Why This Trip?
This one-way trip from Anchorage to Fairbanks takes in mountains, rivers, wildlife, and pioneer charm—all the things that make Alaska's stunning interior ripe for exploring. And it's easy to do no matter what method of transportation you use. You can also begin your trip in Fairbanks and work your way south to Anchorage.
Arrive & Overnight in Anchorage
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Welcome to Anchorage! Take today to explore Alaska's largest city. Go on a city tour via trolley or bike to get an overview, or join a brewery tour and sample some of the innovative suds being brewed here. Then get an in-depth picture of the city and state at the Anchorage Museum, or visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center for a dose of history and culture. Of course, you'll also want to experience the city's fantastic bars and restaurants.
Overnight in Talkeetna
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Travel to charming Talkeetna by car (2 hours), train (3 hours), or bus (2.5 hours). Then explore the one-block main street, ducking in and out of the quaint shops and restaurants, like the legendary Talkeetna Roadhouse, which has been around since the early 20th century. And definitely take a tour. You're close to Denali, so go flightseeing and check out the mountain up close; you could also take an ATV tour, a guided walk, a rafting trip, try ziplining, or go for a thrilling jetboat ride.
Overnight in Denali National Park
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Depart from Talkeetna for iconic Denali National Park, either by car (2.5 hours), train (4.5 hours), or motorcoach (4 hours). Head to the park's visitor center to start getting acquainted with this vast expanse of nature. And try an activity! Go flightseeing and get a bird's-eye view of the vast Alaska Range as well as the summit of Denali. Enjoy some river rafting, go for a guided hike, or take a Jeep/ATV tour and drive yourself over the tundra.
Day & Overnight in Denali National Park
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Today, you'll spend all day exploring the beauty of this park. Private vehicles are not allowed beyond mile 15, so you'll explore by bus. Opt for the National Park Service's hop-on, hop-off transit bus, or take a narrated tour. Spend 7-8 hours traveling 62 miles into the park on the Tundra Wilderness tour, or take 12 hours and go all 92 miles to the end, at Kantishna. Along the way, look for wildlife and of course, North America's tallest peak.
An alternative to a bus on the Park Road is to ride a bike! Bike Denali offers afternoon, full-day, and multi-day rentals. Bike from the park entrance, or put your bike on a shuttle to catch a ride into the park and then pedal out!
Day in Denali National Park - Depart from Fairbanks
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Travel from Denali to the largest city in interior Alaska by car (2 hours) or train (4 hours). If going by train, you'll get in around 8 in the evening, which makes your Fairbanks stop just your departure point or at most, an overnight before a trip to the airport.
If you're driving, though, you can get an early start in Denali and have a full day in Fairbanks. Check out the University of Alaska Museum of the North, where you'll get a fascinating glimpse of the cultures and wildlife that call this part of Alaska home, as well as a deep dive into contemporary Native Alaska art. You can also drive over to see the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and witness this feat of engineering.
You can also travel aboard a mighty sternwheeler, the Riverboat Discovery, pan for gold, meet Iditarod Mushers and their dogs, go fishing, visit a local brewery or distillery, or take a day trip beyond the Arctic Circle!
Then it's time to fly home!