Whittier Tunnel

Gateway to Whittier & Prince William Sound
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Ticket Prices

Tickets start at $13.00

Schedule / Timetable

Whittier Tunnel traffic alternates direction every half hour. You can enter into Whittier at the bottom of the hour (at the 1/2 hour mark). Traffic leaves Whittier on the top of the hour. Use the timetable below to plan your trip through the Whittier Tunnel.

To ensure you make the tunnel, check out local Peter D’s suggested leave times from Girdwood & Anchorage. When planning out which tunnel you should take keep in mind there can be a delay in the opening. To be safe, give yourself 20-30 minutes to get through the tunnel and make it where you need to be.

Click on the image below to see full tunnel timetable

Full Whittier Tunnel Schedule

Meeting a cruise ship in Whittier?

It’s highly suggested to allow yourself a minimum of one hour to drive from Anchorage to the Whittier Tunnel opening. With summer traffic, you may want to allow up to 1.5 hours. Plan to catch the tunnel opening that is 1.5 hours before your cruise ship leaves.

Ex. The cruise departs at 9 am – plan to catch the 7:30 am to 7:45 am tunnel. If you arrive early, there are a couple of nice restaurants and cafes to check out with a bonus of spectacular scenery to take in.

Refer to our detailed Whittier Tunnel Timetable for help planning out your trip to Whittier.

Whittier Harbor

Getting to the Whittier Tunnel

The Whittier Tunnel is a dual highway tunnel acting as the passageway into and out of Whittier. This tunnel is one lane, shared by cars and trains, so make sure you plan ahead! If you’re driving from Anchorage, Whittier Local, Peter D, suggests you leave an hour and a half before the tunnel opening you plan to go through. If you’re leaving from Girdwood, make sure you’re passing the Tesoro gas station at least 30 minutes before the Whittier Tunnel opening. Refer to our Whittier Tunnel Timetable for detailed planning. Click the google map below for directions to the Whittier Tunnel:

Everything you need to know to plan your trip to Whittier

The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, better known as the Whittier Tunnel, is the longest dual-use, or bimodal, highway tunnel in North America. It is a unique passage into and out of the town of Whittier and the gateway to Prince William Sound and all the fun it has to offer.

Driving through a oneway tunnel shared by cars and trains is definitely a unique adventure to experience (don’t worry they aren’t using it at the same time)! It does involve some planning though. (Refer to the Whittier Tunnel Schedule.) This one-lane tunnel spans 2.5 miles in length. Cars depart from Bear Valley (Portage Valley) at the top of the hour (for a 15-minute window).

Cars depart from Whittier at the bottom of the hour. For more details see our timetable above. The Whittier tunnel suggests arriving 10 minutes prior to your opening. It’s definitely NOT a waste of time to arrive early. Both staging areas offer plenty of beautiful scenery for you to soak up.

Glacier Jetski sponsor Alaska Sea Kayakers sponsor

This page was made possible by the generous sponsorship from Alaska Sea Kayakers, Glacier Jetski Adventures.

 

Whittier Tunnel History

The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel, better known as the Whittier Tunnel, is the longest dual-use, or bimodal, highway tunnel in North America. It is a unique passage into and out of the town of Whittier and the gateway to Prince William Sound and all the fun it has to offer. The tunnel was originally only for trains, but demand for easier access to the beautiful Prince William Sound spurred the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to build a roadway through the tunnel. By 2000, people were able to drive to Whittier for adventure.

Check out the unique history of this tunnel on the State of Alaska’s website. 

Whittier Tunnel is shared by trains and cars

Things to do in Whittier & on the way

Excited to go through the Whittier Tunnel but not sure what to do when you get to Whittier? Well, no worries! There are plenty of fun things to do in Whittier including kayaking trips, glacier jet ski trips, glacier cruises, hiking, and more. Alaska Sea Kayakers

Glacier Jetski Adventures

Portage Pass Trail

  • Great day hike or overnight hike.
  • Trailhead accessed on Whittier side of Tunnel.
  • 1.5 miles (one way) to the pass – Moderate Difficulty
  • 3 miles (one way) to the lake – Moderate Difficulty
  • Learn more about Portage Pass Trail HERE.

Alaska Rail Road

  • If you don’t have a rental car, you can get to Whittier by Train.
  • There is a Girdwood Train Depot – note though there are no services here. You must purchase your ticket ahead of time online.  Learn more about the Girdwood Train Depot HERE.
  • Purchase a train ticket last minute at the Portage Train Station.  This is just 15 minutes southeast of Girdwood.

Begich Boggs Visitor Center | USFS Portage Visitor Center

  • Located on the Bear Valley Side of the Whittier Tunnel.
  • Run by the USFS
  • Free information and for a small fee, you can view their museum and watch a really cool movie on the history of the area.
  • Family-friendly museum.
  • Learn more about the Begich Boggs Visitor Center HERE.

Portage River

Byron Glacier Hike

  • Short Family Friendly Hike on the Bear Valley Side of the Whittier Tunnel.
  • 1.4 miles  Round trip.  Easy walk for all ages.
  • Budget yourself about 1 hr (20 minutes to walk in, 20 minutes to look and play, 20 minutes to walk out)
  • Offers views of Byron Glacier
  • Learn more about Byron Glacier Hike HERE.

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Whittier 99693 AK US
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Summer Hours 5:30 am – 10:30 pm (May 1st to Sept. 30th) Plan ahead! This tunnel is a one-way tunnel shared by cars and trains. See full schedule