Miles Away Episode 17: Alaska, The Last Frontier

Apr 24, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Our senior writer Darren Murph breaks down everything you need to know about traveling to Alaska on this episode of Miles Away. He details the best times to visit, explains the differences between Fairbanks and Anchorage, and provides recommendations so you can maximize your time in this gigantic, 663,300-square-mile state.

And, being the world-class traveler that he is, Darren even manages to mix in some advice for taking your adventure to the next level, with a side trip way down south to Hawaii.

Related Content:

You can play this episode of Miles Away above, or listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including:
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts

We want to hear your feedback about the show! Please take our listener survey by May 1.

Full Transcript:

Zach Honig: Hey Miles Away listeners, it’s your host, Zach Honig. We want to hear your feedback about the show. What kinds of topics do you want to hear more of, or less of? Who would you love to hear me interview, and what destinations should we cover? Do you have a favorite episode so far? We really want to get your feedback, so please go to Again, to learn more, and please let me know by May 1st. Thanks, and safe travels.

Zach Honig: On today’s episode of Miles Away, we are sitting down with Darren Murph. Welcome back to the podcast, Darren.

Darren Murph: Thank you for having me.

Zach Honig: And we are talking about the great state of Alaska. The 49th state?

Darren Murph: It’s the Last Frontier, that’s all I know.

Zach Honig: The Last Frontier.

Darren Murph: It’s amazing. It’s huge. It’s the size of the entire continent.

Zach Honig: I’ve been twice, in the summer. And Alaska’s a really special place probably any time of year that you go, but in the summer it’s especially interesting just because, I mean, you get a ton of sunlight. I remember we went for happy hour in the evenings, and then just the day continued on and on and on from there. I think the sun set after 11pm.

Darren Murph: Yeah, so there’s a term, it’s the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Zach Honig: Land of the Midnight Sun.

Darren Murph: Which sounds so — it’s just poetic. But in truth, it actually is the Land of the Midnight Sun. I went to Dawson City by way of the Top of the World highway, and there was a show we went to see there, and it didn’t finish up until 12:30, and we came out and it was sunset. AM — 12:30am.

Zach Honig: Oh my gosh. Yeah, just like going to Norway. I experienced that, I went to Norway for the longest day, the summer solstice, and I went up to Tromso, far in the north. Just along the same longitude as the northern part of Alaska. So, it’s a pretty big state, right?

Darren Murph: It’s enormous. If you count all the islands that go all the way almost to Russia, and you transpose that on the…

Zach Honig: The Aleutian Islands?

Darren Murph: Yeah, Aleutians. Starts with an A. Not like illusion, like a magic trick. If you transpose that on top of the continental US it would stretch almost from Maine to Los Angeles. It’s nuts. So, very large.

Zach Honig: Let’s say I’ve never been to Alaska. (I’ve been twice, but let’s pretend I haven’t been there.) What should I do on my first trip?

Darren Murph: Here’s the thing. You should go in the summer, if it’s your first time. Okay, the winter is amazing there, but it’s bitterly cold and you really need to weave the Northern Lights into your trip, or otherwise you’re like, “What am I doing here?” Dog-sledding is amazing, Northern Lights is amazing, but that’s all for the second time. The first time should be in the summer, so you get these amazingly long days.

Darren Murph: So you’re going in the summer. You need to decide between Anchorage and Fairbanks, generally speaking. Fly into one or the other. If it were my first trip, I’d fly into Fairbanks and I’d rent a car and I’d do the Top of the World highway. It’s one of my most favorite things I’ve ever done. If you’re into road tripping, or even if you’re not, it’s one of America’s most quintessentially beautiful drives. So Top of the World highway goes roughly from Fairbanks to Dawson City, Yukon. So you’ll need to bring your passport, because you’re going to Canada.

Zach Honig: Oh, yeah. Canada, OK.

Darren Murph: OK, but most of it is in Alaska. So what makes this road so special is you’re kind of on the ridgebacks of mountains for hundreds and hundreds of miles and most of it’s on dirt roads. So you are in the middle of nowhere, for hours. Hours, and hours, and hours and hours. And you go through this town called Chicken. Chicken, Alaska, OK?

Darren Murph: So as the story goes, the folks that first founded this settlement, there was a different way to spell Chicken in their native tongue. But no one could exactly agree on how to spell it. So they just went with the typical English spelling, which is Chicken. Chicken is one of the few towns that you’ll stop at along the way. It used to be an old… it’s like an old gold mining town and you can still pan for gold there. There’s not a lot happening there, you’ll find a restroom and a few restaurants, and a few RV-ers that are just way off the grid. But it’s just part of the… it’s just one of the few places where you can go that there’s no pavement, there’s no establishments. It’s just so, so off the grid. But you just see the most amazing mountain ranges the whole way. And you end up in Canada — Dawson City — and when you get there you can order poutine and it’s amazing.

Zach Honig: Oh, man. So is that more of a remote experience, if you’re looking for more wilderness…

Darren Murph: It’s very remote. It’s very remote. But let’s be honest, most of Alaska is extraordinarily remote, and so this is just taking it to the extreme end of that. But Dawson City is a really cool place to go, and you get to go from Alaska all the way over, and you can say you crossed the border and you changed time zones. It’s just one of those cool, extreme, off the grid, remote things. Like, “I did the Top of the World highway.”

Darren Murph: And you can’t do that in the winter, because it’s all snowy.

Zach Honig: So I guess you need to rent a car, then.

Darren Murph: You do need to rent a car everywhere … Do not go to Alaska and not rent a car. If you fly into Anchorage and you’re like, “Oh, I’m just gonna Uber around to things.” No, you’re not. You’re not going to do that. You need to befriend someone with a car or rent a car.

Darren Murph: Look, the state of Alaska is huge. OK? It will fit on the other 48 states just by itself. All right, you need a car, because there’s a lot to see. And you’re gonna need many hours to get from place to place.

Zach Honig: Now, can you do Fairbanks and Anchorage in one trip?

Darren Murph: You can. They’re about six, give or take, hours apart.

Zach Honig: Okay, not crazy.

Darren Murph: So if you have a long enough stay, like if you’re there for a week or a week and a half, you could fly into … You could do round trip from Anchorage and make your way up to Fairbanks. There’s a ton of daily flights connecting them, it’s like 45 minutes or so.

Zach Honig: Why would you? And who should choose Anchorage and that part of Alaska over Fairbanks for a first trip?

Darren Murph: Anchorage is probably the more sensible location to fly into for a first trip. I love the Top of the World highway out of Fairbanks, but that’s kind of for the explorers. You’re going expressly for that. There’s not a lot to Fairbanks itself. The only thing notable I can think about Fairbanks is it’s right beside a town called North Pole. Like, it’s actually called North Pole. North Pole, comma, Alaska.

Zach Honig: North Pole, Alaska, yeah.

Darren Murph: Yeah, that is actually…

Zach Honig: I always picture that being at the northern part of the state.

Darren Murph: Yeah, but it’s actually not. Barrow and the oil fields are way, way up at the top. So North Pole is kind of a suburb of Fairbanks.

Zach Honig: Do they have a Christmas Tree Shops?

Darren Murph: So they have this huge, huge Christmas shop that’s open year round. And obviously in December, it’s just manic. But also halfway through the year, it’s manic, because they have half Christmas. So you can go at half Christmas, and it’s like — Santa’s there, you can get a picture on his lap…

Zach Honig: Christmas in July?

Darren Murph: Yeah, exactly, Christmas in July. They have this massive gift shop with everything North Pole. I mean, you can get a photo with Santa at the North Pole. I mean, c’mon, if you have kids, this is a no-brainer. So that’s an amazing reason to go to Fairbanks. For everyone else, I would start the journey in Anchorage, predominantly because Anchorage itself is a proper town. So you can find a few points properties there and some actually really good food. They actually have a ski resort there that’s pretty decent in the winter.

Zach Honig: Alyeska, is that what it is?

Darren Murph: Alyeska is an awesome place. And even in the summer they have a cable car that will take you up to the top of the mountain and there’s a restaurant there with just obscene views.

Zach Honig: I did that. I had the baked Alaska and I saw … I saw a bear from the cable car.

Darren Murph: Did you really?

Zach Honig: I was so excited. My first bear sighting.

Darren Murph: Amazing. There are plenty of bears.

Zach Honig: I mean, we have them in New Jersey, I guess.

Darren Murph: But that’s not the same, right? It’s an Alaskan bear.

Zach Honig: Yeah.

Darren Murph: But while we’re on the topic of food, I have to say if you stop in Anchorage or the surrounding area, you have to go to Moose’s Tooth. Moose’s Tooth pizzeria.

Zach Honig: Okay.

Darren Murph: All right, so there are people that are listening…

Zach Honig: Sounds crunchy.

Darren Murph: Well, now that you mention that.

Darren Murph: There are people on this podcast right now that are pumping their first in the air, “Yes!!!” Moose’s Tooth is legendary. It’s almost good enough to justify a trip there. It’s phenomenal. It’s phenomenal. And they also have Bear’s Tooth, which is a spinoff that they have, like, theater showings and things like that. Moose’s Tooth is legendary and it’s one of the most remote pizza joints in the world, but it is phenomenally good. So if you end up in Anchorage, you have to go. It’d be a crime not to go.

Zach Honig: And Anchorage is really close to Denali National Park, is that right?

Darren Murph: Denali’s kind of equidistant from Fairbanks and Anchorage, and that’s why a lot of people that are making the drive from Fairbanks to Anchorage or vice versa will stop at Denali along the way. It’s roughly halfway between the two. So you can make it a day trip from either city. But again, Denali itself is enormous. And in the summer, sometimes they have throttles on how many cars they’ll let in, so you have to take a shuttle to kind of see some of the things. So I kind of prefer to go in the shoulder season, where you can drive yourself in there and pick a hike from there.

Darren Murph: But in the summer, be prepared for crowds. I mean, it’s amazing.

Zach Honig: So who is the state of Alaska for? What type of tourist would you recommend it for? You have to be adventurous and want to spend some time out in the wilderness, or…

Darren Murph: Yeah, you need to be the exploring type, the adventurous type. If you’re going for night life in the city-scapes, it’s the wrong place. You also need to be someone with time. And you have to have patience, because Alaska is huge. So even getting from, let’s say, Moose’s Tooth to Denali, you’re talking about three hours each way. Nothing is close together.

Zach Honig: So you’re keeping your fingers crossed for a rental car upgrade, I’m guessing.

Darren Murph: Yeah, you have to … Yeah, I would definitely make sure you rent something that you’re going to want to spend a lot of time in. Let’s say we package southern Alaska. So we have the Whittier Tunnel, which is an amazing place. Moose’s Tooth, Alyeska, Homer Spit, all of these places are technically in southern Alaska and most of them are like two to four hours away from each other.

Darren Murph: So you’re gonna need multiple days to do this right. But it’s worth doing. I mean, you could go to Anchorage and spend a week there and hit a lot of this stuff, and it would be a trip well done. If you try to do Anchorage and Fairbanks in a week, you’re gonna cut a lot of corners and you’ll spend a lot of your time just driving. I would recommend segmenting those out because of just how enormous Alaska is.

Darren Murph: Whittier Tunnel is this train track that’s built through a mountain. And so to get to the town of Whittier, you actually have to drive your vehicle through the train tunnel. So the only way this doesn’t create complete calamity is you have to let the train through on the half hours, I think, and then on the 15 and 45 they let cars go back and forth. So you have to queue up on either side of it to get to this tunnel-locked town. It’s this fishing port. It’s worth doing, just because you get to drive your vehicle on a train track through a tunnel. And you’re like, “I really hope the train didn’t miss the memo.”

Zach Honig: I was picturing one of those platforms where you drive onto the platform and it just goes down the rails through the tunnel.

Darren Murph: No, like, you control it.

Zach Honig: You’re driving, on the tracks?

Darren Murph: It’s not like a ferry, where you just park yourself on a shipping container. No, you do it, man. It’s an adventure, it’s amazing.

Zach Honig: So how much should I budget for a trip to Alaska? Is it kind of an expensive destination? Are we spending, you know, a lot on hotels or are you camping? Kind of walk me through that.

Darren Murph: There are plenty of national parks, a huge concentration of national parks in Alaska, many of which require a bush plane to get to, you can’t even drive to it. And actually, the largest national park in the United States at 20 million square feet is Wrangell-St. Elias. You can drive to that, (but) because it’s 20 million square feet, you’re not going to see too much in a week.

Zach Honig: And probably parts are not even accessible?

Darren Murph: They’re not, yeah. Not unless you just go in there backcountry and just bush-whack your way through the park. Which you can, but not recommended for most people. Generally speaking, Alaska is not the cheapest destination. In the summer, which is peak season, any of the hotels in the surrounding Anchorage area are outrageously expensive. It’s just the way it is. And same for rental cars, especially if you want to get a four-wheel drive or an SUV, because I know a lot of people want to do that Top of the World highway. And you can do that in a basic standard car, it’s just not very enjoyable. So the SUVs are usually priced pretty egregiously.

Darren Murph: So it’s something you need to budget for, but the magic of Alaska — I’ve been a lot of places and it’s just incomparable to anything else. There’s just something special about it. The mountains there, the remoteness, it’s just incredibly beautiful. It’s worth doing. I would recommend doing it with a group, so you share some of the cost. It’s much easier to justify an SUV rental if you’re splitting it four or six ways. Same thing with lodging, you can find Airbnbs out in the middle of nowhere, and if you can split it with one or two other couples, your dollar goes a lot further.

Zach Honig: So do you pick Fairbanks or Anchorage kind of as your base camp and then do day trips from there, or would you kind of spread it out, almost like a trip to Iceland where you’re staying at different places kind of as you go?

Darren Murph: A lot of people do pick Anchorage as a base and there are lot of tour companies that will take you out there. I personally think you’re the better tour guide. I really like the self-guided part of Alaska. If you just go to Alaska and you get on a tour bus, you’re not really doing it justice. Half the fun in Alaska is getting in your own vehicle and just exploring it on your own.

Darren Murph: So when we went, we spent a few days with Anchorage as a base and then we did that Top of the World highway drive to Yukon. So we just dedicated a full day — a full day — getting to Dawson City and we spent a few days in Yukon before heading back.

Zach Honig: Let’s talk a little bit about flights and hotel options. And one thing I want to touch on, too, is that you’d be surprised but, looking at a map, Alaska actually seems almost close — if not maybe even a little bit closer — to Hawaii than the West Coast of the US.

Zach Honig: For sure. So it could be potentially even a stopping-off point on the way to Hawaii.

Darren Murph: You know it’s funny, we were talking on a Seychelles episode a few episodes back, so if you haven’t heard that, listen to the Seychelles episode. Alaska is an amazing sort of stopover, kind of an in-between if you’re coming from the East Coast, to have this amazing mountain adventure and then continue on to an island paradise.

Zach Honig: Which is crazy.

Darren Murph: It’s crazy. You need to pack a lot…

Zach Honig: Yeah, you need a checked bag allowance, I’d say, right.

Darren Murph: Yeah, because what you wear and need in both places are completely different, even if you’re going in the summer. But, you know, that’s why you have cards with free baggage allowance. You can sneak Alaska into a Hawaiian vacation.

Zach Honig: Obviously, Alaska Airlines is the predominant carrier there. Even though they’re based in Seattle, a lot of the intra-Alaska flights are operated by Alaska.

Darren Murph: Yep.

Zach Honig: Or Horizon Air.

Darren Murph: Horizon, PenAir, a few of those smaller carriers to take you to some of the real remote places.

Zach Honig: I actually did a PenAir flight to Unalaska…

Darren Murph: Dude, I want to hear this. So Unalaska is on my bucket list.

Zach Honig: It’s so cool.

Darren Murph: There’s another name for Unalaska. What’s it?

Zach Honig: Oh my gosh.

Darren Murph: Dutch Harbor?

Zach Honig: That’s it, yes. Dutch Harbor. The airport code I think is DUT, for Dutch Harbor. But the locals seem to call it Unalaska.

Darren Murph: They do.

Zach Honig: It used to be part of Russia. It’s on the Aleutian islands.

Darren Murph: It’s extremely close. It’s actually…

Zach Honig: It’s very close to Russia.

Darren Murph: I think it’s closer to Russia than it is Anchorage. It’s way out there.

Zach Honig: Oh, yeah. It really is, yeah, yeah. And you’re out there. I think it was about a two hour flight from Anchorage, on the turboprop, so we weren’t going jet speeds, but it was still a hike. And I did a day trip there, because it’s a… I was really intrigued. It’s a really expensive flight to pay in cash for, like $900 to $1,100 round trip, but I was actually able to book it for, I think, 15,000 Alaska miles.

Darren Murph: Amazing.

Zach Honig: I don’t know what the current rate is, this was a couple years ago, but what I had seen just a couple years before I visited … this video had gone viral of I think it was a Walmart or some kind of big store. They actually have a large store, it’s grocery-sized, I think it’s a Walmart. And in the parking lot, someone had a pickup truck, and they brought their groceries out and left it in the bed of the pickup truck. They went back in to get more things, they came out, and there were 50 bald eagles surrounding the car, diving in, and just stealing everything out of the back of the pickup.

Zach Honig: And I’m like: I’ve never seen a single bald eagle, let alone dozens of them together.

Darren Murph: That’s quite possibly the most Alaska thing I’ve ever heard. But it’s…

Zach Honig: They’re everywhere there. And it was so cool. I mean, they were fishing for salmon, and they are aggressive.

Darren Murph: Yes.

Zach Honig: I was actually… they were circling me at one point.

Darren Murph: They’re like the monkeys in Malaysia. If they get your lunch, you just gotta give it up.

Zach Honig: Oh my god, yeah. Please, take everything. Here’s my wallet too. You don’t know what to do with it, but stay away.

Darren Murph: So yeah, there are a ton of shorter flights to really remote regions of Alaska once you’re there, if you have enough time. There’s a ton of these towns that are completely disconnected from other towns by roads, so you have to fly from one to the other. Which in and of itself is just a mind-boggling concept if you live in the mainland, because that just doesn’t happen. I mean, whole communities aren’t just cut off from each other. But out there, it’s just how they live.

Zach Honig: It is wild, man.

Darren Murph: Yeah. It’s like you have to take a plane to most of these places.

Zach Honig: And a lot of the locals live in really remote areas, and they actually fly themselves around. They’ve got seaplanes. And if they wanna get to see their family or to the doctor, even sometimes to the grocery store, they have to fly there.

Darren Murph: Yeah, it reminds me of in the Maldives where all of those islands are obviously disconnected from one another. People just have boats and they just consider it part of their day-to-day life of just getting in a boat and going to another island. It’s the same thing in Alaska, but with planes. It’s wild.

Zach Honig: The Sheraton is where I stayed, and from one part of the Sheraton you have a view of kind of the inner city Anchorage airport. And there’s just a ton of prop planes, one after the next after the next. And it seemed to me like it’s locals that are just coming into the city to do their banking, or coming to happy hour. Maybe not happy hour and then flying, but…

Darren Murph: They have a lot of people out there that just run that as their business. They just charter locals from place to place because it’s like coming to New York. You need a cab. If you go to Alaska, you probably need a plane. One salmon bed to the next.

Zach Honig: Coming up after the break, we’re going to talk flight and hotel options.

(Commercial break.)

Zach Honig: So there’s obviously Alaska Airlines, and if you have Alaska miles you can use your miles to get to and from the state of Alaska. Every major US airline also has flights, and JetBlue does as well. I don’t think Southwest flies to Alaska.

Darren Murph: No, not yet. Not yet.

Zach Honig: Who knows, maybe one day, right?

Darren Murph: They’ve got Hawaii now, so you never know.

Zach Honig: Yeah, but JetBlue does, I think, Long Beach to Anchorage, I believe.

Darren Murph: They might. I don’t know, I’ve never flown them there.

Zach Honig: Yeah, the legacy carriers do as well. They’ve got limited flights, but sometimes you can find — not wide-bodied planes, but you can get lie flat seats. So if you get 757s on American or Delta, you might be able to get a lie flat seat.

Darren Murph: In the summer, Delta runs a seasonal — I think — Atlanta to Anchorage flight, which is pretty long.

Zach Honig: Oh, yeah.

Darren Murph: And I think the config on that is pretty sweet, given how long you’re in the plane.

Zach Honig: United’s got… I think last summer they did daily Newark-Anchorage as well. It’s not as long as you’d expect. So if you’re flying to the West Coast and then up to Alaska, it’s going to take some time. But if you’re flying from the East Coast nonstop, you’re going over Canada, and it’s a lot more efficient. Don’t quote me on this, but I think it’s around seven and a half to eight hours to get out there.

Darren Murph: Tops, tops.

Zach Honig: Whereas if you’re connecting on the West Coast, you’re going to add a lot of time.

Darren Murph: Yeah. The other thing is, you actually get four hours back, because it’s an additional hour away from the Pacific Coast.

Zach Honig: Right.

Darren Murph: So it doesn’t feel as long when you land there, you get some of that time back.

Zach Honig: So somehow if you somehow get to piece together an amazing award trip, fly from the East Coast to Anchorage nonstop, get one of those lie flat seats, and then go down to Hawaii…

Darren Murph: It’s actually one of my favorite redemptions to tell people, is to book a multi-city award ticket. So East Coast to Alaska, and then spend a week or so there, and then Alaska to a Hawaiian island. Even the legacy carriers, some of them have to connect back through Seattle, but there’s a surprising amount of flights that go from Fairbanks and Anchorage to all of the Hawaiian islands. They’re incredibly well connected.

Darren Murph: Obviously people that live in Alaska love to go to Hawaii.

Zach Honig: Oh my god, that’s a dream escape.

Darren Murph: Yeah, so if you end up there, you get to latch onto that leisure travel.

Zach Honig: Imagine almost 24 hours of darkness in the winter.

Darren Murph: And escaping to Hawaii…

Zach Honig: Yeah, exactly.

Darren Murph: … and then just connect back home from Hawaii. And so that’s a dream destination. My wife and I, we had an anniversary trip in August a few years ago where we spent the first week in southern Alaska and then we flew on to Hawaii from there, and I think we did Molokai and Lanai on that trip before flying home.

Darren Murph: That was a sensational trip. It was about 20 days, though.

Zach Honig: You’re the only person I know that’s done Alaska and Hawaii on the same trip.

Darren Murph: It’s a must. I mean look, you’re already over there. You’re really close. If you’ve gone all that way, you just might as well go to Hawaii. I’m a sucker for Hawaii, any excuse.

Zach Honig: Before we wrap up, what about hotel options? I stayed at the Sheraton. I wasn’t blown away, but it was a pretty decent value on points because I did go in the summer and, I mean, the cash rates can be really high.

Darren Murph: They’re really high. I’ve seen it as high as like $350 a night for that Sheraton, which is crazy. And I think they even charge for parking there, and you’re like, “For real?” There’s infinite square footage in Alaska and they charge for parking.

Zach Honig: Oh my gosh.

Darren Murph: Yeah, points on that hotel is pretty solid. Cash is a terrible deal. The advent of Airbnb I actually think has helped Alaska disproportionately, and that’s a good thing, because there are so many amazing cabins in Alaska that people use as second or third homes that they just aren’t in for most of the year. So now that they can rent them out to explorers, you get to stay in these amazing places that are built up on mountainsides that no one would build a hotel there.

Darren Murph: So Alaska is tailor-made for Airbnbs, especially if you’re piecing together a really long road trip. Because it’s nothing to have two destinations in Alaska be two, three, four hundred miles apart. And if you try to use one place as a home base, you’re just going to drive yourself crazy.

Zach Honig: Are credit cards pretty widely accepted in Alaska? I’m pretty sure they are, from my experience, but what about Yukon?

Darren Murph: They were there. Yukon is actually a…

Zach Honig: Pretty well connected?

Darren Murph: Fairly well developed town. It kind of reminded me of Fairbanks in terms of its size. It just looks like a super old Western town. So they have changed nothing about the aesthetic, which is amazing, but everything underneath of it infrastructure-wise is well-connected. Hotels take credit cards there, restaurants take credit cards there, but you feel like you are a million years … It’s just like the wild, wild West. You’ve walked right back into it.

Darren Murph: Actually, the last leg of that Top of the World highway, when you actually cross into Dawson City, the town, you have to get on a ferry. There’s a tiny river that kind of disconnects you from mainland Yukon to Dawson City. And instead of building a bridge over it — I mean it’s I don’t know, three hundred feet — they’re like, “We’re gonna put a ferry here.” So you get a quintessential Wild West ferry to take you all the rest of the way into Dawson City.

Zach Honig: Oh my gosh.

Darren Murph: Highly recommend it.

Zach Honig: Yukon was not even on my radar, and now it is, and I’m going to have to go.

Darren Murph: You have to. It’s complicated to get to Yukon by itself, and there’s not a whole lot of reason to go there…

Zach Honig: Those intra-Canada flights can be really expensive.

Darren Murph: Really expensive. But the secret is fly into Fairbanks, get a rental car, and do the Top of the World highway. It’s unforgettable.

Zach Honig: Oh, man.

Darren Murph: And you get to visit Canada while you’re there and get poutine. It’s just phenomenal. Pan for gold. I mean, c’mon.

Zach Honig: Darren, if anyone wants to follow along with your Alaskan, Hawaiian, and worldwide adventures, where can they find you on social media?

Darren Murph: Yeah, I’m on Instagram @darren_murph, and I’m on Twitter at @darrenmurph.

Zach Honig: Well thanks for coming on the podcast. Safe travels, Darren.

Darren Murph: Absolutely. See you again soon, Zach.

Zach Honig: That’s all for this episode of Miles Away. Thanks again to Darren Murph. This episode was produced by Margaret Kelly and Caroline Schagrin, with editing by Ryan Gabos. Our music is by Alex Schiff.

Zach Honig: If you’ve been enjoying Miles Away so far, please subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you choose to listen.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.