An Awesome Alaska Railroad Vacation For Everyone!

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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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Traveling Across Alaska By Train

Believe it or not, Alaska has a world-class rail system that makes taking an Alaska railroad tour across the state easy! With more than a century of history, the Alaska Railroad offers travelers spectacular scenery, convenient access to Denali National Park, various classes of service, year-round operations, and a commitment to sustainability. Alaskan railroad trips offer visitors an unforgettable way to experience the state’s wilderness and a unique, once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

What Is The Alaskan Railroad?

The Alaska Railroad runs more than 500 miles across the state, connecting Kenai Fjords National Park in Seward to Anchorage, Talkeetna, and Denali National Park, before reaching its terminus at Fairbanks. It was built in 1914, during the state’s Gold Rush, to connect the coastal town of Seward to Fairbanks in the interior after gold was discovered. Today, the Alaska Railroad carries more than 400,000 passengers and 5.11 million tons of freight annually. The rail line has 1,381 freight cars, 45 passenger cars, and 57 locomotives.

Five Fun Facts About the Alaska Railroad

While an Alaska railroad tour means it will take longer to get to your destination, train travelers are rewarded with incredible views and spectacular scenery as the train winds through routes that are not accessible by road. So sit back, stretch your legs, and consider these five fun facts about the rail line during your amazing Alaska railroad vacation!

  • The Alaska Railroad was built during the gold rush era of 1914 to connect the coastal town of Seward to Fairbanks in the interior. The railroad was built over 16 years. President Warren G. Harding drove home the final railroad spike to mark its completion.
  • The Alaska Railroad is a vital transportation link that allows supplies to move quickly and easily through the state. Each year, it carries thousands of tourists across the state on Alaska railroad trips. But it also acts as a vital transportation link for residents living in remote locations who depend on its services to reach towns for supplies and services.
  • The railroad's average speed is about 30 miles per hour, but cars often will slow down in scenic areas to provide better viewing opportunities for travelers searching for wildlife or taking in that state’s majestic mountain views.
  • The Alaska Railroad is the northernmost railroad in North America. It is also one of the only rail lines that stop at backcountry whistle stops, where passengers can disembark on an Alaskan railroad trip to hike a glacier!
  • The Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC), a public corporation of the state of Alaska, owns and operates the railroad.

Does The Alaska Railroad Operate All Year?

Many people assume that the Alaska Railroad only runs during the summer months, but it operates year-round. Winter is a particularly beautiful time to take the train, with snow-covered landscapes and the chance to see the Northern Lights. The railroad’s Aurora Winter Train travels weekends between Anchorage and Fairbanks, making the northbound 12-hour journey on Saturday and the return trip on Sunday, as well as select mid-week departures. Along the way, the train stops in Wasilla, Talkeetna, and provides flag stop service along the 50-mile stretch of roadless backcountry south of Hurricane Gulch.

This incredible winter Alaska railroad tour rewards visitors with striking views of pristine snow, the Aurora dancing in the night sky, and magnificent views of Denali rising above the Susitna River. And anywhere along the tracks, a watchful eye may be rewarded with the sight of a moose in the wild. The journey through the Alaskan wilderness on the railroad offers a perfect blend of natural wonders and wildlife encounters, creating an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking adventure and beauty in the Last Frontier.

Planning A One-Day Alaska Railroad Tour

When you start planning your Alaska railroad vacation, you may wonder what options the rail line offers. The Alaska Railroad offers visitors the chance to take short, one-day trips or multi-day vacation packages with overnight stops in key cities to experience all this great state has to offer. If you opt for shorter, single-day adventures, you can choose a city like Anchorage as your base camp and ride the train from there. Many visitors like this option because it offers them the flexibility to explore Anchorage in depth, while still having the opportunity to explore different parts of the state during their vacation.

Popular one-day Alaska railroad tours include:

  • Anchorage (or Girdwood) to Seward: Ride the rails to Seward on the Coastal Classic Train. This trip will allow you to enjoy an afternoon cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park to see wildlife and glaciers before returning to Anchorage. You can also spend the afternoon exploring the sleepy coastal town or hiking Exit Glacier!
  • Anchorage to Talkeetna: Travel on the Alaska Railroad’s flagship train, the Denali Star to Talkeetna. This quirky town was the inspiration for the television show Northern Exposure. Explore the artists’ shops downtown, grab a coffee in a local coffee house, or visit the post office, which was home to Talkeetna’s former feline mayor, Stubbs the Cat. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy jetboat tours, rafting, or a flightseeing tour over Mt. Denali.
  • Anchorage (or Girdwood) to Whittier: Ride to Whittier on the Glacier Discovery Train. Spend the afternoon on a day cruise into Prince William Sound, which has one of the largest concentrations of tidewater glaciers in North America. Keep an eye out for resident whales on your tour!
  • Anchorage (or Girdwood) to Spencer Glacier: The Glacier Discovery Train also makes stops at the Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop, where travelers can disembark and walk to the waterfront of a glacier lake to see the Spencer Glacier. Or, they can enjoy a rafting tour on the lake before reconnecting with the train for the return trip back to Anchorage.

Multi-Day Alaskan Railroad Trips For The Adventurous!

A multi-day Alaska Railroad Vacation is the perfect option for the traveler who likes to be on the go and doesn’t mind staying in a new place every night! Railroad vacation packages often include other modes of travel, as well as a variety of quintessentially Alaskan experiences. From flightseeing to boat cruises or city crawls to glacier walking, a multi-day Alaska railroad tour has it all!

The Alaska Railroad offers tour packages for travelers. Alternatively, you can book with an Alaskan tour operator like Gondwana Ecotours. Gondwana Ecotours is a premier travel operator, which offers travelers the chance to explore bucket list destinations in a unique, exciting, and responsible fashion. The company is committed to providing sustainable travel experiences, and to maintaining an environmental and cultural focus while still providing once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities.

Gondwana’s summer Denali Discovery Experience incorporates an Alaska Railroad trip from Denali National Park to Talkeetna, where travelers can explore the quirky town before returning to the park. Enjoy the area’s peaks, glaciers, and valleys, as you ride along a beautiful stretch of rail to Talkeetna. This unique multi-day trip also includes:

  • Accommodations for seven nights.
  • Transportation by minibus from Fairbanks to Denali and Talkeetna to Anchorage.
  • All your guides (24/7 local guides and activity day guides).
  • Flightseeing and helicopter experiences over the Alaska Range and Denali National Park.
  • Rafting on the Nenana River (scenic or white water options).
  • An Alaskan Railroad trip from Denali to Talkeetna with the Alaska Railroad.
  • A boat tour into the nationally registered Wild River Park of “Devil’s Gorge.”
  • Interpretive hikes.
  • All meals listed as included in the itinerary.

Along the way, tour members will see incredible wildlife like moose, eagles, Dall sheep, and grizzly bears, all while enjoying the dramatic landscape of Denali National Park!

All Aboard For The Adventure Of A Lifetime

Whether you are planning a one-day Alaska Railroad Tour or a multi-day Alaska Railroad Vacation, you’re sure to experience the trip of a lifetime. Alaska’s rugged terrain, stunning glaciers, and abundant wildlife will be on full display as you wind your way through the state’s incredible landscapes. So sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy the view outside your window. The train's gentle rhythm and panoramic views make for a truly immersive and unforgettable journey through the Last Frontier. All Aboard! Adventure awaits at the end of the line.

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