Photo Credit: The Alaska Channel

Ride the Alaska Railroad

Imagine winding through untouched mountainous landscapes and over glacier-carved mountain ridges that look down to turquoise waters and the remote wilderness beyond.

This is the Alaska Railroad, and you can experience a whole Alaska vacation using the railroad as your main mode of transportation. Ditch your car keys, grab a window seat, and enjoy the scenic views. With more than 470 miles of track linking top destinations and two national parks, the train offers access to some of Alaska’s most epic scenery. Whether you want to see an ancient glacier, admire Mt. Denali (North America’s tallest mountain), or just witness the grandeur of Alaska, the railroad is a magical way to do it.

What is the Experience Like on the Alaska Railroad

Different companies offer a slightly different experience (see options below), but you'll find a full-service bar, locally inspired and sourced cuisine, and onboard narration and expertise. You can elevate your journey by selecting a ticket with glass dome cars featuring panoramic views or open-air viewing platforms.

Railroad Map

Where Can I Go on The Alaska Railroad?

The track runs from Seward on the Kenai Peninsula north to Anchorage, Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali, and Fairbanks. Other stops include Whittier, Girdwood, and the Spencer Whistle Stop.

When Can I Ride the Train?

There are daily departures from mid-May to mid-September. Each train has only one departure per day, so it’s important to book your ticket in advance. In Winter, there is weekend service between Anchorage and Fairbanks with sporadic mid-week trains. See Alaska Railroad Schedule for more.

Pros and Cons

The train takes longer and costs more than driving if there are more than two in your party. But you can relax in spacious, comfortable seats and enjoy the views through giant picture windows and dome cars. If visiting Denali National Park, there are shuttles to get around. If riding to Seward, Whittier, or Talkeetna for the day from Anchorage, the schedule aligns perfectly to take an afternoon tour before your return train.

Other FAQs About Riding the Train in Alaska

Princess Rail Tours

Routes from Anchorage to Denali

Season: Mid-May to Mid-Sept $549+

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.


Alaska Railroad Corporation

May - September services Anchorage, Wasilla, Talkeetna, Denali, Fairbanks, Girdwood, Whittier, Spencer Glacier, and Seward. In Winter, service between Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Season: Sep 23 to May 05 $72+

Win­ter in Alas­ka is a mag­i­cal time, with few­er vis­i­tors and a serene, snow-cov­ered land­scape. If you’re here from mid-Sep­tem­ber to mid-May, you can take it in from the com­fort of the Auro­ra Win­ter Train, which runs between Anchor­age and Fair­banks. It’s an easy and mem­o­rable way to trav­el north and expe­ri­ence the auro­ra bore­alis, or even do a week­end get­away to Talkeetna.

Season: May 25 - Sept 15 $78 to $163

The train can be used as a mode of trans­porta­tion, how­ev­er it can also be a round-trip sight­see­ing excur­sion. This pri­ma­ry des­ti­na­tion is the town of Whit­ti­er, a major cruise ship and after­noon day cruise hub. Day Trips from Anchor­age: Whit­ti­er, Gird­wood, Spencer Glac­i­er, Grandview

Season: Year Round $119 Round Trip 6 hrs

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  ...more

Season: May 10 to Sep 21 $75 to $509

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 also spot wildlife along the way. Day Trip from Anchor­age: Tal­keet­na Day Trip from Fair­banks: Denali Mul­ti-Day Trip from Anchor­age: Tal­keet­na, Denali Nation­al Park, and / or Fair­banks Mul­ti-Day Trip  ...more

Season: May 10 - Sept 15 $94 to $430

The Coastal Clas­sic train runs between Anchor­age and the town of Seward — a four-hour trip that’s the most beau­ti­ful along the entire Alas­ka Rail­road. You’ll see 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, and more! Day Trip from Anchor­age: Seward, Gird­wood Mul­ti-Day Trip from Anchor­age: Overnight Seward, or  ...more


Wilderness Express

Routes from Anchorage to Fairbanks

$120 - $395 3 - 12 hrs

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.


Denali Rail Tours

Routes from Anchorage to Denali

Season: Mid-May to Mid-Sept $549+

Take in the scenic views from the domed win­dows in the pri­vate McKin­ley Explor­er rail­cars by Gray Line Alas­ka. Inde­pen­dent trav­el­ers can book a seat, but most opt for a mul­ti-day pack­age includ­ing hotel and trans­fers. 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.  ...more


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