Moving from Portland, OR to Anchorage, AK

Embrace your wild side living in The Last Frontier 

If Anchorage, AK feels massive, that’s because it is — geographically. With a land mass of nearly 2,000 square miles, Anchorage is home to just 287,000 people and the Anchorage metro area (398,000) accounts for nearly half of Alaska’s total population. Once you get a handle on the sheer size, you’ll find that Anchorage has a small-town vibe with big-city amenities and unspoiled wilderness. 

Learn more about what to expect from life in the commercial and industrial hub of America’s 49th state. And if you’re wondering what a move there from Portland, OR looks like, we’ve got you covered! 


Getting there 

Flying from Portland to Anchorage is easier and faster, of course. But if necessity or a sense of adventure calls for driving, it’ll be an unforgettable 2,600-mile road trip. Have some time to explore? Check out these 40 notable stops between Portland and Anchorage to make the most of your trip.


Weathering the elements 

Portland is known for its gray skies, steady mist and infrequent sunlight. Did you know Anchorage gets almost as many sunny days per year (126) as Portland (144)? In Anchorage, you can expect short but gorgeous summers with temperatures in the 60s and nearly round-the-clock sunlight. 

While it does get quite cold, you may be surprised to learn that winter in Anchorage is typically milder than an upper Midwest city like Minneapolis, MN. Anchorage residents embrace the cold and the 78 inches of annual snowfall with skiing, snowmobiling and hockey.  


Who you’ll meet 

Much like Portland, Anchorage is filled with transplants. Many are seasonal workers from the Lower 48 who work during the summer tourism season. It’s also a relatively young area, with more than a quarter of the population under 20 years old (the median age of adult residents is 33). 

Anchorage residents are a true melting pot, which is reflected by the nearly 100 languages spoken by students in the city’s school district. After English, the most common languages are Spanish, Hmong, Samoan, Filipino and Yup’ik, a native Alaskan language. 


What you can do 

If you enjoy Portland’s outdoor offerings, you’ll find that Anchorage connects with Mother Nature on an even deeper level. Enjoy epic views, spot wildlife, hike, ride along 120 miles of developed bike trails, explore glaciers or fish for King salmon. You can even indulge in America’s pastime: Anchorage is home to two amateur collegiate summer baseball teams. 

Prefer to be inside? The city has a performing arts center, the largest museum in the state, art galleries and diverse restaurants.  

Paying the price for remote living 

While the median home cost in Anchorage is nearly $200,000 less than Portland’s, the overall cost of living is higher. This is because most market staples have to be brought in by barge, plane or truck through Canada, resulting in higher retail prices to offset fuel costs. However, Alaska has no sales tax or income tax, and Alaska residents receive an annual Permanent Fund Dividend from the state after their first full calendar year. In 2021, that amount was over $1,100. 


Where you can work  

Anchorage residents earn more than the average American, which helps offset the area’s high cost of living. The largest employers include the oil industry, the government, health care, air transportation and tourism/hospitality. Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), a large military installation, has over 30,000 service members and civilians. 


Getting out and about 

There’s a limited city bus system, but you’ll need a vehicle to really soak in the Anchorage metro area. Taxis and other rideshare services are readily available. 

Getting away is easy despite the remote location. Anchorage is known as the “Air Crossroads of the World” because of its air traffic and the city’s prime location along global shipping routes. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport offers nonstop flights to a number of major U.S. cities and also operates the country’s largest and busiest floatplane base.  


U-Pack simplifies long-distance moves 

Relocating from Portland to Anchorage is a big undertaking. U-Pack® can make it easier and more affordable than you might expect. With more than 240 service centers nationwide, we can customize your move and deliver your belongings in less than a week. Get to Anchorage without the stress of driving a big rental truck. Contact us for free quote and learn more! 

Want to learn more about relocating to Alaska? Check out this guide to moving to The Last Frontier.