Denali Star Route (Anchorage - Talkeetna - Denali - Fairbanks)

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Alaska Railroad  (2:07)

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.

Day Trips

From Anchorage

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.

From Fairbanks

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

From Anchorage

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.

Schedule

Northbound
Departure LocationDeparture TimeArrival Time
Anchorage to Wasilla8:15 am9:30 am
Wasilla to Talkeetna9:35 am11:05 am
Talkeetna to Denali11:20 am3:40 pm
Denali to Fairbanks4:00 pm8:00 pm
Departure LocationDeparture TimeArrival Time
Fairbanks to Denali8:15 am12:10 pm
Denali to Talkeetna12:30 pm4:40 pm
Talkeetna to Wasilla5:00 pm6:15 pm
Wasilla to Anchorage6:20 pm8:00 pm

What to Bring

  • Camera with plenty of batteries and films
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • A light jacket or sweater

Getting There

411 West 1st Avenue
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

Driving Directions

Prices & Dates

Season May 29 - Sept 12
Adventure Class Fares Anchorage to Wasilla // Value $54 adult, $27 child | Peak $68 adult, $34 child
Anchorage/Wasilla to Talkeetna // Value $88 adult, $44 child | Peak $108 adult, $54 child
Anchorage/Wasilla to Denali National Park // Value $141 adult, $71 child | Peak $176 adult, $88 child
Anchorage/Wasilla to Fairbanks // Value $201 adult, $101 child | Peak $251 adult, $126 child
Talkeetna to Denali National Park // Value $88 adult, $44 child | Peak $101 adult, $51 child
Talkeetna to Fairbanks // Value $119 adult, $60 child | Peak $149 adult, $75 child
Fairbanks to Denali National Park // Value $63 adult, $32 child | Peak $79 adult, $40 child
GoldStar Service Fares Anchorage to Wasilla // Value $174 adult, $97 child | Peak $192 adult, $105 child
Anchorage/Wasilla to Talkeetna // Value $208 adult, $116 child | Peak $235 adult, $126 child
Anchorage/Wasilla to Denali National Park // Value $281 adult, $162 child | Peak $325 adult, $181 child
Anchorage/Wasilla to Fairbanks // Value $397 adult, $235 child | Peak $459 adult, $263 child
Talkeetna to Denali National Park // Value $209 adult, $118 child | Peak $230 adult, $124 child
Talkeetna to Fairbanks // Value $274 adult, $163 child | Peak $310 adult, $180 child
Fairbanks to Denali National Park // Value $150 adult, $87 child | Peak $170 adult, $106 child
Rate Notes Value season includes the months of May and September
Peak Season includes June, July, and August

Photos

Denali Star Route (Anchorage - Talkeetna - Denali - Fairbanks)

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