power plant, hospital, and railroad. Accessible by driving or shuttle bus from McCarthy, guided tours offer insights into the town’s history and architecture.

White Alice Site

Located on Anvil Mountain near Nome, the White Alice Site is a Cold War-era communication system established in 1958. Comprising four large parabolic antennas, it relayed radio signals across Alaska and beyond. Decommissioned in 1979 with most equipment removed, the antennas remain, offering a panoramic view of the surroundings. Accessible by hiking or driving, the site is a popular winter spot for aurora viewing, providing a glimpse into Alaska’s historical past.


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