Denali Star Route (Anchorage - Talkeetna - Denali - Fairbanks)
If you're looking for a relaxing trip to Denali National Park, consider riding the Denali Star. The scenery and small-town history along the way will bring you back to a different place in time.
Talkeetna. A true frontier town, with jet boating, rafting, and flightseeing. The train ride is about 2.5 hours each way, and you have 6 hours to spend in town. Perfect to grab lunch or an early dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy an excursion.
Denali National Park. The train ride is approximately 4 hours in each direction, giving you 4 hours to spend in the park. When you arrive, opt for a flightseeing tour to maximize the experience and see the park from above.
Overnight & Multi-Day Trips
Talkeetna. Overnight in Talkeetna and return the next day. Spending more than the afternoon allows experiencing the town more fully by picking up an extra excursion or two.
From Anchorage or Fairbanks
Denali National Park. The train takes 8 hours from Anchorage to Denali, and 4 hours from Fairbanks. It’s recommended you spend two nights in the park, leaving you one full day to explore.
The Whole Line. Spend several days, stopping in Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks. Once in Fairbanks, return to Anchorage by rail, or fly back to Anchorage. You can do the same trip in reverse by starting in Fairbanks.
What the Route is Like
Head north out of Anchorage along the Knik Arm, among leafy green deciduous trees. As you approach the Alaska Range, you'll also chug into the small towns of Wasilla and Talkeetna, a tiny frontier town with all the flavor of Alaska's past. If the weather's good, you'll get your first look at spectacular Denali stretching high into the clouds.
Just north of Talkeetna, lush fields full of fiddlehead ferns zoom past the train's windows, then taper off to give way to a narrow corridor of dense forest. You'll pass over Hurricane Gulch, crossing a bridge that spans 918 feet almost 300 feet above the Chulitna River. Soon after, you'll arrive at Denali National Park, home to gorgeous scenery, black and brown bears, caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, and countless species of birds.
The train then continues north, through Healy, Nenana, and several other typical Alaskan communities. Here the terrain flattens and is more subarctic. The open space allows for better viewing of caribou and other wildlife. The train follows the edge of a cliff along the Nenana River canyon, and you may see kayakers or rafters floating by. Finally, you'll end up in Fairbanks, the heart of the gold rush.
The journey from Anchorage to Fairbanks can be completed in a day. But, the 350-mile train ride takes 12 hours and is like an expedition, passing through four different climate and vegetation zones. Many travelers break up the trip with stopovers in Talkeetna and/or Denali National Park.
|Departure Location||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
|Anchorage to Wasilla||8:15 am||9:30 am|
|Wasilla to Talkeetna||9:35 am||11:05 am|
|Talkeetna to Denali||11:20 am||3:40 pm|
|Denali to Fairbanks||4:00 pm||8:00 pm|
|Departure Location||Departure Time||Arrival Time|
|Fairbanks to Denali||8:15 am||12:10 pm|
|Denali to Talkeetna||12:30 pm||4:40 pm|
|Talkeetna to Wasilla||5:00 pm||6:15 pm|
|Wasilla to Anchorage||6:20 pm||8:00 pm|
What to Bring
- Camera with plenty of batteries and films
- A light jacket or sweater
Anchorage, AK 99501
Anchorage Depot: The train depot is located at 411 West 1st Ave, easily accessible from downtown Anchorage.
Talkeetna Depot: Mile 13.5 Talkeetna Spur Rd
Fairbanks Depot: 1745 Johansen Expressway
Prices & Dates
|Season||May 10 - Sept 21|
|Adventure Class Fares||Anchorage to Wasilla // Value $57 adult, $29 child | Peak $73 adult, $37 child|
|Anchorage/Wasilla to Talkeetna // Value $93 adult, $47 child | Peak $116 adult, $58 child|
|Anchorage/Wasilla to Denali National Park // Value $148 adult, $74 child | Peak $187 adult, $94 child|
|Anchorage/Wasilla to Fairbanks // Value $211 adult, $106 child | Peak $269 adult, $136 child|
|Talkeetna to Denali National Park // Value $93 adult, $47 child | Peak $109 adult, $55 child|
|Talkeetna to Fairbanks // Value $127 adult, $64 child | Peak $159 adult, $80 child|
|Fairbanks to Denali National Park // Value $66 adult, $33 child | Peak $85 adult, $43 child|
|GoldStar Service Fares||Anchorage to Wasilla // Value $197 adult, $116 child | Peak $218 adult, $125 child|
|Anchorage/Wasilla to Talkeetna // Value $219 adult, $123 child | Peak $253 adult, $134 child|
|Anchorage/Wasilla to Denali National Park // Value $297 adult, $173 child | Peak $348 adult, $193 child|
|Anchorage/Wasilla to Fairbanks // Value $419 adult, $250 child | Peak $489 adult, $279 child|
|Talkeetna to Denali National Park // Value $248 adult, $131 child | Peak $237 adult, $127 child|
|Talkeetna to Fairbanks // Value $289 adult, $174 child | Peak $329 adult, $191 child|
|Fairbanks to Denali National Park // Value $158 adult, $93 child | Peak $183 adult, $114 child|
|Rate Notes||Value season includes the months of May and September|
|Peak Season includes June, July, and August|