From the coastal shores of Seward and Whittier, past glaciers, forests and towering Denali all the way north to the Golden Heart City of Fairbanks; the three main routes of the Alaska Railroad showcase the true breadth of awe inspiring Alaskan landscapes. Operating from mid-May to mid-September during the long, light summer days, there can be no easier way to journey through the natural majesty of the USA’s largest state.
The Denali Star winds through the Alaskan wilderness on a 12hr journey between coastal Anchorage and the northern Gold Rush city of Fairbanks. Trains depart daily so why not break the journey at Talkeetna, home to art galleries and bush plane excursions and at the magnificent Denali National Park, a hotspot for hiking and wildlife spotting. Marvel in comfort at majestic Denali, North America’s highest peak, through large picture windows or head to the open air vestibules for fresh air and fantastic photo opportunities. Pass over expansive bridges and cut through great boreal forest in the final stages of the journey to Fairbanks.
This relaxing 4½hr journey from the gateway city of Anchorage passes the picturesque mountains of Girdwood and the dramatic fjords of Seward. Travel through enormous Chugach National Forest, home to an abundance of wildlife including the world’s largest bald eagle population. As the train reaches the shores of beautiful Trail Lake, catch a glimpse of Bartlett Glacier from the panoramic views in the train’s Vista Dome. Be on the lookout for wildlife on the lush green alpine meadows or gaze out at some of the braided waterfalls in the distance, before reaching Seward, access point to the striking Kenai Fjords National Park.
Although only 2½hrs in length, this journey packs in plenty of spectacular views across mountains, lakes and forests. Travel from Anchorage towards the scenic Turnagain Arm as the train skirts the wild coastline. Watch out for Dall sheep and various birds of prey as you continue through Chugach National Forest, also home to wood bison and spawning salmon before emerging in the lush mountain valley at Girdwood. Gaze at the surrounding peaks, en route to the tiny port town of Whittier, gateway to beautiful Prince William Sound. Choose to disembark here and take an optional glacier day cruise, or take the return train back to Anchorage in the evening.
Life on Board
Adventure Class - Board the train and slip into your comfortable seat. Keep your eyes peeled through the large picture windows for wildlife as you listen to the narrated commentary or visit the snack car for a snack or hot drink.
GoldStar Service - The ultimate way to travel, GoldStar Service offers priority check-in, your reserved seat in the upper glass domed car boasts the best scenic views with plush seating and spacious leg room. Explore the exclusive lower level dining room car or take in the GoldStar outdoor viewing deck. GoldStar Service includes complimentary alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and selected meals.
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