All Aboard For An Alaska Rail Vacation!

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Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!

Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour

Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights

Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure

Denali Adventure in Alaska Vacation
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Awesome Alaska Adventures By Train

The Alaska Railroad operates freight and passenger trains in the state of Alaska. The railroad’s main line runs between Seward on Alaska’s southern coast and Fairbanks, near the center of the state. This Alaska railroad train line passes through Anchorage and Denali National Park, with stops in Talkeetna, Whittier, and more! If you want to see Alaska in a truly unique way, consider taking an Alaska rail vacation for your next trip!

bright green aurora lights in Alaskan sky

All Aboard The Alaska Railroad’s Trains

From mid-May to mid-September, the Alaska Railroad offers Alaska train tour packages for visitors on five train lines. During the height of the tourist season, trains depart from Anchorage frequently to take passengers on a journey through Alaska’s vast wilderness. Riding an Alaska railroad train is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most tourists, but for train enthusiasts, it’s an absolute must. Let's take a mesmerizing journey through breathtaking landscapes and see the beauty of the Last Frontier like never before!

  • The Coastal Classic – this train runs south, heading out early each morning to Seward on a round-trip journey that winds along Turnagain Arm and through the backcountry wilderness of the Kenai Peninsula. Along the way, riders can see massive glaciers and towering waterfalls. Once you reach Seward, the train comes to a halt on the shores of Resurrection Bay. A seven-hour layover means you have plenty of time to visit Kenai Fjords National Park before returning to Anchorage that evening.
  • The Glacier Discovery – this train is a great option for tourists who want to turn their Alaska rail vacation into a day trip. The Glacier Discovery travels south from Anchorage with a brief stop in Girdwood, then heads on to Whittier, Portage, the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, and Grandview. On the return trip, you can disembark at Portage for a direct bus transfer, or stay onboard for a longer journey that includes a stop in Whittier, a charming coastal town just waiting to be explored!
  • The Denali Star – this train is the Alaska Railroad’s flagship train, and is one that is used for many Alaska train tour packages! Each day during the summer months, the Denali Star departs Anchorage for a 12-hour trip to Fairbanks. The luxurious train ride offers passengers stunning views of the Alaskan wilderness, passing by towering mountains and pristine lakes along the way. Along the way, the train stops in Wasilla, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park. On a clear day, you can enjoy spectacular views of Denali, the tallest peak in North America, as you ride the rails.
  • The Hurricane Turn Train – this train is popular with tourists, but also serves as a lifeline for Alaskans living off the road system in the backcountry wilderness north of Talkeetna. In the summer, this train line operates Thursday through Monday, departing Talkeetna and stopping along the way to the turnaround point of Hurricane Gulch. The Winter Hurricane runs on the first Thursday of the month only, for a round-trip journey from Anchorage to Hurricane Gulch. Intrepid adventurers use this Alaska Railroad train to explore remote areas of the state’s backcountry that cannot be accessed by car.
  • The Aurora Winter Train – this train operates from mid-September to mid-May. It connects Anchorage and Fairbanks, with stops between Talkeetna and Hurricane for locals. Enjoy the serenity of Alaska’s winter landscape from the comfort of a heated railroad car as you wind through the state’s frozen countryside! This train ride showcases Alaska's breathtaking landscapes, offering passengers a unique way to experience the beauty of the Last Frontier.

The Best Alaska Rail Vacations In The State

Rail vacations by train in alaskaThe Alaska Railroad's main line stretches 470 miles from Seward to Fairbanks, connecting communities all along Southcentral and Interior Alaska. The railroad provides an opportunity for travelers to see Alaska through a variety of Alaska train tour packages. These packages offer a unique way to explore the breathtaking landscapes, wildlife, and remote communities that make Alaska truly unforgettable.

Three vacation options are listed below, as a starting point for you to plan your dream Alaska rail vacation!

  • Day trip on the Denali Star – the highlight of this route is seeing Mt. Denali from the window of your train car! At 20,322 feet, Mt. Denali is the tallest peak in North America and the train offers several unobstructed views as it passes within 50 miles of the summit. Of course, there is a lot more to see on this route. For example, just north of Anchorage is a beautiful section where the train follows the Chugach Mountains before it turns and crosses the Knik and Matanuska Rivers. And north of Talkeetna, the train crosses over the 918-foot Hurricane Gulch trestle bridge, which offers passengers a variety of breathtaking photo opportunities of the creek below. You will also enjoy panoramic views of the Alaska Range as you travel through Broad Pass at 2,363 feet of elevation!
  • Round trip on the Coastal Classic – this route runs between Anchorage and Seward, along the coastline of the Turnagain Arm. This route provides scenic views and the opportunity to see wildlife like Dall sheep on the rocky cliffs towering over the shore. After that, the train veers off into a truly remote section of the backcountry. Passengers will enjoy views of the Placer River Valley, the Spencer Valley, and the Kenai Mountains. Once the train arrives in Seward, passengers have a seven-hour layover. This gives you plenty of time to take a day cruise from Seward to Kenai Fjords National Park for a truly magical day of sightseeing!
  • Alaska rail vacations and cruises - most cruise tours run a train portion from Anchorage to Talkeetna and then into Denali National Park. This offers travelers the ultimate Alaska experience – first a cruise through Alaska’s icy waters to see whales and glaciers, then an Alaska train tour package to visit the state’s iconic interior. Watch the countryside pass outside your train window as you travel to Seward, then enjoy a Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise, a flightseeing tour over Mt. Denali; a park tour, and rafting. When your vacation is done, hope the train back to Anchorage before heading home.

Riding The Rails To Adventure In Alaska

With five train lines, it’s easy to create the ultimate Alaska rail vacation for your family. The scenic routes offer breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, vast forests, and majestic glaciers along the way. Combine a train ride with a cruise for the ultimate vacation package, or choose from any of the Alaska train tour packages the Alaska Railroad offers during tourist season. No matter which option you select, be prepared to see Alaska in a whole new way from the comfort of your train car.

Download all three Alaska tour brochures for tour dates and pricing.