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North of Anchorage//Talkeetna (3 hrs), Denali (8 hrs), and Fairbanks (12 hrs) • Multiple companies
The Denali Star takes you north from Anchorage to places like Talkeetna, Denali National Park, and Fairbanks. This train travels through the forested areas north of Anchorage into the boreal forest, and eventually into the tundra regions further north. On a clear day the train will slow down to allow you to see beautiful vistas of Denali. You may spot wildlife along the way, such as bear, moose, eagles, and caribou.
Riding the train in Alaska is a relaxing and fun way to take in amazing sights around every bend, and many travelers choose a dome car for the best viewing experience. When you’re headed north of Anchorage, hop on a Wilderness Express private dome car for deluxe viewing at great value.
May 11 to September 20
Step aboard Princess Rail, whose cars have two levels with 360-degree dome views, a dining area, and large open-air platforms at the rear. You may choose to ride as an independent traveler, or with a larger package that will include lodging at the Princess properties along the way.
Enjoy scenic views from the domed windows in the private Gray Line of Alaska rail cars. Enjoy excellent service from your car manager, who will point out sights and scenery along the way. Dine in the restaurant located just beneath you, and don’t miss a thing as you continue to gaze out of large picture windows. Many people here will be on a cruise package, but independent travelers can book a seat as well.
Mid-May to Mid-September
The Hurricane Turn Train operates on Thursday through Sunday between Talkeetna and Hurricane Gulch from mid May to mid September. You can either take a scenic journey round trip, or you can ask to be let off at whichever mile marker you choose. This train is how many people who live in the backcountry gain access to their homes or cabins. It is also popular for fishermen who gain access to some great fishing spots by train. Get back on the train with the wave of a flag.
South of Anchorage//Girdwood (1.25 hrs), Seward (3.25 hrs) • Operated only by the Alaska Railroad
The Coastal Classic train services 114 miles of track between Anchorage and the town of Seward, on the Kenai Peninsula—a four-hour trip that’s the most beautiful along the entire Alaska Railroad. You’ll see the beautiful Turnagain Arm as the train departs Anchorage, then a panorama of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and streams. You may even see wildlife like Dall sheep, Beluga whales, moose, bear, eagles, marmots, and more!
This train’s primary destination is the town of Whittier, a major cruise ship and afternoon day cruise hub that’s not always easy to reach. After Whittier, the train begins its whistle-stop service; passengers can get on and off at the Spencer Whistle Stop that has been created with the U.S. Forest Service. Passengers who disembark here can take an afternoon hike, stay and camp overnight, or take a rafting trip down the Placer River. After this stop, the train will continue into the Kenai Mountains for a slow scenic ride before returning back the way it came. The train can be used as a mode of transportation, however it can also be a round-trip sightseeing excursion.