AK-1 begins at the Alaska Marine Highway's Homer Ferry Terminal at the tip of Homer Spit just south of the end of the Sterling Highway in Homer. It follows the entire Sterling Highway through Soldotna to the junction with the Seward Highway north of Seward, where it meets the north end of AK-9. There it turns north and follows the Seward Highway to its end in Anchorage, and follows the one-way pairs of Ingra and Gambell Streets and 6th and 5th Avenues, continuing east on 5th Avenue to the beginning of the Glenn Highway. AK-1 follows the entire length of the Glenn Highway, passing the south end of the George Parks Highway (AK-3) near Wasilla and meeting the Richardson Highway (AK-4) near Glennallen. A short concurrency north along AK-4 takes AK-1 to the Tok Cut-Off, which it follows northeast to its end at the Alaska Highway (AK-2) at Tok.
The majority of AK-1 is part of the Interstate Highway System; only the route between Homer and Soldotna does not carry an unsigned Interstate designation. The entire length of A-3 follows AK-1 from the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna to the turn in downtown Anchorage; there A-1 begins, running to Tok along AK-1. (A-1 continues to the Yukon border along AK-2, the Alaska Highway.) Only a short portion of the Seward Highway south of downtown Anchorage and a longer portion of the Glenn Highway northeast to AK-3 are built to freeway standards; the proposed Highway to Highway Connection would link these through downtown.
The Tok Cut-Off is a highway in the U.S. state of Alaska, running 125 miles (201 km) from Gakona Junction (on the Richardson Highway, 14 miles (23 km) north of Glennallen), to Tok on the Alaska Highway.
The road was built in the 1940s and 1950s to connect Tok more directly with the Richardson Highway. It was called a "cut-off" because it allowed motor travelers coming north on the Alaska Highway to travel to Valdez and Anchorage without going to Delta Junction and then traveling south on the Richardson Highway, taking 120 miles (190 km) off the trip.